Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spring dreams

We're having lovely warm weather this week. It has been sunny and clear every day, with temperatures reaching the upper fifties and lower sixties. We've been playing outside every afternoon and going out in lightweight jackets. I feel so light and free when the weather is mild; I can get my small Bears out the door in just a few minutes and being outdoors is good for all of us.

Our trip to the botanic garden earlier in the week was delightful. The sun shone, there was no wind and by the time we went home for lunch, we were fine without jackets.

The warmth isn't expected to last, unfortunately. The forecast shows colder temperatures and there's even a decent chance of snow at the end of the weekend and into the early part of next week. It is only early February, after all. It would be unreasonable to expect winter to be over already.

But this kind of warm spell always gets my hopes up. I begin to think about my spring planting and I feel drawn to gardening books and websites.  For me, annual gardening is a lot like sewing and crocheting; the color-planning and plant-selection processes are the best parts.

Last year, I planted wildflower seeds in an empty planter bed in our backyard. I bought a mixture from an online garden supply company; it was meant to be a varied assortment and it came in a shaker can. My small Bears and I spent a morning clearing the space, preparing the soil and planting the seeds.

I was a little disappointed. There were about three to four varieties growing, instead of the 20+ promised on the can's label. The growth was predominantly cornflowers, or bachelors' buttons, with a couple of other species I was unable to identify. Pretty, but boring.

This year, I'm dreaming of a wider variety, more colors, more different types to cut for indoor bouquets. I love the look of cut flowers in a plain glass jar. Last year I combined the few wildflowers we grew with perennials from the yard and I liked the results. I had a new bouquet every few days.

I've been poking around online and I think I have found the ones I want, a Southwest-specific seed assortment which seems very promising. I want the bright colors and lots of blooms, the variety and the fullness of a field of wildflowers right here in my backyard. I may be disappointed again but I'm willing to take my chances one more time.


  1. We've had a stint of warmer days too and it feels oh-so-lovely!

    This time of year I always start planning all the things I'm going to plant too. Sadly, a lot of that stuff never gets done. I feel like I fall asleep somewhere between March and May and suddenly everything is supposed to be in the ground (vegetables) and I've missed the mark. Ugh.

    1. I know what you mean, Jenny. I think I end up getting so distracted by all the fun things we can do when it's warm that I don't pay attention to the harder stuff. I think we're giving up on vegetables this year; we've tried to plant them year after year and very little happens. I wish we had more space, and water.

  2. Hi There,

    I popped over to your blog on Rhonda's recommendation on her blog. I ended up reading all the way back through. What a very nice way you have of sharing some of your family's daily doings through your blog.

    Like you I love wildflowers. I live in the midwest so I am sure we don't have as long of a growing season as you do but I appreciate them when they are in bloom. I have bought the canned mix like what you planted last year and I was disappointed too. I like your idea of the southwest mix. I hope it does well for you. Wildflowers in a mason jar are just beautiful.

    Have a great day.

    1. Hi Softie! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for the compliments. I appreciate it so much. I will be checking out your blog too.

      I am hopeful about these seeds. I haven't ordered them yet; I want to see if I can find them for sale online with free shipping, or if it's more affordable to just buy seed packs for the same flowers at a local nursery. I would love to have them work out well for me, though! I'm dreaming of a lush crop this summer. :)

  3. I know just what you mean - the first sign of milder days and I am dreaming about spring and summer. I envy you your mild days. It's been bitterly cold here this last week and my hands and lips are so chapped. Good luck with the planting. I am a bit hit and miss in the gardening department but I do manage to grow sweet peas successfully each year and I do love them, they are a very "english country" sort of flower.

    Gillian x

    1. Thank you. Oh, I love sweet peas! They're so pretty. Chapped hands and lips are a sad fact of life in the high desert; you would not believe how much lotion and lip balm we use around here, especially in the winter. It's a beautiful but harsh place, for sure.


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