A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

End of the Month Roundup-January

No, we don't have flowers or hummingbird moths around here. No. Just grey and gloom, and cold and a SERIOUS case of the mid-winter blahs. This January is going down in the books as the hugest disappointment. I'm glad it's over.



Bunny made a snack of the bottom half of my Autumn Clematis



Temps-average, Snowfall-well below normal. Three snowfalls of 4", lots of "dustings" of snow.
Started the month at 48 degrees---which fell rapidly--but, still.....how odd.

We had 6 nights that fell below 0---on the 23rd we hit 16 below (but no wind, my good friend Deb Arnold!!) For the most part, though, temps were mid 20's. We managed a whopping 4 fully sunny days and 3 partly sunny days. (THAT is why I won't buy a greenhouse-can you imagine trying to heat that night AND day??)

Winter Sowing is in full swing. The rack on the deck is filling up rapidly with "flowers".



The vegetable garden plans are complete. With food prices expected to soar, I'm more dependent on the bounty than ever.

I've never really "planned" out the flowers bordering the veggies, but even that is going to change this year. I'm hoping that will help me better use my time, as my request for more hours in the day have not been fulfilled.

I'm also PLANNING to do better with keeping beds full. I should have kept up with sowing more things after pulling stuff that was done. I had a lot of bare spots by August.
Well, that's it for now. I'm enjoying watching the southern gardeners getting their yards in shape and starting their seeds. Though I can't join in the fun for a couple months yet, it helps to watch others. AND ---Hopefully February will fly by.
March will be our usual month on the road...........and then the cold frames will be started---YEA!

30 comments:

  1. You have the most beautiful gardens!! I just love looking at your pictures. How big is the space and how many beds do you have?

    I wouldn't worry about the clematis if it is a paniculata. I trim mine back every year and it comes back like crazy!

    I just love your snow flowers on the shelf :) Spring will be here before you know it!

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  2. Good Morning, Robin!
    Yikes-I guess I never counted!!!--I have TWENTY EIGHT (!!!!!!!!) 4x8 raised beds, and also 6 beds that are 18" x 10 ft. I didn't do them all at once-we add yearly. My garden measures 48 ft x 42 ft and I've been working on it for 3 years. I have SAND---so raised beds are a necessity. I also JUST read this morning about someone who is using wood for their raised beds and after only one year they are rotting. I use cypress, and we have DRY summers, so I've had no problems, but it's something you might want to be aware of.
    So looking forward to seeing your progress!!

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  3. Morning Sue,

    I hear that more snow is headed our way. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    As always, I ♥ looking at your garden beds---they are so lovely. Wish I could talk Alan into making raised beds for me. Sure would make the work a bit easier.

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  4. Twenty-eight 4x8's!?! And you are worried about keeping them full? Awesome. I have three 4x4's and one 2x8. I am full of hope about being able to give away enough to my fellow teachers. We will add one (hopefully 2) 4x8's this spring and another 2x8 in the front garden for flowers and more artichokes. Yours is such a pretty, dreamy garden, so inviting. But how you manage 28 boxes puts you into a category of amazing.

    God Bless you and yours and your boxes.

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  5. Your weather description sounds very similar to what I've been getting in central Michigan. It has been very cold with lots of snow. I can't wait until it warms a little bit and the winter-blahs subside!

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  6. Wow, you're garden sounds huge!

    I used regular construction lumber for my raised beds and they're holding up just fine (this summer will be year 3). Then again, it's pretty dry in the summer here, so maybe that's why the've held up so well.

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  7. Ah, seeing your garden pictures is a true breath of springtime! So lovely, bare spots or not. Sounds as if you're going to be super-organized come real spring. Looking forward to all the loveliness you create. :o)

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  8. Sue, you are a wonder! You accomplish so much and create such vision! Your pictures, ideas and plans are a gift that you share and they are a catalyst to those of us that are suffering from winter slugdom. Thanks!

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  9. Deb-that does it!!! You are DEFINATELY coming up this summer-bring the husband, he will see it in person, and you'll have those raised beds. The first year we did these, everyone chuckled. By the next year, MOST of the neighbors had them. They are wonderful!!!

    Rainsong--we didn't do them all at once. We started with 6.....and it kinda took off from there. Heed the warning-retirement gives hubby many hours to build.....
    :D

    Green Zebra-I so agree. I usually LOVE winter, but hubby is down with a bum foot, and snow in my "hood" has not been so good. Sigh.

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  10. Mama Pea-SOUNDING organized doesn't usually translate to reality around here, but we'll see. I think you and Erin have inspired me with your very organized planners. I rearranged a lot of stuff because of that, and feel a bit more confident. Besides, I'm hyper!
    :D

    2Tramps-you might be having the winter blahs too, but lucky lucky YOU gets the spring MUCH sooner!! You know you're going to have to take TONS of pics for me as you begin to warm.
    I'm sure you and Tramp 1 will be out and about exploring!

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  11. You don't have tomato/tobacco hornworms up there? Those things always scare the heck outta me when I'm messing with my tomatoes, but the" hummingbird moth" part of the deal is pretty neat. Last year I had tons of them but happily never saw a hornworm... I hope for a repeat of that this year :)

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  12. Erin-I'm blind when it comes to finding them. I send hubby out to look-he gets rid of them for me, though I'm always torn on this, cuz they're neat moths. I read some gals blog that leaves one tomato plant just for them. I'm a good-hearted person, but I haven't gone that far (yet!)

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  13. Seeing those pictures makes me long for good weather so bad! But it keeps us going if not a little antsy. I have tried to convince hubby to do some raised beds but he refuses. I think someone needs to explain this to him in his language. Crow bar anyone?

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  14. I am so impressed that you are winter sowing!! How is that going?

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  15. APG-ha! You are too funny! Men can be a whole lotta stubborn......I've never used the crowbar trick.....yet!
    :D

    Meems-winter sowing is what I use to keep my fingers in the potting soil. Last year was my first time and I loved it. The plants were so much tougher and hardier than those wimpy things I grew under lights. I didn't come close to the high germination rates though, so I guess it all evens out in the end!

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  16. Sue, I am in awe. Your gardens and beds are so gorgeous. Talk about giving me spring fever! Thanks for stopping by to visit. Your photos are fabulous - thanks for inspiring me!!

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  17. Jennifer-and a big thank you for your lovely site.....I've always gotten a lot of enjoyment from it!

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  18. Sue, your garden looks so organized. Wish I had room to put in raised beds, I plant stuff wherever I can find room in my yard.

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  19. Bonnnie-thanks! I've been known to tuck in stuff here and there too. This year I'm putting a tomato in my front flower border (it's against a stone wall and I'm hoping the additional heat helps it along!)

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  20. Sue, you have a beautiful and rather large garden! I hope you are younger than me to keep up with it. ;)
    Spring is right around the corner; by the time you get those vegetable seeds started you'll wonder where Feb went. :)

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  21. I so hear you!! I'm ready for the flowers too, although we have had a pretty good winter with lots of snow--and mores on the way tonight. You've been doing a lot of work with your planning. Loved your map in the previous post, and you cracked me up with "as my request for more hours in the day have not been fulfilled." --hehe!

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  22. Kelly, thanks so much for stopping by. You must have known I'd have to make a comment on your flowers--so sweet!
    Happy painting and birding!
    :)

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  23. I always feel a bit of relief when February gets here, but lately, I've been feeling ready for spring to get here. I keep telling myself that I should not mind the weather being cold and snowy now, because hopefully, it will be nicer when March and April get here.

    I keep thinking I want to try some winter sowing, but only got some Fremont's clematis put in a few pots out there.

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  24. CornerGardener-I'm hoping it's nicer in March-we are going to Nebraska to see the snow geese migration-what a sight! We've had good luck in previous years with the weather there. You're so fortunate to be in an area with lots of birding activity (Nebraska also happens to be my very favorite state!!!)

    Diana-It's a HUGE garden, but it's what I love to do, so it's really not work for me! Thanks for stopping!

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  25. Hi Sue,

    Your readers are right...you do have wonderful gardens. Inspiring stuff, particularly for the agriculturally inept (like me!. Maybe I will try my hand at box gardens....

    Brad

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  26. Hi Brad....I sure do hope you give them a try. I started out with just a couple--so very easy to maintain (easier to face a little box, than a BIG garden). Best of luck to you!

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  27. Sue,
    I found your blog and really enjoy your gardens. I am an avid gardener myself. Though we have our home on the market and will be full time campers soon...I sure will miss my gardens. But that will be the only thing...maybe I can perfect container gardening.

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  28. Forest-Dweller-hello-I saw a camping show where they had windowboxes all set up with flowers and veggies for an RV-it looked adorable, and made me smile to think just how creative folks can get when it comes to gardening. Best of luck to you in your adventures!

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  29. Don't be fooled. You just have yourself one of the hottest new cultivars...the levitating clematis!

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  30. Green Zebra-you just made me laugh--very loud!
    Thanks for the grins.

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