The crocuses are in bloom. They are early this year, as expected during a time of global warming. We are experiencing an exceptionally mild March in the Pocono Mountains -- the pond didn't freeze over and we didn't have snow so far this month, but a lot of rain. I see fat buds on the daffodils already and some hellebore blooms are open. Spring, due to arrive later this week, seems to be here already. I have, however, been extraordinarily late ordering seeds. If I have an excuse it is that I was preparing for a heavy speaking schedule. My talks have now been cancelled due to the corona virus. Also (with my advanced age) I am forced to stay home as I practice social distancing. So I have worked on my seed order at last. Of course, I was browsing the catalogs all winter, so had a good idea what to order. For my modest size garden I choose the vegetables that Duane and I like most, adding a new variety or two. I didn't make up my mind which company to use, though, until the last minute.
|Seed Catalog Season -- One of my favorite seasons of the year|
I feel it's best to choose a seed company located in the Northeast; they provide varieties adapted to our area. Some of the companies I have uses with good results: Burpee, Johnny's Select Seeds, and The Cook's Garden. I've also used Annie's Heirloom Seeds although Michigan is a Midwest state; I love the idea of heirloom seeds. This year, I decided to purchase from Hudson Valley Seed Company from New York state. At this taxing time, I am looking for every way possible to de-stress; studies show that one way of doing that is to look at art. Hudson Valley's seed packets are true works of art. I wrote a blog posting about the changing look of seed packets HERE. Many companies' seed packets have become beautiful expressions of creative skill. Hudson Valley Seed Company is in a class of it's own.
|Hudson Valley Seed Company's seed packets. They are true works of art|
I splurged, buying art packs that cost a little more than regular packets. I can't wait for them to arrive. I made my 2020 Kitchen Garden plan.
In the meantime, I have several 'growing' projects going on indoors. As well as the herbs planted by my friends from C.A.R.E.S. (a social services program for recent graduates and adults that have special needs) we now have an AeroGarden with heirloom lettuces. An AeroGarden is a hydroponic indoor garden; the C.A.R.E.S. folk helped me put it together. They are also helping me repot the houseplants. Unfortunately, their Monday visits are curtailed due to the virus, so I'll need to finish that task alone.
|Some of the projects I've been working on with my friends from C.A.R.E.S.|
|C.A.R.E.S. people setting up the hydroponic indoor garden.|
|The heirloom lettuces in the hydroponic indoor garden are sprouting already.|
|Love my new pot for the snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata)|
Outdoors, as well as crocuses and hellebores, I spotted some vinca blooms (Periwinkle, Vinca minor). The snowdrops in the Serenity garden seem to be lasting longer than other years. As I sit in my favorite chair in the garden room, I enjoy the birds and admire the snowdrops in my immediate view. I am linking with Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. I apologize for being a day late. Carol has crocus and hellebore, too.
|View from my favorite chair - can you see the clump of snowdrops?|
My last garden talk until the crisis is over was for the University Women's Garden Club at State College, PA. I showed them how I created an English-style cottage garden; I described the photoshoot that took place there last year for Country Gardens magazine. The club photographer took the picture below. My garden will be featured in the Summer 2020 edition, that should hit the newsstands May 1.
|I am holding Country Gardens Magazine Spring 2020 edition -- My garden is featured in the Summer edition, coming soon.|
As the pandemic causes anxiety all around the world, remember that gardening is the perfect anecdote to stress.
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