Saturday, January 27, 2024

January Garden Club Meeting

Our neighborhood garden club had the first meeting of the year this week.  A master gardener and the local extension agent gave a very thorough presentation on gardening in our area of North Carolina along with timely tasks like the above.

They brought lots of seed catalogues and garden related books for us to peruse.  

This Green Prints magazine is new to me.  Are you familiar with it?
It looks like it would be appealing to anyone interested in gardening.
Particularly at this time of year when we are doing more dreaming and planning than actual gardening.

Our garden club established and maintains a Monarch Waystation.
Volunteers (like me) take turns tending to it throughout the season.
This is how it was looking last September when I was on duty.

Houseplants were being raffled at the meeting.
My number was called and I chose this Christmas cactus.
It was a generous sized clipping with a few buds on it.  I am thinking they are going to be white.  The clipping was wrapped in paper with a bit of soil attached.  On the way home from the meeting I stopped at the garden center for potting soil and a new pot to put it in.
Came home, potted it and gave it a drink of water to settle the soil.
I noticed it didn't have any roots and decided to check online for instructions for potting a clipping like this.  It seems the preferred method is to put it right into soil and not water it for a week or until the roots develop.  Hmmm... hope I didn't cause a problem by adding water when I did.  Luckily it wasn't a lot of water.  I guess you can tell when the roots are forming by giving the plant a little tug.  If it seems firmly planted, there should be roots growing.  
Time will tell how successful this little project will be.
So far it's looking just fine.
Have you ever propagated a holiday cactus?  If so, what was your experience like.  Enquiring minds would like to know :D.

Monday, January 15, 2024

A Reading Challenge for the New Year

Snow is not in the forecast here, but very cold temperatures are.  It will be going into the teens a few nights this week so I have a pile of drop cloths all ready to cover up my potted plants and star jasmine when the time comes.  Last year I came close to losing the jasmine and my potted gardenia to extreme cold weather.  I am hoping that covering them through the worst of it will allow them to survive the winter.
How are you all faring in this harsh winter weather?
I must say I have been enjoying the snowy photos so many of you have shared.  

While filling the bird feeder this morning, I noticed a few pansies in bloom.  The landscape is predictably barren now so the pops of color attracted my attention.

I snipped a wee bouquet for the windowsill of my home office.
A pretty reminder that spring will be our next season.

I've been in the reading mood since the new year began.
I just finished these three.  The Susan Wittig Albert series is one I have been making my way through for years.  I now have one left and have just ordered it.  Can't wait for it to arrive.

These were read years ago.  I have them displayed in my bookcase for their winter theme (and colors).  I'm thinking I might read that center book again while I'm waiting for my book order to arrive.  The author, Maeve Binchy, is sadly no longer with us.  I believe I have read all of her books.  I don't re-read many books as there are so many that interest me and only so much time.  However, her books about small town life in Ireland are just the sort that I am apt to read more than once.
Once I finish a book I enter it into Good Reads to keep track of what I have read and what I want to read in the future.  I noticed they have a reading challenge for the year and decided to take them up on it.  I have no idea how many books I might read in a year so I came up with what I thought would be reasonable yet still challenging.
I settled on 40 books.  It will be interesting to see if that is even close to realistic.  If I keep up at the pace I've been reading, I think I would far surpass it.  As I know there are other times of year when other things get in the way of reading, I tried to take that into consideration.
Time will tell.


Stay Warm ~ Stay Safe

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Settling In To A New Year

The scene on my calendar looks nothing like the scene outside my window.  Here the sun is shining and the temperature is 50 F.  No chance of snow anytime soon.  I always hope for at least one snowy day per winter.  Last year we had none.  It remains to be seen what will happen in the new year.

For the first time ever I had all of my Christmas decorations taken down and put away on New Year's Eve.  Usually it happens in early January.  For some reason this year I was ready to move on and have a fresh start on the first day of the new year.  
Now the house is clean and in order once again.
I left a few snowy touches in the hutch just in case the snow decides to fly.

I'm not one to make resolutions or select a word for the year.
Instead I tend to reflect over the year past and pull together my best plan for improving the areas that could benefit from some improvement.  After the excesses of the holidays, eating less and healthier always factors into my plan.  Moving more is addressed (over 10,000 steps yesterday and all 3 rings on the iWatch closed).  
Perhaps my biggest area to work on this year will be to step aside from certain situations that I know are beyond my control.  I am reminded of Doris Day singing "Que Sera Sera" (whatever will be, will be.  The future's not ours to see).  It really is so true.  I need to do better at remembering this.
With each of the areas I plan to work on, I hope to work towards them daily knowing that some days will be better than others.  

How about you?  Are you a word for the year or resolution maker?
I don't think it matters how it's done, but perhaps the important thing is to use the new year as an opportunity to take note of what is working well in one's life and what could use a bit of improvement.

May your 2024 be a year of good health and happiness!!