Thursday, January 06, 2005

6Jan2005Epiphany, fungshui, Windowsill, planter'sreuse

6January 04, Epiphany, Fung Shui, Windowsill, planters from reused materials.

Epiphany today, some prefer to say twelfth night. Time to take down all Christmas trees. My tree, a decorated Rosemary, will go back out to the porch where it will like the dampness. The Holly sprigs in the windows can stay for a while, but they are dry and will start dropping leaves.
I read my Fung Shui man, Dennis Fairchild, in Phenomene news, he says we all need to energize the east during cold and flu season. My east windows have scented geraniums and a Fuchsia, so I’m good there.
My window sills have been very satisfying this year. I grew a good mix of plants, well adapted to window sills. I made plastic planters from the many containers available to the modern consumer. Thin and deep works for most plants. I have large window planters without holes for saucers. They catch runoff and keep the plants damp. I also make self watering pots for Impatiens and other high water useing plants that don’t mind getting their feet wet. Old water bottles get cut in half, the tops turned upside down, dirt and the plant go in the top and the top fits into the bottom. The bottom is the saucer to catch the water. Holes go in the cap. When excess water drains through the cap to the saucer, it can go back to the plant through capilary action.
I am interested in starting peppers in February. I hope to get some lights set up for them, as there isn’t enough light on my north facing porch for plant starts; they get spindly if I start them too early. I saw some fabulous varieties in the seed catalogs, but want also to use the Tri Fetti and the little Tai peppers, my daughter-in-law wanted Tai Peppers, for decoration, I think, they are very hot. I have a good group of peppers, I collect small varieties that grow well on the window sills in winter. I don’t get many peppers this way, am working on it.
Washing off the aphids is an important part of the work. Finding good containers is important too. I plant them in compost. Maybe someday I will invesigate the fertilier aspect. It is satisfying to have peppers live through the winter and go out to the gardne again in spring. I ought to keep track of yield too.

Saturday, January 01, 2005



It got balmy yesterday and the 8” of snow we got before the holidays melted. I brought in in an empty pot and potted some Impatiens I had rooting by the sink. It is seed catalog time. Some of them even come before Christmas. I get a highlighter and browse in catalogs shamelessly, circling everything that resonates. It is a time of letting the imagination run away with itself.
I know I like open pollenated seeds. I circle very few highbred strains with my highlighter. My goals for this year are to 1. redesign the back- open up more space and move the fire circle, 2. grow Swan River Daisies (brachiocromes). I have missed these. 3. I am interested in Lobelia and bought a wild Michigan Lobelia that made many seeds last year. Some of these seeds are planted in pots, but not marked. 3. I need to mark more of my plantings so they don’t get forgotten; keep better records of same. 4. I need an apron to wear around when I go out to the garden with pens and sharpies and a trowel and pruners.
Lobilia from the two flats I bought in the spring, when I was mad to make blue and gold gardens for P’s graduation party is still growing on the porch, I brought it in, as well as some Snap Dragons. They don’t seem to mind living on the porch. Apparently the victorians grew Lobilia on windowsills in winter. (Margaret Atwood’s book?) The seeds of the Wild Lobilia are tiny, like Gentian and light and pop from pods and spread on the wind. I have some planted (not marked, sorry to say) saved some seed (needs stratification) and hope to be able to recognize the little plants in the garden, even though I don’t know what they look like. They are in the rain garden next to the garage. I will pull weeds and the Marshmallow and Decorative Basil that grow there to give them room. I can always fill in with something later, if I don’tlike it, I put a pot there full of Peppers and Yellow Pansys this year and Sunflowers liked that spot.
I saw some of the Sunflower seeds the birds forgot in the plastic pot up on the wooden stand, thinking about sprouting on New Years Eve. I do not understand how a seed thinks about sprouting, I just know these seeds were. It is an all day sun spot they are in. Maybe they think it is spring. All of this warm weather confuses us, I don’t worry as much about the sunflower seeds getting confused.
5. I want to grow some Amaranth. or Love Lies Bleeding, or some other beautiful variety. Amaranth is good in pancakes. I don’t know if the variety Love Lies Bleeding is tasty, though.
6. We have to do something about the drainage around the front porch. We need a new walkway and maybe other arrangements for the gutters. We get too many icicles and ice on the porch. I have been fantasizing about that area for years. I want to have a greenhouse there, as it is an eastern and southern exposure. Unless our ship comes in, I will have to settle for a new walkway I lay myself of pervious paving bricks and reconfiguration of the gutters or repair of the gutter joints. D put up plastic gutters 17 years ago and the joints are leaking. Raingo gutters are no longer made, I don’t know if we can get parts.