The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens


What’s Growing: Very Chilly Garlic

Here is a window into my world this morning:

icy morning 4.12.13

Yes, that is ice, ice baby. Not only disheartening but freezing cold. The porch furniture is out, the “protect from freezing” bird houses and garden ornaments are out, as in outside – all too soon.

[Insert SFX: very, loud and audible sigh.] Will anything ever grow again?

Very chilly garlic shoots on ice.

garlic 4.12.13 in ice

On the sunny side: lettuce in the cold frame ready to harvest! I foresee a tasty salad dinner this weekend!

cold frame lettuce 4.12.13

Inside, where it’s warm because we are still running the [BEEP] heat, my seed farm is taking off. I’m going to dig around the shop for a little fan to help strengthen their stems because I’m sure not putting them outside to harden off anytime soon.

amaranth and flower seedlings 4.12.13

Amaranth, Globe Amaranth and other flower seedlings

tomato seeds 4.12.13

Heirloom tomato and pepper seedlings

I planted the runner beans way too early – I am now reminded of the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. Note for next year: runner beans grow very, very fast. I wanted to have a good start on these to head off any cutworms and the big, fat rabbit who, lately, joins me for coffee each morning. I am off to a really good start.

vine and runner bean seedlings 4.12.13

Scarlet Runner Beans, Cardinal Climber and other annual vines

Note: I’m going to need at least one more light for next year, too.

For fun, I am trying to regrow my green onions – a pin I came across on Pinterest. You stick the roots in water and supposedly they will regrow. It seems to be working!

pinterest onion experiment

My potato starts are in a cool, dark closet. Although I don’t know why I need the closet – it is plenty cool, and plenty dark. Hopefully they will keep until I am able to plant.

In an earlier post, did I say Spring was in the lead over the fight with Winter? I better stick to gardening and give up sports announcing!


Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Sleet

… nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds. I’m not so sure that motto will hold true today. I certainly don’t envy our postwoman. The original saying was actually “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” and was said about 2500 years ago by the Greek historian, Herodotus.

People around here are quite wary of ice storms since the Ice Storm of ’98. During that January over 100,000 people were without electricity. Electricity was not fully restored for more than three weeks. To this day our trees are strictly sheared so as not to cripple power lines.

Ice, not snow, nor frost, glazes the garden white today.

Most people are out shoveling and scraping, but not me. I’m skating around the garden taking photos. We all lead different lives.

Grasses look beautiful sheathed in ice. No worry about damage unlike my White Pine that sadly, alarmingly bows to the ground. I read somewhere it is best to not shake off the branches. I hope the bows bounce back.

I’m happy that I can walk, slip and slide, to work today. Safe travels to those on the roads.

Sources: The Phrase Finder, North Country Public Radio