Monday, January 14

Note To Michele: Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year!

How is the weather in your area? We're having unseasonably warm weather this week. Most of the snow we has almost melted and it feels like April outside.

Just before Christmas I found seed catalogs in my mailbox, mixed in with the Christmas cards. Now that the holidays are over, I hope to have some time to look through and start dreaming about spring.

In the photograph above, you see our new Bonsai. The man at the nursery convinced me that buying a plant to shape would be more fun that one already formed into the traditional look of a Bonsai. It is also much more affordable to do-it-yourself! This variety is a Ficus Green Island (compacta) which is an indoor tropical Bonsai. It is in the family Moraceae. It needs sun to light shade and watering 2 or 3 times per week. Also it must stay above 35  degrees, but prefers much warmer temps than that. I debated between this type and a juniper but learned the junipers require cold winter temperatures indoors, yet still need sunlight- a tricky combination to provide. I was advised to start with the ficus. We are currently reading a book on the subject before beginning to shape it.

I love your new Amaryllis! I have never tried one, but my mom grows them every year. This year, hers has grown incredibly tall. I took a photo of it to show you. Have you ever seen one so tall? She said last year she had some that grew so tall, the stems broke. Mom says this one has bloomed recently.
Below you see a bouquet made of Mom's broken amaryllis from last year.
I'm trying to winter over some geraniums my mother gave me in the fall. She didn't want them and they would be killed by frost. I've heard it's possible to winter geraniums over in a dormant stage, so I am giving it a try this year. First, I knocked off all the dirt from the roots, then let them dry. Then I put three plants each in paper bags and hung them from the rafters in my attic. I left a few in pots and put them in the basement to compare which method works best. From my research, I think the basement is actually too warm but we will see. They all look quite dead but others say this works great. If so, I should have lovely geraniums next summer.

In other gardening news, I have been searching Youtube for some new gardening shows to watch. I don't have cable, and our PBS station has very few satisfying garden programs now. I grew up watching Crockett's Victory Garden but the new Victory Garden is so different from the original. Do you remember Jim Crockett host of Crockett's Victory Garden? I do wish PBS would bring back vintage Victory Garden episodes.

 Anyway, I have discovered the BBC has produced some wonderful shows over the years and many are available on Youtube. I feel like I've found buried treasure! I'm enjoying Around the World in 80 Gardens, Gardeners' World,  Grow With Joe, The Victorian Kitchen Garden, Alys Fowler and The Edible Garden. All these programs should keep me happy until spring. If you, or any of our readers, are looking for some garden inspiration, try these programs. Around the World in 80 Gardens will take you on a world tour of some of the most fascinating gardens in the world.

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