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By Lori


Today it is snowing. It is coming down like a curtain and covering the gritty streets with white. Since we are a scant 24 days away from spring…it’s a little depressing. I am gardening in the temperate zone, with four distinct seasons to address. In winter it’s the usual, settle in the plants you’re hoping will survive to plant outside next spring, dry and protect the tender bulbs, rhizomes, corms, etc. that I dug up in November, and best of all garner in a collection of seed catalogues to leisurely peruse, and garden beds to reassess, while the wind drifts the snow and the mercury recedes. So, NOW, AT LAST spring is approaching and I can fill the seeding flats, and tune up the grow lights and heating cables, and coddle the little cotyledons as they reach up toward the lights.

By late April or Early May, depending on how the weather is, I can start placing the seedlings outdoors, under protection, to harden off. Hoping that by the end of May, they will all be in the ground and growing nicely.

This year I will do some more research on native plants. It has been a pleasure to discover how well a species that is indiginous can establish itself and flourish with seemingly little care. They are not as frequently bothered by insects and creatures.

There is always the challenge presented by suiting your plans to the area available to garden, the financial resources available, and the gardening philosophy you adopt. I wish I could say that I approached gardening in an organized fashion, but that would be untrue. I had a theory of gardening in my head, but the practical experience that is required to really prove ones thoughts was only rudimentary at that point. So five years down the line, I realized by cumulative practical experience, that a lot of the work done in gardens is either done by habit or routine. A good “for instance” is over fertilizing. Some native species will not thrive if they are fertilized. They require only what the earth itself will give them.
NOw I know that most of us garden on soil that is imported to our yards, Digging a pond, showed me the composition of the substrata of my city lot. It was mostly bulldozed rubble.

I’ve been collecting the necessary flats and seedstarting soil. Bought a little portable temporary greenhouse to house the anticipated flush of germination.

I know that there are many sites on the internet and I plan to try to visit as many as I can find.

More blog posts by Lori

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Now why would you want to visit other sites when you've just found us, Lori? Are you researching native plants? It sounds as if you have what lots of people find out the hard way - builders' rubble soil! Sounds as if there's work to do in your garden once the weather improves for you! Do you make your own compost? My bins are full of greenery etc rotting down at this time of year, apart from a small usable amount in one bin - I shall have used that up within the next week or so. I don't think that digging in natural home-made compost could over-fertilise. I do use natural feeds like bonemeal when I have hard-pruned any of my shrubs, and I feed my containers and greenhouse crops with a bought mixture in the summer months. When you talk of over-fertilising, what do you mean? You are right in saying that some work in the garden is routine - it has to be, to keep plants in the best possible condition - I mean the pruning times and the composting/feeding that has to be done, as well as the grass-cutting. (Ours needs cutting now!)

26 Feb, 2008


I think that it is wonderful that you are researching native plants. They are wonderful to incoporate in the garden.

27 Feb, 2008

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