Friday, March 30, 2012

Let the Spring Planting Extravaganza Begin!

It's only the last day of March tomorrow and the frenzy of spring planting has begun. It's a full three weeks earlier than what's considered the first "frost free" date in my area, so we're all hoping and praying that we don't get an April surprise. The garden centers are abuzz with eager gardeners gathering up annuals, perennials, roses and even vegetable plants. So many luscious choices.

I am no exception, as I planted snapdragons, lambs ear, candytuft, lavender and larkspur last weekend. Today I stopped into The Enchanted Forest (don't you love that name for a nursery?) and was tempted by several items.

Flat-leaf parsley, curly parsley, dill, chives, German thyme, lemon thyme

I adore growing herbs and began my gardening journey with them in the 1970s. At one time or the other, I have tried them all -- everything I could find locally or mail order, including some rather exotic ones. I have more recently settled into the more familiar ones: basil, rosemary, oregano, summer and winter savory, and the ones mentioned in the picture above. I really like their colors, textures, growth habits and I mix them together in a cottage garden style. I also cook with them extensively. Chicken isn't complete without rosemary, oregano and tyme for tomato-based dishes, basil with fresh tomatoes, chopped chives on everything imaginable.

Lady Lavender
I also found 10 Lady Lavender and two Provence Lavender plants, after having planted two Provence last week. Lavender is one of those things I crave to grow and have had mixed results over the years. I have one plant that's three years old and I believe that may be a record. I cannot determine if it's the intensly hot summers or the wet winters that causes their early death. Hope reigns eternal, so each year I plant again.

White flowers are my favorites ts I got a few Vinca to brighten up the Night Garden.

White vinca. I really like the little pink eye.

I bought two pots of Lithodora, a plant I am not familiar with, but I really liked its looks. I also like what the label tells me: water once weekly, no fertlizer necessary, hardy to 10 degrees F., at least six hours of sun, grows 3-1/2 inches tall, 18-24 inches wide. It looks somewhat similar to Lobelia, which I adore. Both have tiny, cascading blue flowers. I will use Lithodora in boxes outside the kitchen windows, mixed with something pale pink, white and silver. I now wish I had bought more, but there's always next time.....
Lithodora, with a pot of lavender in the background. Peeking out from behind are spring onions I will plant in the potager tomorrow.

This is a Wire Vine that my sweet sister bought for me. It is one of her favorites. It is nice, don't you think? Lovely in pots.

Wire Vine

I am addicted to plants and am sure there will be several more trips to the nursery, but this certainly looks like enough to keep me busy this weekend!

These pictures were made after dark using the iPhone with flash. I rather like the effect.

What are your favorite plants? Have you started your spring gardening yet?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


  1. My favorite things to cook with fresh are Thyme, Tarragon, and Basil. I planted seeds for these and some others, and everything except the Thyme is ready for transplant. The Thyme didn't even sprout. Since I live in an apartment, these plants are going on the balcony in pots. But I just got a raised bed at the community center and am excited to grow some flowers there. The Lithodora sounds interesting. Thanks for all the gardening inspiration. Your writing shows how much you love it!

    1. Beryl, I've never had success with thyme seeds, or lavender seeds germinating. A balcony garden will be lovely! I had one once and loved it. Can add many things and it looks so lush because everything is close together and makes a big show.

  2. Love the article about plants. You have such good luck with most herbs and lavendar also that I have NEVER been able to grow but do love it. Anything about plants and animals make me happy. Our sweet kittens are such a pleasure and can't wait until we see their little eyes open. Keep growing.

    1. The plant and animal kingdoms are the best! I hope the hailstorm didn't scare our Sox too badly. Can't wait until morning to see the kittens and Sox again!


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