ROAD TRIP!!! and Winter Seeds

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post.  Between taking advantage of every single dry sunny day possible to get out in the garden and a road trip to Tennessee last weekend, I haven’t taken time to post.  DH and I are making steady progress building raised beds for the fruit plants, hoping to finish up in the next couple of weeks.  For future reference, it’s ideal to build the beds BEFORE the plants arrive!

Evelyn and I had a great time at the Williamson County Master Gardener’s Bloom’n’ Garden Expo last weekend.  Most states have extension services and offer gardeners the opportunity to become Master Gardeners by completing a series of training classes and service hours.  The Master Gardeners in Williamson County, Tennessee organize a lovely expo each year with vendors and talks.  As usual, I came home with a van full of plants and garden decor and a notebook full of ideas for planting.

The garden continues leafing out and blooming.  The spring crescendo is building, with more daffodils and other spring bulbs, a few hardy perennials like hellebores, and some early shrubs, including one of my favorite evergreens, Pieris japonica.

Closeup of Pieris blooms

This lovely shade tolerant evergreen blooms early in the year and seems quite deer resistant, even in this neighborhood where they nibble on everything.  The photo at the top of my web is a dwarf, late blooming Pieris japonica variety called ‘Prelude‘ next to blue eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium ‘Lucerne’.)  Earlier this week, it was cheering to see this year’s blue eyed grass foliage emerging after this long wet winter.

In addition to planting and enjoying blooms, this is prime time for seedlings.  About a third of the winter sown seeds on the deck have sprouted, and I’m planting them out as I can, working around the vagaries of weather and location here at the garden in the woods.  This idea was pioneered by Trudi Davidoff of wintersown.org which is where I got instructions after a gardening buddy of Evelyn’s was very successful with this technique last year.  Most of the seeds are in milk jugs that are sliced open on three sides, planted and then taped shut.  After the seeds sprout, the tape comes off to let in more air, and then the top is propped open to harden the baby plants off for planting.  As you can see from the snapshot, I don’t always get them into the ground as quickly as needed!

Winter sown seeds & seedlings

Here’s hoping to keep up with the influx of new babies to plant.  Hope everyone is enjoying gardening this year!

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