February 8, 2009

Garden Sunday in The Valley

Today was 'Garden Sunday' for me, my annual exercise in front of the computer with my stack of garden catalogs, websites to visit and the new year's spreadsheet for tracking vendor, plant name, color, shipped size, mature size, sun requirements, bloom time, special features, and the all important price column.

This is actually the second phase of my gardening 'process'. The first step for me is spending weeknights in January wrapped up with comforters and cats, a mug of decaf close by, thumbing through the catalogs that seem to arrive almost daily. I bend page corners, or slap post-it notes on things that catch my eye, not really paying any attention to whether the plants will grow in our area or not - it's just a free-for-all, a smorgasbord, and I pretend that anything and everything is possible.

From that point, I end up where I was today, building my spreadsheet of zone-appropriate plants. The last step comes later this week. Sometime before the weekend, I'll have compared this year's spreadsheet to those of the past few years, comparing notes and trying not to purchase things I've already got growing, or ones that failed me in the past. My final list will be done and I'll get my orders placed.

In a few short weeks, I'll see the fruits of last fall's labor, where for the second year in a row I planted about 500 bulbs (don't ask). With any luck at all, most of them will come up and we'll have an explosion of daffodils, tulips, and who knows what else greeting us. The tender new perennials will begin arriving about then, and I'll be able to work them in among the bulbs and the existing perennials and then reap the rewards until late fall and on into winter. At least, that's the plan. I'll keep you posted on how it all works out.

Today, my garden didn't look that great. The snow's no longer fresh; actually it's pretty dirty and has started to melt. Overall it's pretty grey outside. Fortunately, I did get some pictures earlier in the winter, and they're here for your viewing pleasure.


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