checking in

mrtulinMarch 12, 2014

I haven't posted in a long time, and just want to say "hi" with best wishes and high hopes for a long and lovely gardening season.
We still have a foot of retreating snow in Lexington. I really want to tromp out the path, dig in the snow and find the hellebores and check the witch hazel for flowers

However, no tromping yet. I had a left knee replacement a month ago. I am so looking forward to being able to garden without pain, take walks with my family and get real exercise.

Last fall I ordered bulbs quite late. Last fall, for the first time in my life, I didn't plant the bulbs I ordered. I still can't bear to throw them away. I know they are useless.
But work got crazier as the days got shorter and colder and before i knew it, the ground was covered with snow. In my younger days, I would have been digging in the snow and laughing about it. But just couldn't make myself go out in the cold and dark and plant bulbs.

Looking forward to reading about people's gardens in the coming months.Maybe we'll see one another at a swap!

PS, one good thing about the ridiculous distances I am driving for work is that Avant Gardens is in Darthmouth, between two nursing homes I visit. I've got to figure out how to squeeze in really long lunch hour or two to enjoy some time there.

Cheers!
Marie/Idabean

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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Wha'?? (waking up and yawning) -- is that our Idabean? -- Gosh it must be almost Spring! Sort of like seeing the first robin. Glad to hear about your new knee; I'm trying to recover the use of mine via exercise, but I envision a kind of Christina's World (Wyeth) crawling around, this year. The reversible kneeling and sitting bench will get a lot of use.

My Cambridge neighbor's garden is flaunting some crocus No swelling buds of anything yet, in my garden, but I did manage to get outside in my two gardens (MA and RI) and drastically prune down my buddleias. This is the time.

And the time to look through my stash of partly used seed packets, to see what I have to buy. AND the time to clear away last year's dead stalks.

But I agree: it's early days and there's still a lot of snow on the ground. And (groan) maybe some more snow tomorrow morning.

Good to see you back, Idabean.

Carol

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:48PM
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gardenweed_z6a

Good luck with your new knee Idabean! Gardening may not be aerobic but it's definitely strenuous & hard on the joints. I'm determined to buy a garden cart this year that I can sit on. My neighbor loaned me one several years ago when I first moved here but she borrowed it back a year or so after that. I sure enjoyed rolling along my garden walkways pulling weeds & planting things when I had that cart. Garden maintenance has definitely suffered since my neighbor borrowed it back.

After 3 years my garden beds are mostly filled with winter sown perennials but so far I've WS 11 milk jugs of perennials to fill in empty spots where things either didn't come back or were killed by the deer who discovered my lush garden beds in 2012. I have a faint (foolish?) hope they'll forget them this year and go back to the track they've followed in prior years. Yeah...I know, it's a foolish hope.

Yesterday's mild temps along with today's rain are working to melt the snow cover and maybe free our Hellebore/Lenten rose plants from captivity so we can enjoy the blooms before it warms up.

I'll add my voice to carol6ma_7ari & express a glad welcome back.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 7:48PM
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diggerdee

Hi Marie!

Good to see you again! I hope you are recovering nicely from your surgery. My mom had one knee done and within days was wishing she had had it done 10 years earlier! And went on to get the second knee done 6 months ahead of schedule. So I'm hoping you have as good results as she did, and have fun in your garden this season!

:)
Dee

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 10:00PM
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NHBabs z4b-5a NH

Hey, Marie - Nice to "see" you here again. I wish you quick healing and a comfortable gardening year. Hopefully Thursday's rain removed most of your remaining snow and it's not too icy so that you can hobble out into the garden to look for early blooms. I think a visit to Avant Gardens' greenhouse might be a good break from the wintery weather now, and a good place for plant-shopping when the weather warms up.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 10:32AM
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corunum z6 CT(6)

Hi Marie - good timing for the new knee. Come May/June you should be in great shape to weed! Best of luck in your healing process.

Jane

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 10:56AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ditto, what everyone else said! :-)

Sounds like you are ready for a great gardening season and it must be a relief to be more mobile and have less pain. Nice to hear some good news!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 10:25AM
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rockman50(6b SEMASS)

I am in Dartmouth.....not too far from Avant Gardens. All I can say is that we have no snow and the ground is actually thawed out now. We have had a number of days in the high 50's and even low 60's over the last week. We have bulbs coming up but nothing is blooming yet. And the pond has no ice on it. So spring is making a valiant effort way down here on the south coast. But the transition to spring this year is going to be a very slow slog.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 1:20PM
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diggingthedirt

Hey Marie, nice to hear from you! I just returned from a month-long trip to Chile, most of which was spent on a ship. We did have a week in Valparaiso, and a few days in Arica, in the northern, tropical end of the country, so I skipped a good chunk of winter this year.

I came home to find Arnold Promise and his cousin, Diane (both cultivars of Hamamelis x intermedia) looking lovely, still in full bloom. The heath is still blooming, but there's no color on the winter jasmine (j. nudiflorum) - maybe the winter was a bit too tough for it this year? Or maybe I missed the show, sometimes the flowers are killed on that one, if the temperature dips too low after buds have formed.

Dawn viburnum is in bloom, to the extent that it ever is - the flowers are small and, although they're supposed to be fragrant, I can't claim to ever have smelled them.

I haven't looked for the winter aconite, winter hazel, or snowdrops yet, and I know the hellebores must be in desperate need of a trim - the old foliage is pretty ratty by this time of year.

So, although we never have much of a spring on the cape, it seems like the end of winter is in sight, and I'm really happy about that. Gets tougher to take the cold every year, it seems.

Best of luck with your new equipment! Hope to see you at a swap or a nursery before too long - DtD (Nan)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:54PM
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defrost49

Idabean, I'm not here very often but your name sounds so familiar. Sounds like your knee surgery was well timed so you'll be able to enjoy the gardening season this year.

Boo Hoo, it just started snowing here in NH. Expected. I think we always have snow around the first day of spring.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:20PM
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diggingthedirt

Checked the snowdrops and winter aconite this afternoon, and they're both in bloom! I also spotted a lot of hellebores coming into bloom under a mass of spent foliage - I'll have to deal with that this weekend. We have rain coming tonight, no snow, which is just fine with me.

The first of the little local nurseries opens this weekend, and I'll be there no matter what!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:18PM
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whitegarden(Z5 MA)

Hi Marie!

I'm gonna stick my head out and say hi to everyone too! Hope I see you this spring..

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 5:45PM
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mrtulin

It is just lovely to see so much mail from gardening friends. All your 'names' are familiar and despite my fickle memory I can recall most of your faces.
Although the southern hillside melted out, most of the hellebores are still hibernating under snowcover. The few that show don't show their flowers yet.
My foolish (actually mis=located) witch hazel only has a fringe of flowers along the bottom. It is plenty hardy, but is in too much shade. I killed one moving it. what's others' experience?
I know I have a Dawn but I don't remember where....

Here's a question: I have a 25 dollar gift cert from White Flower Farm, about enough to buy 2 perennials or 3/4 of an overpriced shrub. What plant or plants are the best value to purchase, given that nothings a bargain?
I would think something that's hard to find in nurseries, but I would love other's ideas

Take care everyone, and keep up the encouraging news on the snowmelt. And these March and april snows? My environmental school boss called it "white manure." And I remind myself about it's all going to the resevoirs and ground water
Marie

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 12:58AM
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