Hope Springs Eternal

It’s a rainy, dreary Sunday – indulging myself in indoor hobbies and this morning it’s gardening.

I’ve mentioned Winter Sowing seeds before (here and here), something I’ve been a fan of for years – it works.


My efforts are well underway. Some of the milk jugs had snow inside them (last weekend’s storm), but this week the seedlings are taking off as though that blast of chill startled them awake.


Knautia  on the left and closely Planted Pam’s Choice Foxglove on the right. The foxglove seed is at least 8 years old, so I didn’t expect such great germination. It’s a biennial – doesn’t bloom its first year, just sets a base of leaves that look like most weeds. Will have to mark where I plant them (and give away oodles).

The knautia are hardy here and have pretty neat seed heads (above is the knautia in maroon and lavender with seed heads), so I’ve planted white plus that wonderful deep maroon and lavender.


Short Blue and White Columbine on left. I’d run out of the larger milk containers I prefer for sowing. The smaller ones work but will have to be planted out sooner (and watched for overheating more closely).


Today’s efforts are centered on the “warm weather” seeds – eggplants, tomatoes and peppers. Many folks winter sow everything, but for these I like bottom heat and pushing them to get to a nice size for planting out. My new growing season is shorter than the previous home and I want to grab every moment. I’m pre-germinating the seed (detailed instructions here) then I’ll move it to the “root trainers” on a heat mat under shoplights. There’s a phrase “hope springs eternal” – last time I filled the four root trainer trays and got heavy into indoor seed starting – I lost almost all of them to damping off (I think the well water must really have those spores, never had such an issue previously). But, I’ve got a plan – we’ll see if it works. Today’s efforts also include mailing a few gift seed packets off and starting more herbs in jugs.


The beds during last week’s snowstorm and today (time to get the weed wacker out). The lowest bed is where I planted most previous year’s potted bulbs. They get a bit stressed in ‘too hot’ pots over the summer, so I’m taking what lived and nursing them with good soil plus bulb fertilizer. Hope to then get them in the ground to naturalize once they go dormant in a few months.

I’m also giving a go at Lavender cuttings  (and a few others) in the milk jugs. My endeavors will yield  either abundance of plant material or lots of food for the compost bins. Fingers crossed for the former.

This post is participating in Sundays in My City at Unknown Mami. 

18 comments on “Hope Springs Eternal

  1. I so’w’ have to get on this gardening thing. You have inspired me. . .I’m getting started this week.

    Thank you so much for your comment: and I totally agree. . .if it’s not chocolate then what’s the point ~ even if half the cake slid to the counter…:) I also think I like the unedited photo of my girls the best too. Thanks for your opinion.

  2. Keetha says:

    We’ve been having 80 degrees here for two weeks, now they’re saying we may have a frost tonight. I hope the green things that have started growing in my flowerbed will survive the blast. Your snow pictures give me hope.

    I found your comment today, but couldn’t reply to you via e-mail ’cause you are a “no reply commenter” when I get the e-mail alerting me to your comments. (You can fix that on your profile I believe.)

    Anyway – – – I do so much wish that Shadowlawn was restored as it was when it was the home of Isaac and Charlotte. I would enjoy that so much more – – – the museum “stuff” could go in ANY building. But – – – no one asked me for my opinion!

    Yes, I too would rather not have the red wall – – – though I will be sharing about that exhibit for the exhibit content itself at a later time.

    Thanks for your interest.


  3. Maggie says:

    Keetha – I have some petunia in pots against the house that were covered in snow and now look fine and are blooming (was going to post a pic of that – I NEVER knew they were so hardy, just always thought “warm weather plant”). I suspect most of your greens will live, although they’re better off with the insulation of snow, they’re close enough to the ground that the close to earth space will be warmer.

    Thansk for letting me know – I’ll check my profile. I’ve created a yahoo id that’s just for blog related stuff, so it’s ok to get email.

  4. BLOGitse says:

    oi, oi, oi – you’ve been very active! Our spring is not that far – we got snow the other night, melted already thought – but sun’s shining right now = it’s getting better day by day. 🙂
    Have a good week ahead!

  5. I am always impressed with people that take the time to germinate their own seeds. I know the ends does justify the means in this case. Glad to see you have some snow, really, really worrying about our summer with such little rain fall this winter.

    • Maggie says:

      Seeds do let you choose more variety than the store, for most folks not a real money saver (unless they do the winter sowing milk jug thing and swap/trade to get seeds). Amazingly, most catalog seed is now about $3.95 a pack plus shipping, some chi chi seed more (that plus sterile seed starting mix, heat pads, lights) – it’s for people who want to grow things more than anything else. I’m one of those, I just love hte miracle of a seed or cutting turning into a plant. Give away a lot once it’s big enough to hand off.

  6. Debra Tramontana / 875 hwy 398 / Labadieville LA 70372 says:

    I am not sure this is where to leave my comment… BUT I am enjoying all your writes… And, I will try to round you up a seed .. Do you have Moon Flowers? I think I have more of those around .. mine have not come up yet… So I am really looking forward to Lion Tail .. I love my yard / gardening … but have so much to learn .. I think I can learn here …
    I just started Pininterst also .. how do I put my pictures on?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Debra – you have to install the “pin it” button to your computer: http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/ Then when you’re on any page (that isn’t someone else’s copyright, if you want to do it right), you click the “pin it” button and follow the steps in the pop up window that will open.

      Will send you an email about the seeds.

  7. gosh, i admire your garden. so inspiring to start one – but my wild pigeons won’t let me – unless i find a way to keep them off 😦

    loved the photos. and looking forward to their progress photos 🙂 it is such a joy to see things grow!

    • Maggie says:

      I take a relaxed attitude, here’s hoping they suvive the upcoming neglect that will no doubt pop up due to my work schedule – if not – it’s food for the compost and was an enjoyable activity. Although I lined the veggie beds, I’m curious if the flower beds can be done unlined (voles – eat most but not everything) – so we may be looking at carefully grown vole food. At least I’ll find out this year.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this post, and the photographs are lovely. Your seedlings look so healthy! What a lovely garden you are going to have this year. It’s always hard when the weather is wintery and you are waiting for spring, but with all your hard work you will definitely have the little plants ready when it comes!

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks April – it will be a lovely garden if the new garden beds get built. If I try to keep them alive in pots over my hot hot summers, they’ll be limping along looking a tad sad.

  9. unknownmami says:

    I love your gardening endeavors. My husband planted some of the seeds that you sent, but did not label or keep track of what he was planting. Interesting surprises, I guess.

  10. […] This week we are featuring two posts that celebrate spring: Spring by B-Attitude and Hope Springs Eternal by ceo a’s draiocht. […]

  11. Good post. Well written and informative. 🙂

    I found you through Gallery of Favorites’ feature this week and I’m now following you by email.

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