Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring approaches

Not much time for blogging these days - it's March break, and the kids are monopolizing the computer. Today Thomas and James are out with their teachers, giving me a respite day, and I'm spending it washing floors! Oh well, I'll be happy with the nice clean floor once it's done, and I've got a fire going in the TV room, so every time I work in there, it's nice and cheerful.

Fortunately, spring is approaching, and we're going up to 9C today, after 11C yesterday! The back yard is 1/3 clear of snow, and I'll bet that in another week, I'll be able to report that the prickly fringe of the bleeding heart plants is poking up above the ground. I took Thomas to a big flea market about an hour out of town (near the St. Lawrence), and on the way back, we saw TWO big V's of returning Canada Geese! I think I just heard some honking in the clouds overhead a few minutes ago, because it's actually warm enough to sit here with the window open beside me.

Thoughts of spring mean thoughts of gardening, and I've already placed my order with Eagle Creek Potatoes for seed potatoes. We're going to try a few new varieties this year, including a heritage variety. I'm not going to plant the purple potatoes this time, despite Dean's fondness for them. They are VERY late season potatoes, and I've found over the past few years that our growing season here (Ottawa is Zone 5a) just isn't long enough - they always are undersized, and I think the hot weather is over before they can gain much in size. We're also not growing carrots this year - we never get much yield, and I'd rather give the space over to tomatoes.

Last year just wasn't a very good gardening year, and other people in town had the same problems. Not hot enough, and too many rainy and overcast days. I hope this year will be better. I'm not bothering with the Moonflowers this year either - the plants grew nicely, but not a single flower did I see! The cold temperatures slowed even the normal morning glories down, but at least we got SOME blue flowers. This year I think I'll plant the usual blue ones again, and I'm going to try an experimental one: Chocolate Morning Glory. It's the usual fanciful name for what I hope will be a sort of dusky rose flower:



I also bought a package of seeds for white Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit), which seems to be a related flower, but I don't know if I'll plant them. I've just never had much luck with these non-standard Morning Glories.

Oh, here's one bit of good news: I went out to the broken remnant of the Damson Plum tree, and broke off the tip of a tiny twig. When I peeled back the bark, it was green underneath! Which tells me that the poor tree is not dead - though Dean joked that the trauma of the twig-breaking might be enough to make it succumb now.

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