I don’t know about where you live, but the weather in upstate New York is finally getting mild and sunny. After what seemed like weeks of rain, we’ve finally gotten enough sun to sit outside, sip cold drinks, and watch the dogs run around the yard. And, when those aforementioned dogs get me up because they need to go outside at four in the morning (help me), I hear birds cheerfully chirping away. It is also light out by the time my husband leaves for work, which is nice.
Now that I have, for now, a little more time on my hands, I’ve started to think about doing a little landscaping and yard prep for the summer. I’m waiting for our car port to be cleared out so that I can complete the long anticipated patio makeover. While I wait, I’ve been bargain shopping and window shopping for lights and an outdoor carpet. We also want to start a vegetable garden , but with a new baby on the way, we’ve decided to keep things pretty simple this year and buy a few plants at some point. We’ll probably plant tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, and various herbs. Although I do not have the greatest green thumb, we have had decent luck with those three crops in the past, and our zucchini seems to practically take care of itself! I don’t know why, but it does. Luckily, even if we don’t harvest our own huge bounty this year, there is always plenty of fresh produce at the Green Market on Sundays. My husband plans to remove the boxes he built for our little garden two years ago and just dig out a nice patch of our yard to fence in.
With other projects on hold, I started thinking about our window boxes. There is something about coming home and seeing your window boxes heaping with flowers that feels so cozy and nice. The first year we lived in our house, I planted marigolds that I sadly killed by watering at the hottest part of the day- but you live and learn! I can’t remember what exactly I planted last year. There were red, white and yellow flowers that lived very happily in the sun and absolutely flourished for most of the summer once I started watering them before it got too hot!
This year, I was uncertain about what I wanted to buy, but I knew I would shop at my favorite place to buy plants, The Gade Farm. If you’ve been reading this blog for the past year, you might remember me mentioning this nursery and country shop as home of hands down the best apple cider donuts I have ever had, and delicious fruit pies that they import from Mourningkill Bake Shop. It also has one of the most beautifully arranged nurseries that you have ever seen! If I am ever feeling down, or uninspired, there is something about walking through that gorgeous rainbow of plants and flowers that immediately puts me in a good mood. I figured that Gade’s would be the perfect distraction from feeling like my baby won’t ever come!
Initially I was a little overwhelmed by the large selection of full sun plants- and the crowd- it was insane for a Monday morning! I guess I wasn’t the only one intoxicated by the sunshine and mid 70’s! I also think people are probably getting their yards ready for Memorial Day weekend this week. Despite the crowds, I quickly made my way over to the flowers that were $2.99 a pack. I love nothing more than a good deal- and I figured that I could buy a bunch of flowers and still stay within a reasonable budget! I chose orange marigolds, purple crawly flowers called Verbena Imagination, and red Salvia. The staff was very helpful and friendly and even loaded everything into the back of my car for me. Between a large bag of soil and all of my flowers, I spent about $47. I bought 11 packs of flowers to cover my five window boxes. Honestly, I ended up buying way too much- because although the boxes look a little sparse now, if all goes according to plan- they will fill out like crazy once they get better established. Knowing how things took off last year, I did not want to overcrowd the boxes. The rest of the flowers ended up in little pots that are now decorating my front stoop. Before I left the nursery, I also stopped into the country shop and bought a delicious very berry crumble top pie! So worth it!
I am so glad that I took the time yesterday to do some planting! There is nothing like getting your hands into the soil and spending time outside. Plus, although today is mild, the sun is currently hiding behind some clouds, and I don’t know whether it will come back out today.
What have you guys been planting so far this year?