Thursday, April 22, 2021

Midwest Gardening End April 2021: Greenhouse and Plant Starts.

                                                                                                                                                         Ad-Free Blog

Hi, Gardeners and Friends!

We had hard frost and SNOW this week in Chicagoland. Not measurable, but sad to look at tulips through flurries. We desperately need moisture, as we have missed the last three precipitation events here.

Spring in the upper Mid-west is elusive sometimes. This year is no exception. This is why we have the greenhouse, but first we start everything in the house. I did starts the first week in March, and then as trays were moved or transplanted we moved them to the greenhouse. Then, I started more seeds. It's been fruit basket UPSET every week, lol.

These photos were take around April 15th. I keep the lids on until the plants push them off, lol.

oldnewgreenredo

We have two large windows in the kitchen, one facing East and the other South. I have often planted one more shelf high, but we had a lot in the living room wall window, too.

oldnewgreenredo

These are Cosmos, which are awfully spindly. 

oldnewgreenredo

This is Dill which is doing quite well. We had a lot of dull dark days, so we put up a couple of plant lights, which helped.



oldnewgreenredo

This is the South window. Peppers and Tomatoes. The top right is coleus that I broadcast seeds in a dirt filled tray. Very Good germination on these. Coleus plants are fairly expensive, large, but I need shade plants...lots of shade plants.

oldnewgreenredo
 

The day after I took these photos, I transplanted the tomatoes into large plastic glasses in the greenhouse and they have been doing well.


oldnewgreenredo

In the living room I planted all my bulbs, Caladiums and Elephant Ears (in the tub in front). These are usually very slow to grow. The plants you see are Blue Hostas.

oldnewgreenredo

The Hostas took off like crazy and were moved to the greenhouse beginning of last week. Five went to a friends and are planted around a tree, and are doing well.  I moved the Caladiums out there also, and they are finally starting to sprout. 



oldnewgreenredo

I now have two full sized Elephant leaves two weeks later, and I don't know where I'm going to keep them. Tropical, Elephant ears are very temperature sensitive. So they will have to get transplanted to big pots in the house????



oldnewgreenredo

(LtoR) Sweet Potato vine. I wintered over, sharing a pot with a Mandivilla. I have one red bloom on that now. It bloomed until Christmas and then shut down. The yellow pot is another one, then the Rex Begonia which is not happy, two variegated Dracena and a Spathiphyllum.


oldnewgreenredo

This is a photo of the greenhouse last year about this time, but today, we are a bit behind this year, temperature wise! We finally settled on staining all trim country red. It sure will brighten up the yard. I concede to Hubby's choices on things HE builds...keeps the peace that way!

oldnewgreenredo

Inside, the Greenhouse is about half full. I had planted a few pots with annuals, pansies and other stuff for the front porch. The bright green is Scotch moss. Something new I'm going to try here and there and see how they do for a perennial. They are thick masses of plant and roots.

I managed to get 9 pots of Peppermint from some roots I found in one of my dried grass pots.  So I chopped them up and planted in small pots and they are doing very well.

PEPPERMINT WARNING: This is an invasive under ground trailer. If you use peppermint for bees/bugs repellant, make sure you burn the plants in Fall. Do not put it anywhere it can seed or the roots can survive...or you will be weeding out peppermint for the rest of your life. I will try and save one pot to winter over for starts, but carefully.



oldnewgreenredo

Here are some herbs I started. The Chives are from transplants from the yard, and Rosemary. 

oldnewgreenredo

I started two large planters with lettuce onions and spinach.
Soon as we get a break in the weather, I'll plant more lettuce, radishes, and spinach in the ground. We should have food in about three more weeks, maybe less!
With the diving temps this week, I moved them back into the greenhouse. Pansies are very hardy, but better safe than sorry. I just keep them where it is shady! 

oldnewgreenredo

Here are the transplanted Tomatoes....they were actually happy in the cooler greenhouse.

oldnewgreenredo

I kept them on lower shelves for a week, with filtered light, then moved them into the sun on top.

oldnewgreenredo

I started multiple Zinnia seeds inpots along with lots of other things, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Bachaelor Buttons, and lots else. 

oldnewgreenredo

The garden is dry and clear of weeds! YAY! We will till and plant sometime in May.

oldnewgreenredo

The Day Lilies and Daffodils, make it look like summer. We have to adjust the play set for the Grand. She is 8 now and so tall...she has to duck in her play house! 

oldnewgreenredo

On a loop around the yard, I found this little guy was outside all winter by himself...He looks so annoyed!  I'll rake in a few weeks, giving the bees and bugs a chance to survive longer. Night time temps are freezing, so they have nowhere to hide if they are above ground.

oldnewgreenredo

I took a few other photos of interesting textures. My twenty-year old shelf---finally 

oldnewgreenredo

submitted to the elements. I guess it needed another coat of Poly last year...well, it's a REDO project now! My dad built these for my pottery business, and the pattern I painted on these matched the flower pottery and flower pots I produced. I'm so happy I kept pieces. I know I have one more of these shelves inside the porch safe and sound, so maybe this one will be country red.


oldnewgreenredo

Some of the birdhouses are over 30 years old...but those are the ones the birds like best! This one has been repaired many times.

Oldnewgreenredo

We really need moisture, badly a few snowflakes hasn't done it. I've never had to water in April...??? Usually there is standing water in this part of the garden this time of year? 

Mid-West Gardening---you just NEVER know what will be next! I do have to make a new plan for the garden areas. Update my logs, and make sure veggies get moved around for better crops this year! 

Next Gardening Post.
Midwest Gardening April 2021: Perennial Survival and Garden Planning



Please Join me at these fine blog parties:


Please do not use my photos without a link back to this blog without my permission.

Thank you for your cooperation, 
Sandi 
 





Friday, April 16, 2021

Midwest Gardening: Mid-April 2021 Pt.1

Ad-Free Blog 

Hi, gardeners, 

Guess what is blooming?!?!?

I finally have something to post...we have been pressing our noses to the cold windows and hoping for some color.

Two weeks ago, I realized the critters were pulling up my bulbs, or eating the new growth right down to the ground. 

I dragged out every bottle of cayenne pepper, chili-pepper, pepper anything and madly sprinkled it everwhere! 

YAY! it worked.

oldnewgreenredo

Last Fall, you may remember I planted over 100 bulbs. I hope the critters didn't get all the Siberian Iris...we will find out later. 

oldnewgreenredo

The tulips were all different types, so they are blooming here and there.

oldnewgreenredo

This Narcissus is gorgeous...so ethereal.
It's dry again so they were drooping and I had to hold them up to take the photos. The last ten years NW Chicagoland has been drowned in Spring, this year has been quite dry, very dry. With the freezing temps, we can't set up any watering yet.

oldnewgreenredo

The caged Peony is being brave....we have near freezing temps forecasted every night now for ten more days.

oldnewgreenredo

The blues are the periwinkle ground cover. This is only the second year for this flower bed. Hoping all the plants survive and  flourish. I should have taken the bunny down...but he is so cheery and he doesn't eat our flowers!

oldnewgreenredo

Here is another view! The Daffys are holding with the cooler temps.

oldnewgreenredo

These Tulips are new and so pretty. I love yellow flowers, and blue, and red, and ...

oldnewgreenredo

A whole cluster of these peach ones are coming up---gorgeous with purple veining.

oldnewgreenredo

These are red, no pink, no red, ...crimson???

oldnewgreenredo

The lime green Hosta are popping up everywhere and make a perfect backdrop. I transplanted some Zebra grass a few weeks ago from big tufts. It can be invasive if you don't curtail it.

oldnewgreenredo

These are peach and red! In the back are day Lilies and Iris!. I leave the leaves and debris on the ground as long as we have frosts to protect the bees and other beneficial bugs that are hiding underneath.

oldnewgreenredo

I'll leave you with these sweet faces...

oldnewgreenredo

...and the wonderful sound of running water!
The birds love this old pump and trough.

How is Spring coming in your neck of the woods?

See you for Part 2


Please Join me at these fine blog parties:

Please do not use my photos without a link back to this blog without my permission.

Thank you for your cooperation, 
Sandi 
 





Friday, March 26, 2021

This Spring's Easter 2021

Ad-Free Blog

In the Past, bunnies and Ivy woven with Forsythia decorated the Porch to Welcome Spring and Company.

oldnewgreenredo

Every bunny needs his own cabbage, too.

Like many seniors, this will be the second Easter without a ham in our oven or a carrot cake on the island. 

oldnewgreenredo

No family gathered, and not an Easter egg hidden anywhere. 


oldnewgreenredo

No rice krispie bunnies, 

oldnewgreenredo


but, maybe a chocolate one or two..., 

oldnewgreenredo

and Grampa won't be wearing the Bunny head, 

oldnewgreenredo

Our only Grand, won't be bringing sweet flowers. 

oldnewgreenredo

She was six here...combat boots with hot pink laces...Love her...OOOOooodles!

But we are thankful we are all still healthy, everyone is employed, and safe. Though I ache to hug my boys, my d'in'loves and my Grand.

oldnewgreenredo

Sigh, we are still playing it safe, I will have my second shot on the 8th, so no gathering with anyone for the week before. Hubby has had his second. We will have a family gathering 2 weeks after that.


Meanwhile, I find it hard to decorate for Spring at all. 
It's dreary outside, the bulbs refuse to bloom.

oldnewgreenredo

I've been looking at my posts from past Spring seasons. One thing about blogging, it is a record of one's life. 

oldnewgreenredo

I remember how excited I was to find this platter. 
Perfect for Spring.

oldnewgreenredo

My little Tulip lovers stood guard by a Danish coffee pot full of... 


oldnewgreenredo

Red Tulips!

oldnewgreenredo

Some Springs were full of flowers, eggs and Bunnies. The Grand found this bunny and thought it needed to sit on the egg wreath.

Often, my Great Grand Aunts' needlework covered the buffet.

oldnewgreenredo

I displayed birds and eggs, everywhere.

oldnewgreenredo

I put out vintage postcard prints...here the Scandinavian Elf greets 
the Easter bunnies! 


oldnewgreenredo

Sometimes, bunnies, cabbages, eggs, and crocus graced the island in the kitchen.

oldnewgreenredo

I did art and craft shows for years, and couldn't resist beautiful eggs.

Two of a friends' handwork in a wooden bowl. Aren't they beautiful?
They were made by a crafter named, Judy Loving some 30 years ago, 
 each inked and painted by hand. 

I wish you all A Lovely Spring, 
a Healthy Holiday, 
and of course Happy Easter. 

oldnewgreenredo

Only one Daffodil is blooming now...
maybe if it warms up...
we can have Daffodils for Spring for company!


Please Join me at these fine blog parties:


Please do not use my photos without a link back to this blog without my permission.

Thank you for your cooperation, 
Sandi