Monday, January 25, 2016

Almost February

February is the high point in the "give someone flowers" monthly calendar.  I think it's because life is pretty dull in February and a bright, alive, bunch of tulips cheers people up--considerably. And a big floral holiday in the midst of Winter is good for the floral industry.

Once we get to February, my cheerfulness meter starts moving into the "positive" range as well. February is a short month and moves quickly and then it's March and I am back to work.  Back to seeing PEOPLE.

This January hasn't been as awful as most.  G and I went to see a Woody Native Plants lecture yesterday, I had that wonderful retirement party at the beginning of the month, good books to read, the Collaboratory project to work on recently and today I am melting beeswax into my olive oil and calendula petal mixture and decanting salve into small jars.

Every summer I collect the bright orange calendula flowers and dry them to make healing salve.  This is the first time I have ever actually followed thru with the concoction and a quick trip to the Goodwill for a used saucepan and this show will be on the road as they say.  It looks like I am making quite a bit--enough to give my co-workers for their own sunburned faces and chapped hands.

Saturday I watered my orchids and repotted a few terrestrial ones.  I had them in the wrong soil mix and after watching a few YouTube videos I have now corrected the medium.  I also realize that the cymbidium orchids up in the guest room bathtub need this new soil mix as well.  But they are large and the repotting would be tremendously messy so I think I will wait until I go back to work to repot them.  Easier to clean up the mess at work.  The geraniums in the upstairs bedroom are blooming.

A few of the amaryllis I "over summered" in the vegetable garden are starting to perk up.  Two are showing a nice flower bud so far, one has twins.  It will be weeks before they flower but that's okay with me.  I should have pulled them out of the veg garden in late August and let them dry until their leaves died off.  Then repotted them for Christmas bloom.  But I waited until late October so I am a month or two behind.  I am always learning from my mistakes.  That's what gardening is all about.

Time to start my onion seeds.  And perhaps the peppers as they are very slow to germinate.  I am going to get things going earlier this year and hopefully have earlier crops.  Now that we have "global warming" here in Maine--who knows?

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