What I Loved About Winter

Based on the last couple of posts, I maybe have been too hard on winter. Maybe. Or maybe I’m just saying that because it was finally warm today and I’m feeling less bitter about winter lasting until the final week of April. Either way, I wanted to share a visual of what I loved most about winter.

Amaryllis LagoonMeet Amaryllis Lagoon. I planted about 15 amaryllis bulbs in vases and containers this winter and this bloom surprised and impressed me. With a bloom size of a little over 8″ across and 2 strong, tall stems that bursted with FIVE blooms, I was speechless (I know, shocking). The dark coral bloom looked like it was almost painted by fairies with little paintbrushes of sparkles. It was so beautiful, it looked fake. The bulb size was 34cm….so if you are looking for any kind of success in an amaryllis, size matters! I planted 32/34cm and  28/30cm sized bulbs. Both sized bulbs were big, both sized bulbs produced an impressive display, but the larger bulb by far made me big bulb loyal for life.

Close up amaryllis LagoonI had a nice array of beautiful colors because there are so many different ones to choose from. If you’re in the market for some fabulous amaryllis to enjoy some indoor gardening, I got mine here.

Indoor winter gardening with giant, tropical and colorful blooms is a great way to pass the winter months.

Forcing Spring

It’s been a really, really long winter here in West Michigan. Too long. Winter is lingering so long that I think we deserve summer until November. It has seemed like an endless winter, but that didn’t stop me from starting my spring planting indoors.

I’ve heard begonias are fickle and difficult to grow. Fortunately, Longfield Gardens absolutely rocks and sent out this fantastic begonia growing kit to all of their favorite people. First of all, it feels good to be on of the ‘favorite people’ list.  Second, this actually worked!

Begonia tuber grow kitGrowing plants is a humbling experience. However, this experience left me feeling like a rock star! Just look at that little sprout and that magical greenhouse effect created by the terrarium! Ok, so it’s not ‘magic.’ Humor me and just grow with it.  If the weather ever warms up, I’m going to have some pretty little porch pots with pretty little begonias! I also have a really cool terrarium and dish for next winter when I’ve had enough of snow and am in need of seeing something grow.

Bloom on!

For the Love of Gardening

GardenLove

About the same time I originally started this blog, my life took a totally expected, but still challenging, detour. Since that time, I’ve let the things I love lapse. I  regained my balance  (as balanced as possible…but still wobbly) and I’ve realized that no matter what happens in life, everyone I love is healthy and near. I have my children, my parents, my friends, my cat and my dog. I love these people so dearly and they fill my days with spontaneous bursts of laughter and tears, but I realized I am missing 2 things: 1) running and 2) writing. Since gardening is in my blood…and engrained in my career…I said to myself “Go running and get writing!”

I have to admit I put it off a bit. The worst thing a blogger can do is start a blog and then abandon it. I’ve learned that writing is probably very much like running. The first step out the door is the hardest and it can take time to build the habit and endurance back up. Well, here I am trying to do both (for the running and the writing).

crocus

Like the last 6 months of my life, this spring is taking a really long time to come around and just be nice. If it’s not snowing it’s raining, if it’s not raining  it’s flooding and if it’s not flooding it’s windy and if it’s none of the above, it’s just plain cold. Fortunately, last fall I planted a ton of bulbs and the crocus don’t seem to care that it snowed last week.

I think there is a lot I can learn from a crocus. It’s time to bloom on.

Autumn Renewal

A stunning showcase of fall color on the Thornapple River.

Most people consider spring the season of renewal, but I’ve always considered autumn the season that the red carpet is rolled out for better things to come. This is especially true in the garden. Fall is the time to prepare the dirt, put to rest last garden season’s blunders and build on past successes. The garden is one of the few places that you can start over or improve on what you have, to create something extraordinary in the years to come. Fall gives us an opportunity to lay the dirt (or what I consider the ‘red carpet’) and prepare to welcome spring in a grand, blooming fashion.

In West Michigan, the air is crisp, the leaves have turned pretty shades of red, gold and orange and many trees have lost their leaves to reveal beautiful twists of woody branches. My sweaters, jeans and boots have made their way out of the back of my closet and a fresh shipment of bulbs have arrived from Longfield Gardens! I still have some clean up to do in my garden & landscape, but opening up that box of bulbs is more exciting for me than Christmas morning is for my children.

I’ve been wondering what to do with those overgrown raspberry bushes since August, but I’ll worry about that in the spring when my tulip blooms motivate me to work on those summer shrubs. In the meantime, I have some happy digging to do.

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