Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – February 2015

On the 15th of each month, many garden bloggers post photos and take note of what is blooming in their gardens. Those who participate post links at May Dreams Gardens. This month is usually quiet here on the Lot, so no blooms to share. But check out the snow drops and Lenten roses some of the other gardeners are sporting! The Outlaw Gardener has an especially beautiful collection.

In our Zone 6a, we are currently under a blanket of snow. When the Other Half and I attended a matinee film yesterday, the high winds were busy whipping about the most recent snowfall. With the winds we have below zero windchill that makes your chest ache a bit when you take a deep breath outside. This is the period of our Winter where even fans of cooler over warmer weather begin to look forward to Spring.

I am excited to attend the Smart Gardening conference next month. It is hosted in our little city by the local extensions office. This year I’ll have Mom G in tow! The conference is a reminder despite the weather that the chill will soon fade, the sun will return, and it’ll be the start to yet another growing season on the Lot.

Don’t Toss the Tree

A shared Post from the NJSPCA Facebook Page today prompted me to share the idea here. The Lot is on a city street nice and cozy-close with the neighbors as city lots often are situated. After Christmas day, I often see many evergreens appear at the curbside for the city yard waste crews to pick up and take away. However, these trees can provide more services beyond being a mere organic ornament stand.

After December passes, the Other Half and I pack away the ornaments and put away the tree lights. Then we haul the tree through the house, showering needles everywhere and making a general mess. We place the evergreen in the backyard for January and February. Our Zone 6a winter is only half over and the tree provides shelter for birds and other small animals from any icy winds. The NJSPCA suggested adding suet balls and birdseed to the tree, which I think we’ll give a try this year. Unlike Mom G., we do not have to deal with the possibility of bears visiting.

When March arrives, we simply attach the bulk yard waste tag to the tree and the city will take it away. It is then ground up and redistributed during the summer as mulch through the city’s yard waste program. I know it isn’t much, but why not give a little extra shelter to our backyard residents? Then we can also enjoy the pretty evergreen just a bit longer.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – December 2014

Today is the 15th of the month, so it’s time for a Bloom Day post. Each month, garden bloggers who participate take snapshots of what is blooming in their gardens. Then we all dash over to May Dreams Gardens to take virtual strolls through gardens from around the world. You may want to head over there right now because the following Bloom Day post is not for the faint of heart.

The Lot is situated in Zone 6a, so blooms in the garden are rare at this time in the year. If we’re lucky, we have pretty snow standing in for long ago spent blooms. In our growing zone, the idea of “winter interest” in the garden is a feature we may or may not pull off during the winter depending on the weather.

Take the start of this winter for example. We had our first snowstorm in November, burying the city in a short amount of time and as a result causing a bit of a scramble. On the Lot, plants I leave standing in the garden to help with winter interest were flattened. By the end of the month, temperatures warmed enough to make the snow heavy and sloppy before finally melting. Temperatures plummeted again and we’re left to look at a frozen and gray mess. Here is this month’s Bloom (or lack thereof) post for December.

121514_helleboreHellebore with some broken stems. It does keep its color though because of being semi-evergreen.121514_smSedumThe little sedum out front usually have a cotton top of snow on the ends of their upright stems. No so much here.
121514_coneflowersThe coneflowers straggly stalks are usually surrounded by snow.
121514_AutumnJoyHere’s another sedum, Autumn Joy. This one was stronger than the plants out front on the South side of the house.
121514_falseIndigoUgh, this poor Baptisia… SPLAT.
121514_MaidenHairGrassAnd here is the maiden hair grass which I’ve had to tie together to even keep upright.

So, no blooms really to report, but weather events to log. This is a great time to catch up on the garden blog and maybe break out a knitting project or two.