Saturday, March 16, 2013

Almost St. Pat's!

      And I hear that there's a storm brewing for later in the week. It's March Break for the schools this week, and historically we usually managed to get one final big one sometime in the week. Ah well. I am only working two days this week, and not tutoring (because of March Break) so I can happily stay home and hibernate if necessary.
       I planted some more seeds today - three kinds of tomatoes (Hybrid Sweet Million, Melody mix and a blight-resistant one called Defiant), as well as cauliflower, cucumbers, larkspur and lavatera, pink and white. I did some of the tomatoes and cauliflower for indoors too, for comparison purposes. And I potted on the Osteospermum, just into tiny pots so the next move I can put them into proper-size pots with real soil, not just seed-starter mix. I put in some pelargonium slips as well. Feels like spring!
    We are booked to go to the Pub at noon tomorrow to celebrate St. Pat's with some of our dancing friends. We'll see how long we can hold on. We had our own St. Pat's dance last weekend at the BIS and it was great fun - though we only got six dances done in 3 hours. Amazing. We had developed a list of 12 and didn't even come close!
      We learned a cool new rumba move last night at Ballroom which we hope to perfect before next Saturday, when we are going to see a group called "The Count and the Cuban Cocktail". We are hoping there will be dance room.
    I have finished the pattern yoke on Blaithin and am about to do short rows, and then it's finishing - including the famous steek sandwich. The colours look nice, although the green doesn't show up too well. The camera has disappeared, or I would take photos!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Freckle Wind

March continues mild and breezy, and I remembered this morning that my red-headed cousin used to refer to this phenomenon as "the Freckle Wind" because it brought out the freckles on us red-heads (as I was then!). I suppose that we spent more time outdoors then, too - investigating crystal structures in the rotting snowbanks, and breaking the skins of ice on the puddles on the way to school.

     Now I roost indoors, just going out to fill the bird feeders or check the mailbox, unless it's a work day. I am pleased to report that the Osteospermum "Fire and Ice" has germinated! And will need potting on in a few weeks. Nothing else is showing in the indoors pots, and certainly nothing in the mini-greenhouses outside - though that is to be expected, as they are mostly still frozen. It's perfect weather for maple-sugaring, if only we had a few sugar maples that were big enough!

    I've been knitting a bit, working on my Blaithin, which I'm making out of Briggs and Little wool. I have just started the Fair Isle yoke, and right now am doing three colours in the round - I wanted to make the background blend into the pattern so am carrying it (it's the grape colour of B and L Heritage) up into the yoke, which will be light mauve (Fundy Fog, maybe) with the flowers in white and grape. The sleeves worked up surprisingly fast, given that it took almost 8 months to get the body plain part done. I may be wearing it this spring!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Windy and wettish - welcome March

         Today I did more of the same - planted up some more milk jug mini-greenhouses - this time I put in alyssum, larkspur, Jacob's ladder, lots of candytuft, salvia blue angel, rudbeckia cherry brandy, purple tansy, bachelor's buttons, cosmos, and another kind of actaea.  I got the jugs from my father-in-law - cleaned him out.
A bigger group of mini greenhouses

     For keeping indoors I did another pot of cat grass, onions (bunching and Norstar) and leeks. It may be too early for the onions. The only thing that's come up from Feb. 22 is the cat grass. Ah well, Girly is happy.

      I managed to keep some Dichondra silver falls alive over the winter, so I put a few cuttings into a pot and bagged it, to see if I can manage to propagate them. There aren't many side shoots, as the light levels have been so low, so I only got 4 shoots to my pot.

Dichondra silver falls in a bag on the filing cabinet
      I am beginning to worry that I will soon run out of room for the indoor plants, especially if they will need potting on. And another thing is that the stores only have potting mix on sale at the moment, so when they need something with more nutrients I won't be able to get it.  I will have to re-skin the greenhouse/polytunnel this year, but I do think that March is a bit early for that.

            I saw my "pot for winter colour" in the garage/root cellar today, and decided that I could put it outdoors safely - the next couple of days will be above freezing, even at night. It was looking a bit dry and peaky, to be honest,  but the crocus shoots are up and I see a couple of daffodils poking through. Not exactly *winter* colour, but welcome all the same. There are even four pansies still alive.