…But It Feels Like Spring In Here…..

Monday's vase of branches from the garden unfold their buds and release their pollen.

Monday’s vase of branches from the garden unfold their buds and release their pollen.


There may be a eight inches of new snow outside, but it feels like spring in here!  The branches we brought in for Monday’s vase are unfurling in our balmy heat indoors.  And with spring comes, pollen.


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It is a timely reminder to enjoy the moment, without trying to rush things too much.  Every season has its own joys and trials, after all!

But the air outside is squeaky clean and fresh today.


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It was well-scrubbed by snow, which fell all night long and well into mid-day here.  Heavy and wet, it has done what it has done in the garden to some of our shrubs.


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I did a little bit of snow clearing on the deck before heading for my make-shift potting area in the basement.  Ignoring appearances outside, I am feeling the quickening of spring and decided to get on with it indoors.

This is a good time to find gardening supplies on clearance sales, and I picked up several beautiful ceramic pots at half-price earlier this week.  Since the last of last season’s potting soil was ‘buy one get one free,’ naturally, I stocked up.  What a huge blessing!   


A lovely fern found at Lowe's this week can grow on in its new pot until time to go outside for the summer in a large basket.

A lovely fern found at Lowe’s this week can grow on in its new pot until time to go outside for the summer in a large basket.


I’ve also been shopping the ultra-affordable deals at our local Lowe’s store.  I brought home a beautiful pot-bound fern this week, and had already picked up a bag of Canna lily roots a few weeks ago.  Two bags of seed potatoes, some Ranunculus roots and a bag of Gladiolus bulbs sit in our garage waiting for action.

It may be too early to start seeds without a light kit, but it is a fine day for potting up!


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Those Begonia Rex I’ve been rescuing from sale tables have proper pots this afternoon, and look much happier for it.  The footed ferns I’ve brought home this winter also have lovely ceramic pots and a spot in what little sun we have to offer.

I like to start Canna roots indoors in a large plastic  storage box half filled with potting soil.  Though hardy, it is way too early to set new plants outside.  So I’ll give this group of eight a few weeks of growth indoors before moving them outside in late April.  It was surprising to see how much their buds have grown while sitting in their package.


Trader Joe's offered this lovely fern in early February.  Finally out of its nursery pot and into a larger ceramic pot today.

Trader Joe’s offered this lovely fern in early February. Finally, it comes  out of its nursery pot and into a larger ceramic one today.


The tiny Ranunculus roots also went into pots today with a division of overwintering Spikemoss.  I love their bright rose-like blooms in early spring.  These can break dormancy in the garage, and their pot will go outside on fine days once they show new growth.

The list of spring garden chores will just have to wait a while longer.  The weather hasn’t settled enough for us to begin pruning back woody plants or cutting back perennials.  Given how late our last spring came, it may be wise to wait until at least the second week of March. Cutting too early leaves the pruned stems exposed to moisture and to cold.


Another Begonia Rex, also from Lowes this winter, settles into its new pot.

Another Begonia Rex, also from Lowes this winter, settles into its new pot.  The small division I cut out of it grows on in its “seafoam” pot.


After killing a plant or three in my eagerness to start the spring clean up too early; I’ve learned to wait for that magical time after the worst of winter’s weather has passed, but before too much new growth has begun to  sprout.  This is a hard chore to time properly, and I feel badly cutting back branches already in growth.  The roses, especially, are always eager to get on with spring several weeks before winter weather has passed.


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Once the snows melt and soak in a bit, we may start some clean up of winter’s leaves.  They can be shredded once they dry out and go back to the garden as mulch.  There is Holly Tone to spread and beautiful packets of fresh seed just waiting to begin growth.

But that may be a while yet…. It is snowing hard again this afternoon.  Temperatures are dropping, and this will all be ice by morning.


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No matter;  it is already spring for us indoors.  We are getting a bit of a head start with a little pre-positioning of resources, and a lot of love.


Woodland Gnome 2015


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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

18 responses to “…But It Feels Like Spring In Here…..

  1. I am going to be adding some new indoor plants to my condo this year. Thank you for reminding me to start off small and let them grow bigger.

    Earlier this year, it was upper 30’s outside. The mood struck me and I took some of the indoor plants outside to repot. Not a good idea. I didn’t fully kill any of them which are mainly spider plants but they did loose a lot of their leaves. I still feel bad for not considering the plants sensitivity to the cold. I love them so much and glad they are still growing.

    • Plants are great companions and do so much good for us, even beyond filtering the air. Plants just make a room come alive. Some – like Cyclamen, actually appreciate cool temperatures. They grow best in a window during the winter. Sadly, many ‘houseplants’ are actually tropicals and don’t like temps below 50 or so. Our spider plant is surviving winter in our unheated garage, but it stays above freezing all of the time out there. What other plants do you like to grow? There are lots of interesting ferns available now, and they are so easy and forgiving so long as they stay watered. Best wishes, WG

      • These plants have come from the house we had 3 years ago. Not a lot of light lessening the choices for indoor friends. Looking around this room, I spy Spider, Pothos, and Mother in law’s tongue.

        I am looking for a nice tall one to enjoy medium light but will wait till mid spring because it’s easier to transplant (play with dirt) outdoors. Thinking of trying some of the Begonia for the color and texture. Many of our plants are in vases using water instead of soil.

        • What a nice selection 😉 I have a lot of Begonia cuttings in vases of water at the moment, too. They are well rooted and ready for pots. I’m convinced MILT will grow in a closet. Truly bulletproof! Cane Begonias will grow quite tall- we have several around 6′ now- and they like medium light, morning sun. Have you tried a terrarium?

          • Um… I have killed the MIL tongue plants. Currently have one in ICU. Believe one of my biggest problems is potting with no drainage holes. I don’t believe I would be labeled as one who over waters. Perhaps it’s the quality of water not draining?

            A terrarium is not something I would be willing to try. But I appreciate the suggestion. Thinking I’ll have better luck now we have more light.

            • I sometimes use pots with no drainage holes, too. Watering is always tricky. What sometimes happens, long term, is the soil gets compacted and there isn’t enough “air” space. Roots need air as well as water… Could be that re-potting will take care of your MLT. Shake off the old soil and give her fresh 😉 Taking care of our little guys in pots is so much trial and error. Stagnant water collecting at the bottom can be a problem, too. I’ve started using a mix of gravel and spagnum moss in the bottom of pots with no drainage. So far so good, but who knows whether that will work long term? Best wishes, WG

              • Thank you. Funny because after all of the years working in a garden center and living on my own, I would think I would have this house plant thing down pat!

                Regarding the MlT, seems as though the potting situation was tolerated just so long. Big statement for their wellbeing, then again I believe they make bold moves in order to be heard. I only want to do right by them, the very forgiving unconditional love beings.

                • It sounds like you look at plants much as I do… as pets 😉 They are unconditional love beings and communicate as they are able. I always feel badly when one shows me its not gotten the care it needs. I have a fern in the garage which got too cold and/or too dry.. and a few of the fronds have died back. Do we ever get the plants “down pat?” They respond to all of the factors of the environment- as do we. I feel like as long as we pay attention to them and do our best, they work with us. Have you given your MLT a crystal cluster to see whether that helps with its healing? WG

                  • Yep, I’m big into rocks too. What I tend to do is put beads I wouldn’t be able to string, buttons not in A+ condition, and pieces of glass from accidents in the kitchen for decorative purposes on the top of the soil. But no, I have not intentionally shared a crystal cluster with the leaning plant. Think it’s too far gone but will bring some gems over to keep the plant company and vice versa. Thank you for the suggestion AND lovely conversation this weekend!

  2. I think you got a little more snow than we did. It looks beautiful in your garden. 🙂 Your indoor plants are beautiful, too, and very warming.

    • Thank you, Robin. It has been a pretty snow, but thick. We are so grateful that the temps are up again today to help with moving it. Is the Bay and areas around your property still frozen? Our creek has seen some thawing in the middle between freezes, but the pond remains ice. Hope you both are well. Giant hugs, WG

      • Same here. The creek is thawing with a big channel through the middle of it (yesterday — not sure what’s going on today since I haven’t been out yet), but the pond remains frozen. They say we’re going to be in the 60’s next week. Looks like March will be the usual roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs in temperatures.

        • We were just saying yesterday how nice it will be to feel the 60s again. The wildlife definitely need a break from this. However difficult this may be for us, it is so much harder on the birds and other creatures. We are hoping for some sun! Best wishes, WG

  3. Oh, my goodness! 8″ of snow? That is A LOT for you all, hope your trees and shrubs are okay. This winter is definitely one for the books. How are you faring? I would be up to elbows in potting soil, too, if I were you. A good project for a snow day. Your plants look so happy! Stay safe and warm… hugs and blessings!

    • Thank you, Eliza 😉 All blessing so appreciated. We lost a huge old Pyracantha, but it will come back from its roots. I heard of other breakage, but didn’t get an inventory. My husband spent about 3 hours this morning doing what he could, especially knocking snow off of what he could reach to lessen the weight. It has snowed more this afternoon but we’ve been enough above freezing that no new accumulation so far. Our streets are untouched, but we don’t need to get out. We’re fine inside 😉 Still burning candles in the garage to keep the temps up for the plants out there. New growth everywhere! How much more snow have you gotten this week? Is it still snowing where you are? This storm sure packs a punch! Warm hugs, WG

      • The storm went to the east of us, (poor Boston, they are over 100″ now). We had a few flurries, but not much.
        Heavy snow is a nightmare for the shrubs and trees and your backs! I hope you are taking care of yourselves! This will be over soon 😉

        • So happy to know this one missed you, Eliza. Our hearts are with all of those in your region who have had such deep snows to deal with, and no break. One storm right on top of the last. I don’t know how folks in your region manage other than to lay in lots of supplies in advance. Believe it or not, there are still clumps of snow hanging on in the trees and shrubs! A very sticky sparkly snow. Can only guess what aerosols are mixed into it to give it this consistency, but ours is glowing with blues, greens, reds and yellows this morning as though someone poured a bottle of super glitter all over it! There will be shoveling here today- but with breaks 😉 So happy to see the sun! Each day brings us closer to the seasons finally shifting 😉 Giant hugs- WG

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