Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunshine, Rain and Everything in Between

harding off seedlings
Hardening off (from left: wild strawberries, herbs and artichokes)

This week, I'm moving more of my hardier plants outdoors to make room for my warm season veggies. The tomatoes are taking up more and more space and in a couple of weeks, I will be starting my melons and summer squash. During the long Easter weekend, I will also tackle the task of cleaning up the old owner's garden, which is situated on an ideal spot in our yard for sun. This will have to take top priority as our last frost date is a little over a month away and before we know it, we'll be transplanting our tomatoes.

On a side note, I've been feeling lately that there never seems to be enough time during the day to get anything done. Spring fever? Modern culture? Urban living? Call it what you want, but if you ask me, this can't be good for your health. Our lives are often defined by our many obligations...I think I'm due for a different perspective. During the past couple of months, I've been so anxious to get things started, transplanted and grown that I kind of lost track of what makes gardening fun. Also, I hate to admit it but the recent storms and pests have put a slight damper on my mood.

So what's the solution? I don't know exactly but I'm hoping it will come to me soon. I'm thinking few days away from my plants may do me some good. That being said, I hope you all are feeling much more motivated than I am! (I need to catch up on my blog reading!)

rosemary and chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemum tea plants and my newly purchased rosemary


  1. Hi Thomas...sorry you are a bit down in the gardening department. Thanks for being honest though...while gardening is amazing and rewarding, it can also be very frustrating! Hang in will be worth it when we're all eating FRESH FOOD!

  2. Take a breather.


    Perhaps you are a perfectionist, and that is exhausting.

    Take a perfect breather.

    Everything will be ok.

  3. Things will look much better when the sun shines. The gloomy weather, along with a couple of setbacks, are sure to put you into a mood. Gardening does have a few downs to go with the ups, but you've had extraordinarily good luck with yours. That may have set your expectations a bit high. Just tell yourself for every failure, you'll have a dozen successes.

  4. We all have such times, Thomas. I guess it was the continuous natural causes that made you low, but you're doing just great. Don't worry, tell yourself you'll get over it. If that doesn't help help, may you you can consider taking a break. That'd refresh your mind.

  5. My tomatoes are outside for a week now (under a frame). They love it there. All that artificial light made them grow, but now I see that full sun is what they need.

    Wild strawberries have grown since last time I’ve seen them. They will look great planted in garden.

    Opposite from you, I have so much energy and enthusiasm for gardening. I think that those mood changes come and go - I’m waiting for mine once weeds start to take over my garden.

  6. It's normal in the Spring to get overtasked and overwhelmed! I know what you mean about the tomatoes taking over: they grow so fast and when the get repotted they double the amount of space they need! Remember to take a walk through your yard with your favorite beverage once a day and just look at all you have accomplished! Your seedlings look great! I really hope your weather gets better soon, I thought of you and Kelly today when I watched the weather reports on the "Today" Show, you sure are dealing with some water. We had 3 inches of rain today, but only drizzle today and we are on the coastline so the sandy soil drains within a couple of hours. Hang in there! P.S. here's a thought, when you need a pick me up take that gorgeous little boy of your outside to walk around and ask him what he thinks of it all, kids have the funniest perspective on things, I bet he will have you chuckling and a renewed garden zest in no time!

  7. As with most things, busyness ebbs and flows. I'm sure in a few weeks time you'll be sitting on the back patio wondering what needs to be done only to find the answer to be "nothing".

  8. I really wish I could get outside and do some gardening right now. It is much more fun than cleaning out my life for the last 19 years. My garden is much more calming. I can't wait for Thursday and the sun to come back. More rain is not what we needed.

  9. Thomas, you must remember that you started this garden not too long ago, and attempting to garden year round does not afford you the break most of us enjoy. Take a break as everyone has suggested, sometimes we just need to sit back and relax in order to enjoy our accomplishments!

  10. I have to agree with Granny...sunshine can make a world of difference on our moods...I can't wait for it to get here too!

  11. I think we need the slumps to find the joy of gardening all over again. I've heard you fall in and out of love with your partner 7 times over your lives. I can only believe it works the same for hobbies like gardening.

  12. Oh Thomas, I know exactly how you are feeling right now. There are times when I have to remind myself, convince myself, that I garden for pleasure - the pleasure of being in the garden, the pleasure of watching things grow, the pleasure of eating what I grow. It's difficult when faced with bad weather, bugs, rodents, life . . . taxes, I need to finish, um start, the tax returns. The vacuuming and laundry will wait.

  13. Your seedlings look healthy! I love wild strawberries. I have used them in the frontyard as a groundcover, instead of turf. They are greening up and starting to flower.
    Here in the Pacific Northwest, March has been backwards this year. It came in like a lamb and is goint out as a lion. It will be at least two weeks before we can get our fingers dirty.
    Just remember: Green side up!


  14. Everyone has given you great ideas and feedback on coping with the little black cloud that is raining on your gardening parade. One of the greatest gifts we "Type A" personalities can give ourselves (yes I am one of them) - is to cut ourselves a little slack when things don't go just perfectly or according to plan. I have not had one single garden year (ever) where all the crops grew well and went on to full harvest. There is always at least one failure or disappointment. Looking at the overall picture though, the gardens every year have been a great success - it's just the detail view that focusses in on the things that are not perfect.

  15. Look like Blogger ate my last comment.

    Anyways, just want to say don't let the weather and critters get to you. Take some time off and enjoy your plants.
    Your wild strawberry seedlings look really nice and strong, my strawberry seedlings froze to death one night because I was pushing the envelope too far. I thought they were cold hardy and left them out at night under cover, but they were too fragile to take the cold. Oh well, c'est la vie, live and learn! I'm starting seeds all over again.

  16. Hi Thomas..I haven't been by in so long..everything looks great!

    i wanted to wish you and your family a wonderul weekend....

    it's been too long, my friend


  17. Thanks for all of the great advice everyone. The sun definitely does wonders for one's mood. It's easy to for get that we had near record-setting rain fall.

    Hopefully, things will dry out and heat up soon!

  18. Hello there! I hope you get your vibe back soon.

    Nice looking plants you have there. I have a couple of tomatoes and mums myself.