Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Potted up pepper and zinnia sprouts.
Last Sunday it finally warmed up enough to go outside and pot up all my little sprouts from my desk. I was so pleased with my work. I had dreams that my next photo would be of healthy little plants all ready to be set out in the garden.

Sadly, when I went out to the greenhouse to check up on them this morning, something had gone in and nipped of the heads of nearly every sprout. Looks like a mouse made a salad of my new plants. sigh..... Back to the sprouting pods.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

24 April

Paddy is glad that spring brought the catnip back.
 Ever notice how spring starts slowly? After the long quiet of winter, there are these little bursts followed by slow downs. Similar to my usual Sunday, I  jump up from my slumbers to feed the cat. After that, I will often amble back to bed for a 15 minute snooze with the excuse that I'm waiting for the kettle to boil. Then I'm up a second time looking for tea and a little breakfast. My favorite has been stinging nettles chopped and stirred into my buckwheat cereal. A meal necessitates a short lie about on the couch, snuggled with my crocheted afghan. Then I have to finally get things going.

Spring has been like that here. First damp, cold winter weather - then burst of sunshine and 70-80 degree temperatures. Next rain and hail, then another week of delightful spring sunshine. And now this weekend, it's rain and gloom after quick tease of sunshine late in the week.

Time to have another cup of tea and maybe poke in some more seeds into peat pots.
Finally, the drizzle ended and the sun became warm around 2pm. Time to garden.

UCSC Farm and Garden Plant Sale is April 30th and May 1st.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Do seeds experience fear? I think not, but it's a thought that has recently crossed my mind. I've been struggling with my own fears - fears of beginning, fear of making mistakes because you're a newbie. It's caused some writer's block in a school project. If you have experience in something it's much easier to write about. For me, it's gardening and plants. But when I'm  new to a subject, I'm afraid of making mistakes. There it is. Fear of making mistakes. And as I stared at some of the inactive peat pots, the thought that they're afraid to sprout crossed my mind. A close friend of mine reminded me that
"the first time is always the hardest - in science we call it the energy of activation.  It's a known fact that changing movement takes more energy than sustaining it"
Yang burst - that change in movement that drives the seed to spout or the flower to break bud and flower. But it is the burst in spring that takes us into summer.

One more plug for the Smart Gardening Fair. Renee Shepherd will be speaking at the Smart Gardening Fair this Saturday. Find out the real dirt on how the seed business works and which seeds are the best choices for avid gardeners. For more info go to http://www.smartgardening.org/

(Brazenly lifted from the Master Gardener's Facebook page -

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sprout Update

First seeds to sprout: 1 sunflower, 2 kale and a scabiosa.

Although I haven't been in the garden much over these last few years, I still have a tendency to save seed. Waste not want not I guess. And I always figure that I will get a chance to plant such-and-such so why not grab that discounted seed packet? Or I'll pocket a few seeds from a plant I see that I'd love to have someday. Problem is that I have too much seed now. I was half tempted in the fall to just scatter it all into the yard and see what came up. But I resisted.

When I bought the peat pots, I had a vision of all the little plants I wanted. But sure enough, my filing system is not as good as my dreamy memory. In other words, I have no idea where my Swiss chard seeds are or the mizuna or even a summer squash or two. So, I planted the peat pots with whatever was in the seed files that appealed to me. And I left 3 rows for "surprises". I have a "bring back the butterflies" mix that I purchased at discount. Many of the seeds I recognized by sight - scabiosa, borago, cosmos, calendula, tithonia, lupinus, echinacea. But I was intrigued by a few that I didn't recognize and I popped them into the peat pots anyway. Everyone needs a good surprise.

Mr. Sunflower is going home with me.

If you're in the Monterey/Santa Cruz area, mark your calendar for the Smart Gardening Fair presented by the Monterey Bay Master Gardeners. It will be held in Carmel on Saturday, April 16th ~ 10 AM to 4 PM adjacent to the Crossroads Shopping Village.For more details see: http://smartgardening.org/  I'm sure the weather will be stunning.