We probably won't grow as many seedlings over the winter either. We are now inundated in the nursery with the small 72-cell trays on the benches in the backyard. I really didn't want to put these outside as they might be tender, but we were forced to as we are just plain out of space anywhere else. I'll have to keep an eagle eye out for dryness and water them well.
|The nursery benches, filling up!|
|Pink Chionodoxa buds|
|Puschkinia or striped squill|
The garden develops slowly. The first minor bulbs, out in March last year, are just now showing color. Scilla, Chionodoxa or Glory-of-the-snow and puschkinia or striped squill are all starting to make their appearances. These bulbs are great for underplanting shrubs or even for growing in the lawn. They come up and do their thing so early that by the time you are mowing the lawn the foliage has almost ripened and disappeared - so they are not bothered by mowing. The colors are soft and deep. The buds on the hellebore are a rich purple-plum and I think they'll open to a soft greeny-white.
The nursery benches are almost filled. I think I'll have to set up benches at Vicki's to handle the next big shipment this next week, as I just don't know where we are going to put all the plants. Happily I think this is the light at the end of our endless potting, this next shipment is the last of the big orders coming in. We only have a few trays coming through May and into June. Until we get the Mums by the end of May we're looking good.
Oh, did I say I ordered Mums? I went to Minnesota mums in Faribault, Minnesota. They are known for their winter-hardiness. The mums are also not the gumdrop -shaped mounds that you normally see but have a taller and airier structure fitting better, I think, into the perennial garden. I can't wait to see these in May. They were really reasonably priced, I got 12 varieties and we've got 300 plants total. We'll be growing them in 4 1/2" pots and trying to get them to market by early August, before the heat of mum season. I think the earlier you plant a chrysanthemum, the better it is for their survival in the garden.
A busy season, right now. And Pam, Vicki, Erin and I are loving it. Next post will be all about the raised bed vegetable garden beds that we'll be building at Vicki's this week. Wish us luck!