Garden center mark downs and a May day cold

We spent all day Saturday in the yard.  It was a beautiful day and we got a lot of work done.  I ran out of mulch and needed a few more bags.  Sunday was rainy and dreary, why not go buy mulch?  As soon as we got in the car I could feel something happening, at first I thought it was allergies.  On to the garden center.  I always check out the garden center mark down area at Lowes, because I have found some good things in the past.

perennial_bargain_haulThey had a ton of spring perennials marked down, largely because the blooms were spent.  I got two ruby red wigelias, two erysiums and two pink creeping phlox, a quarter flat of violas and a boxwood for half price.  Yay!  I have a lot of spaces to fill in the garden so I can use all the bargain that I can find.  The foliage on them is pretty good.  I will get them into the ground today and give them a chance to spread their roots.  I am especially happy about the boxwood, more on that later.

By the time we got back from running our errands, I had realized what that funny feeling I had mention earlier was, a head cold.  A May day cold, the humanity.  I took it easy the rest of the day, but it really hit Monday on the way home from work.  All I could think about was crawling into my warm bed after a nice, hot shower.


I am sharing this cold treatment today.  It is certainly not a cure, but offers a nice comfort.  I have always drank hot honey and lemon for a cold.  I recently came up with an addition that makes it even better.  No, it is not whiskey, but that is good just before bed. Wink.  I couple of moths ago tried adding coconut oil to the concoction.  Now it is my go to.  Just a bit will do, a quarter to half a teaspoon is all you need.  It floats on top, which is fine.  As you drink the soothing honey and lemon concoction, the coconut oil lightly coats your lips, mouth and throat.  This is especially soothing if you have a sore throat or a heavy cough. I find that the coconut oil softens the delivery of the sometimes harsh lemon.  Since coconut oil also is said to help with immunity, digestion, healing and infections it has additional benefits.

Stay healthy

April in the garden

Last weekend Mr. Midwood busted out the tiller and prepped one end of the garden for our cool weather seed starts.  Mostly broccoli and a couple of rows of peas.  He just tilled enough to get the early crops planted.

tilling_for_broccoli_startsLast year peas didn’t work out so well, so fingers crossed.  The grew lush and beautiful, but no blooms or peas.  We are trying the broccoli in black plastic this year.  Here they are after a nice sprinkling from the girl.  She was feeling particularly helpful these past couple of weekends – gotta love a helpful kid.

Broccoli_starts_in_the_gardenOne of the cherry trees that we planted last year didn’t make it.  We actually caught it before the end of last season and got the refund then.  Mr. Midwood picked up a replacement and got into the ground right away.  So far it is looking happy and leafy.

2016_cherry_treeIt is a bit early for much work in the veggie garden. I am taking advantage of the cooler April weather to do some heavy lifting type of projects. I got lots of weeding done, the flower beds are all freshly mulched and some other fun projects that I will share later.

pepsistuff_2008I found this while I was weeding.  I thought by the looks of it that it was fresh from this year.  Unlikely, since the Pepsi stuff points offer expired in 2008.  That would make it easily at least 8 years old!

dandelion_jelly_timeWe have a sea of spring dandelions in our grass.  The kids love dandy jelly, so I am now on my second round making it, this time a double batch.  It is so lovely and pretty much tastes like sunshine.  I wanted to keep extra on hand for gifts.



December garden update (for real)

Normally in December my garden, any garden around Western New York, would be covered in snow.  All of the foliage would be completely dead from a frost that occurred weeks before.  Here in Western New York if you make it past Halloween with a plant or two spared from frost, you are pretty lucky.  We are less than a fortnight from Christmas and I have not only lush foliage, but blooms, In the December garden. 

Swiss chard

The other day we experienced record breaking 71 degree weather.  Normally around this time a day in the fifties is a welcomed reprieve from the cold.  Temperatures in the 60s are unheard of – 71 degrees – quite incredible.  We have more seasonable weather coming and even expect our first, yes first, snow of the season this weekend.

Let’s just take a look around the garden though, shall we?

In the front yard the vinca (that I moved back in May) has a lovely, purple bloom, in the December garden, I might add.

Vinca blooming December

Not too far away a lone primrose has opened a bloom, also in the December garden.  This was an Easter plant bought for decoration that I stuck in the garden on a whim.

primrose bloom December

Remember when I created a mowing strip around the herb garden?  Quite a few of the herbs are looking good.  I was not shocked by the sage, it is a pretty hearty herb.

Sage in December Northeastern garden

The rosemary, mint, oregano and thyme are all looking good.  I harvested sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme on Thanksgiving for our meal and an impromptu arrangement.  I could go out and harvest even more in the December garden, no less!

Mint still alive in December garden Oregano in late fall

I even have a nice little bunch of Swiss chard that I will be clipping to add to salad.

Swiss chard

Ultimately it is not going to be good for the garden and the plant life, especially the fruit bearing trees.  They need to have their dormant period, as explained here.  I can’t believe that I am saying this, but I am glad that it is going to get colder.  I can look forward to abbreviated winter, I hope.