We are deep into winter with snow and ice outside and temperatures below freezing, but I have enough indoor gardening projects to keep me happy. What makes the activities more fun is that I get to share them with an amazing group of young and young-at-heart people from C.A.R.E.S. This social services program is for recent graduates and adults that have special needs. The goal is to enhance their independence and community participation. A small group, not always the same people, have been helping us in the garden and around the farm on a weekly basis during the growing season for many years.
Here are a few pictures of C.A.R.E.S folk in my gardens in the spring and summer of 2019:
|Helping in the garden: trimming beets, planting herbs, filling buckets with mulch to spread around plants.|
This year, we decided they should come twice a month during the winter. I'm having fun thinking up activities for them. Thus far they are forcing bulbs, growing herbs, and caring for houseplants. It is far to cold to work outside, so we putter about the kitchen and dining room.
|A messy array of seedlings and houseplants in the dining room|
|Herbs and amaryllis under a grow light|
|They sowed lettuce seeds in the mini greenhouse that I placed on a heat pad|
|Proudly watering their herbs|
We forced paperwhites and amaryllis bulbs to bloom. We are learning together. Some paperwhite bulbs rotted because I didn't make the stones level. This resulted in higher water on one side of the dish. The bulbs that were high enough out of the water grew and bloomed. A good lesson.
|Paperwhites will grow and bloom with just pebbles or stones and water - unless the water level is too high, then they rot.|
|Half of the paperwhite bulbs bloomed|
|Paperwhite (Narcissus 'Ariel')|
I placed some bulbs on top of glass bottles containing just water:
|It is fun to watch the roots grow|
The amaryllis were much more successful that the paperwhites. We planted them in potting mix.
|The striped, furled petals of Amaryllis ('Popov' ) promising to burst into flower soon|
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, dear friends, how do you tend your gardening passion in winter? I welcome more ideas that I can share with my buddies from C.A.R.E.S.
|Cookies and lemonade after working hard|
PS. This posting was too late for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th, but it's not too late to follow the link to see what is blooming this month around the world. It is Carol's 13th year hosting at May Dreams Gardens. A big 'congratulations' and' thank you,' Carol, for every garden bloggers' favorite meme.
I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.