March Gardening

Tomatoes
Starting a little bit early this year since last year we had many green tomatoes ripening in the spare bedroom!

H I   F R I E N D S

It’s the last day of M A R C H!  You guys, I am so excited.  Right now, it’s blowing snow, minus 10 with that wind chill and just down right unpleasant.  I love winter, but this slow rebirth honestly tears at my soul.  I’m confused and feel like I’ve been swallowed up by some eternal grey and cold void.  But it’s never as bad as all that, since it’s so temporary and it won’t be long before we are outside in the sunshine smelling the damp earth.

I am currently sitting by a drafty window with my big headphones on blasting the band QUILT (self titled album) and drinking caffeinated beverages interspersed with water and trying to figure out how I am going to write about the almost non-existent March gardening season (PHEW long sentence!).  But I can’t stop thinking about how I need to play guitar and mandolin more and just change my life completely?  Throw away my phone, read more books and just work on becoming telepathic with plants and how can I start writing music (sounds reasonable)?

A N Y W A Y . . .

If there is one thing that lets me feel a never ending sense of life and excitement during this time of year, it’s SEEDS!  Yes, seeds. This year, I ordered some from the Incredible Seed Company and Hope Seeds (both heritage seed companies in Nova Scotia).  I have a few packets from Heritage Harvest Seed (now 2 years old) and Veseys,  an Island company about half hour drive from our place. I also have quite a few collected from the garden.  My ultimate goal is to become self sufficient and not have to buy seeds, but this is only our 2nd year on our acre, so not quite there.

Dream
Seed Packets – flowers, tomatoes and peppers
Poppy Pods
Poppy Pods, collected last year 2016

I started …

Tomatoes (many different types: Bloody Butcher, Alaska Tomatoes, Acadian Cherry Tomatoes, German Johnson, Black Prince, Black Krim, Orange Mennonite Beefsteak, Amish Canning Tomatoes, Early Rouge… Okay I have an addiction to buying seeds), peppers, F L O W E R S & H E R B S (lavender, rosemary, basil, sage, catnip, hollyhock, echinacea, black eyed daisies, bergamot, strawflower, poppies, zinnias and I know I’m forgetting quite a few).

I also planted a giant pumpkin seed which is slow going and a couple of pine tree seeds that I collected in the fall.  Last year, I planted Oak and Horse Chestnut so hopefully this year, I can add some pine to the property.

Starting
Last week, I’ve now added quite a bit more!

S T A R T I N G   E A R L Y

For the past couple of years, I have followed the instructions on seed packets.  6-8 weeks indoors before the last frost in your area.  Last year, many of our flowers bloomed around (or didn’t bloom for that matter) the first frost of the season.  Our tomatoes had to ripen inside and our pumpkins were definitely not orange or big enough to carve.  I don’t know if this is going to be WAY too early to start a lot of our tomatoes and flowers, but my rationale is that when I go to the nurseries in late May and Early June to buy perennials, they are WAY older than 8 weeks and they do swell.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes

E C H I N A C E A

Echinacea is sprouting!  I am so excited, last year I planted a lot of it hoping that we would forever have echinacea in the summer.  Nothing happened at all.  I was disappointed, my visions of an everlasting supply of the cold busting flower destroyed.  I blamed it on the seeds not being viable and bought new seeds from a different company, without actually doing research on growing the flower.  When it came to starting it again… I did the sensible thing and looked it up on the internet.  Apparently, you should stratify the seeds, so I put them in a damp paper towel, sealed in a plastic bag for a week or two and placed it in a cupboard in the kitchen.  Lo and behold, they sprouted! I was SO excited and immediately went to the recycling and found a home for them.

Echinacea
In the plastic container – ECHINACEA!!! And yes a very snowy and grey exterior

H O L L Y H O C K S

I dream of a house being surrounded by the fairy tale flower, and will do my absolute best to grow these.  The past two years, I have failed terribly.  I bought seeds from Heritage Harvest Seed Company (I think out of Manitoba) and I could not start the hollyhock seeds at all.  This year, I ordered from a company much closer to PEI (Hope Seeds in Nova Scotia) and have about 5 little plants growing!  I am going to baby these in the hopes that they will grow and grow and grow and live on for the centuries to come on our little farmstead.

They are black jet Hollyhocks and I dream about them at night. They are growing into beautiful wee plants and this is the reason why I am planning to document plant growth.  I can’t wait to show you in August or September.

Hollyhock
Beautiful little plant, I promise you the sun will shine

W A X I N G  R E P O T T I N G

 And, when the new moon graced the skies, my Mom (visiting for the week <3) and I repotted many of the house companion plants: Aloe Vera, Jade, Hoya Wax Plant, Peperomia, Spider plant, English Ivy, Haworthia.  You have bigger homes now for the summer and I hope you will be happy!

IMG_20170329_132039 (1)
Pots and plants and plants and pots
Repotting
Mom and I repotting
Haworthia
Roots of a Haworthia – yep just messing up the floor – thankfully I do have a broom 😛
IMG_20170329_123424
Plant World ❤

F A C I N G  the C O L D

During my Mom and Merlin’s visit this week  – we still braved the cold, heading out through the fields to visit the hundreds upon hundreds of Canadian Geese on the river.

Canadian Geese
Resting on the river 
IMG_20170328_193751
Shell of a nest
Snowy Woods
Heading toward the woods to visit the river and the geese

T H A N K  Y O U

And I just want to thank you for reading and joining me on this absolutely magical journey of starting plants from seeds.  I almost feel like I need to apologize for the total lack of colour from my posts lately, the glimpses of green though – life and more life in this grey and stark winter world.  It won’t be long I hope before our world is bursting with colour.  Before, winter feels like a distant dream and summer a sweet, buggy reality.

P.S.

Planting seeds is E A S Y and honestly so incredibly vital to life on this planet.  Evolution before your eyes.  Vesey Seeds is currently giving away free packets of wildflower seeds in an effort to bring the extremely concerning issue of vanishing bee populations to the public as well as obviously providing more food for the bees.  If you would like your own packet to help out, simply fill out a form by clicking  H E R E

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16 thoughts on “March Gardening

    1. Hi Carolee 🙂

      Don’t feel guilty! Sometimes, it’s very difficult to be positive when the weather doesn’t change day in day out. I just feel very happy that tomorrow is April first and we are all bound to have changes in the weather soon!

      Thank you for sending luck! To you as well 🙂

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  1. Oh my goodness! Your post just makes me want to start a bunch of seeds myself but unfortunately, I have no space left to plant more plants and flowers! I LOOOVE echicacea! I have a row in front of my house and in the Spring, I often find some growing in my lawn. I uproot it and give it to friends to plant in their own gardens!

    You have quite the little nursery! My Mom does this every year! I miss vegetable gardening! I might grow a couple of tomato vines, cucumber, some snap peas and a couple of pots of spinach on my backyard deck. I have a very tiny backyard and I have no space for a vegetable patch. My dog Jayk is getting on in age, once he leaves this world, I might consider a raised garden box in a corner of my little backyard.

    Our scenery in Ottawa is just as wintery today. We are waiting for a snow storm. I’m hoping it will bypass us.

    I know that with all the snow we got this winter, it will not be a drought this Srping! We should be getting lush green lawns and nice perennials!

    Let’s hope this is the last of the cold and that next week is warm and sunny.

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    1. Hi Kimberley,

      Happy April 1st! Did the storm pass you by? I woke up to SO many different birds singing their song but hard crusty snow freezing the air *sigh*. I am continuing to just walk in the snow and work with my indoor plants knowing IT WON’T BE LONG!

      I am honestly glad this post made you want to start seeds! If you have a deck, there is a world of plants you can grow in containers, I think that what you plan to grow sounds splendid!! If your mom lives close, you could always take solace in her garden as well! I am really sorry to hear about your dog Jayk 😦 Hopefully there is time yet before you can have more of a garden.

      I hope your weekend of knitting and planning PEI is going well! I will respond to your plans for PEI ASAP but first I am taking my mom to NB for my Dad to pick her up.

      Have a lovely April 1st 🙂

      Julia

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      1. We got the snow but thankfully it did not accumulate as the temperature hovered around zero. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny warm day! I went out with my dog and it was a treat to feel warmth outside! No need for a hat and mitts and I wore running shoes! Today we will be spoiled with the same warm weather. Tonight, the rain starts and it will continue through the day tomorrow.

        My dog Jayk is still very healthy! I’m crossing my fingers he stays that way for a long time. It’s just that my backyard is so small, I would rather give him the space. Once he goes, I will use the space for more gardening.

        I hope your Mom had a safe trip back! I’ve planned the North Coast Drive and we’ll visit Cavendish and Summerside of course. Now I’ll go and see what else there is in the areas of Souris. We only have five days and want to include morning trail walks, afternoons on a beach to knit, Ceildhs, and a couple of dinners.

        I managed to knit quite a bit over the weekend as well as take nice pictures at my friend’s sheep farm.

        I’m looking forward to next weekend as my knitting group and I will be heading to the sugar bush! We will savour everything maple and sweet and knit!

        I see the weather will warm up this week for you. I can’t wait to see the completed sweater you are currently knitting. I admire your talent for designing Icelandic sweaters. One day, I will make one for myself. Next Fall I’ll cast on a beautiful sweater from Tin Can Knits or maybe Kate Davies.

        Happy Monday!

        Kim

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  2. Another wonderful post, Julia, but I wouldn’t throw your phone away, for it does serve a purpose. I have found, though, that by not having it on or near me throughout the day helps me to focus on doing what my heart really wants me to do. I merely leave it in a room in the house where it is an effort to go get it, yet I can still hear it if I need to answer a call. I also turn off all notifications so as not to distract me. As for playing music – it’s good for the soul, so go for it! I find that when I follow my heart, I flow in Spirit. Attending to mundane tasks flow right along with those things my heart is singing for. And as to communicating with plants…sit in silence with them and be patient for their wise words. If you need some great reading material on how to communicate with them, let me know. Right now, trees desperately want to communicate with us. They have so much wisdom about how we are to be living in this world with each other right now. So my kindred spirit, live your life the way you want to! Love all the photos of greenery…much needed now for us all!

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    1. Hi Bonnie!

      Of course I would not really throw my phone away, I would give it to the electronic recycle drop offs 😉 just kidding, I wouldn’t throw it away period but I am nostalgic for the days of not having one which wasn’t that long ago. I too find that just putting it out of sight helps greatly and turning off all notifications! Since I have started to keep off of my social media apps for the most part, I have really witnessed a spike in my productivity and way less anxiety. So many positive benefits!!

      As for the books about communicating with plants, PLEASE let me know! I would absolutely love some reading material! I watched a documentary about an eco-village in Scotland called Findhorn which sounds absolutely amazing. The founders claim that they communicated with the plants to learn about what they wanted or needed to grow and the gardens apparently are tremendous without the use of any artificial pesticides or herbicides. Some call them fairies 😉 So, yes please, I always love book suggestions!

      Happy April 1st to you and yours!

      Julia
      xo

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      1. I apologize for the delay in replying, Julia. Time got away from me 😉 One book that could I recommend is “Plant Spirit Healing – A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousness”, by Pam Montgomery. I have found this book very helpful! I have been communicating with plants 🌱, faeries, elementals, devics, crystals, animal spirits, celestials, angels, and other divine beings for a number of years now. As to plants, I started with flowers and then began receiving messages from herbs and trees. It is amazing what wisdom plants wish to share with us – eager to share, I might add! They have much to teach us. Another good author on the subject of communicating with plants is Stephen Harrod Buhner. Have fun and keep me posted!

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      2. Hi Bonnie!

        No need to apologize at all! Aren’t those the best kind of days, when time gets away from us 😀

        Thanks for the suggestion 🙂 I added it to my “to-reads” on goodreads and will likely have to order it on amazon (the PEI library system is a little lacking in any alternative books). It sounds like a great summer read and should be able to put what I read into practice 🙂

        This is actually what I am also interested in – communicating with elementals. How interesting you have been doing this for years! Have you ever heard of the Findhorn community in Scotland? It is based entirely on communicating with plant in order to know how to treat the plant so it can reach it’s full potential. Apparently, it’s an absolutely beautiful and abundant place. I hope I can visit it someday.

        There is a really neat documentary called “The Fairy Trail” about this as well. It was on Youtube but was recently taken off (luckily I saw it 3 times before but am not considering ordering a dvd).

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      3. Oh yes, I have heard of Findhorn! I, too, would love to visit there someday. In fact, recently I was having a spinning day with a friend (she on her wheel & I on my drop spindle), talking of plants & animal spirits and going to Findhorn. It’s on my dream list. I also live in a rural area where the little local library is limited, but thanks to technology, it is part of a multi-county system where I can access any book throughout the system…delivered to my local library 📚 free of charge. There are some benefits to technology! Unfortunately books on plant consciousness aren’t in this system either 😞. Sorry I missed the Fairy Trail. There is an artist I know in the Adirondack mountains of NY that might be of interest to you. She creates beautiful art from nature, but also creates faerie houses! Here is the link: http://www.greenspiritarts.com/Welcome_to_Greenspirit_Arts.html

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      4. Thank you so much for sharing this artist!! Her work is really very magical, especially the ice work. I am hoping to make a little fairy house in my garden as well… probably a little more primeval than her work, but still a little haven for the wee folk!

        Sadly, our whole provincial library system is lacking, I don’t mind buying books though because I love having our own library 🙂

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  3. This makes me so excited to get my herbs started! Do you happen to have any east-coast lavender growing tips? I started dozens of babies last year and only had a couple amount to anything!

    Also, the hollyhocks are so dreamy ❤ I dream of having an old farm house surrounded by them one day.

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    1. Hi Morgan!

      That’s exciting that you’re growing herbs!

      Are you starting your lavender indoors and transplanting outdoors? I know that in the East, it’s suggested that you grow the very hardy varieties of lavender like Munstead Lavender (http://www.veseys.com/ca/en/store/herbs/lavenderp/munstead)
      It seems to have adapted well to our climate. When I first started growing lavender, I would actually dig them up in the late summer (since they were relatively small and I desperately wanted perennial lavender in our garden) and bring them inside as house plants until the following growing season. I then would harden them off and plant them in a sunny spot. They seem pretty healthy and established now!

      Let me know how it goes!

      Best of luck and green blessings!

      Julia

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      1. Thanks for the tips! I started them indoors last year and planted them probably in early June. The Munstead from Veseys is what I have (its nice to know that was the right choice!) but I’m wondering if maybe I started it too late. Soon the snow will be gone and I’ll have a better idea if the few little dears that did make it through were able to survive the winter 🙂

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  4. Great post Julia, thankyou 😊
    I have just recently bought some heritage local QLD seed but in my confusion I don’t think I can plant them yet (have to wait till spring or late winter depending on the temps here) . Humidity gone now, hurrah and thank god.
    The seeds I bought are open pollinated varieties, salad king, endive, calendula, chamomile, lemon balm, willow herb. I thought they sounded nice to make tea with.
    Just a thought maybe you could read or play guitar/mandolin to your seedlings 🌱 😊😉
    I’ve never been able to play music but do admire those who can and love listening to music though. Will check out that band you mentioned.
    I’m excited for our cool change here and a medieval festival weekend in July for my daughters late bday present (she loves history and books like there’s no tomorrow) I think we might dress up in Outlander dresses ☺
    Oops so sorry I wasn’t meant to write this much again. Silly mobiles 🙈

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    1. Hi Eliza!

      I love reading responses on here and learning more about others so no need at all to apologize for the length of your response!

      Those seeds sound heavenly for tea! Chamomile and Lemon Balm are perfect for lulling to sleep and calendula is just the most amazing flower, good for SO many different things! I’m sure you will have great success with your seeds 🙂 I also love your idea of playing music for the seedlings. I could try playing them a couple of folk tunes!

      You are SO lucky you have a medieval fair to go to!! Eug, I am so jealous! It sounds like you have a very special daughter as well ❤ I have been considering traveling pretty far distances to go to a larger fair (in the States) because I just so badly want to go to one.

      Happy cooler weather to you!

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