newspaper pots and inky hands

newspaper pots and inky hands

I noticed on my way from my porch to the bus stop earlier this week that birds are starting to sing in the morning. At 6:30 it is still dark but a few voices are sleepily chirruping hello in the pre-dawn. This made me so happy that I would have danced my way down the sidewalk if it weren’t for treacherous slicks of ice hiding in the shadows. We might be having a thaw this weekend —it’s 40F/4C as I write this — but spring is still two months away.

Still, one must plan and prepare. Today I began folding newspaper pots for starting seeds. In just two weeks the onion seeds will need to get going. Last year I got started late with the onions and the late start combined with putting them out when they were too small meant I ended up with no onions at all. Not having grown onions before, it was all trial and error. Mostly error. This year I try again and see if I have any success.

Folding pots out of newspaper is messy and a bit tedious after the first pot or two. What does one do to entertain oneself? Watch the Secret History of the British Garden of course! I just watched the third episode about the 19th century and there is only one more episode left and that makes me very sad. A few years ago I watched and loved A Year at Kew. There are three seasons of this marvelous show and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it, especially on a cold winter’s day. Why can’t Americans make good gardening shows? It’s not like we don’t have any spectacular gardens.

I almost titled this post “Pot Making” but decided it might give the wrong impression. Have I ever told the story about my pot garden? Way back before Bookman and I bought our current house we had a townhouse with a large south-facing deck. We began container gardening on it before container gardening became a thing. To me at the time it was growing plants in pots. We were at a social event once, I don’t recall the exact occasion, but I was talking with someone and said with great enthusiasm that I had a pot garden. The astonished look on the person’s face and her sudden loss of words made me realize what I had just said. I quickly explained I was growing tomatoes, peppers and herbs in pots on my deck. I wasn’t entirely certain she believed me. I beat a hasty retreat.

I have lost my gardening journal. It had three year’s worth of notes and plant lists and plans in it. I have no idea where it has got to. I have looked in all the likely places more than once and even in unlikely places too. It never leaves the house and my house isn’t that large. The last I recall seeing it was during the summer on my reading table. Bookman kindly surprised me with a new notebook that even has a pocket in it, very handy. But I remain nonplussed about the missing notebook and terribly sad about not only the disappeared garden notes but also reading notes. My hope is that it will turn up eventually and I will wonder why I failed to look for it in that location. In the mean time, planning for this year’s garden moves ahead.

I have begun a list of things that need to be done once the ground thaws. Last year at the Friends School Plant Sale in May we bought a few shrubs in anticipation of our garage being knocked down and an expansion of garden space. It took far longer for that to happen than we expected so we had to plant the shrubs in a temporary location in the main garden. They will need to be transplanted into what we now call the chicken garden. The list keeps growing every week. Spring is such a busy time!

And speaking of the Friends Plant Sale, I got the save the date postcard in the mail during the week. It is magneted to the refrigerator door where Bookman and I can see the date and the photo of the beautiful flowers. Every year I think it will be the year when I get to finally plant up my front yard and pack it full with prairie flowers and grasses and every year it gets put off. This year it is being put off again because I need to plant a green roof instead. I have already begun a list of plants I know will be good but looking at the catalog when it becomes available at the end of March will be when the planning really happens.

Lots of things in the works and the closer spring gets, the busier I will be. But it is all fun and I love it or I wouldn’t do it.

In cycling news, 250 Kung Fu nuns biked 2,000km in India to spread a message of women’s empowerment and environmental conservation. They are amazing and inspiring women.