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FRIDAY FINDS

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I’ve heard that you should plant peas on St. Patrick’s Day. If I were to do that it would require a chisel and blow torch to get through the soil, which currently resembles an ice cube. In fact next week I’ll show two actual soil ice cubes. But that’s a long story and one best saved for another post.

Daffs pushing
I don’t know what daffodil this is. I planted it years before I bothered about things like names and bloom times. It’s clearly an early bloomer and thanks to the micro-climate it lives in next to the house, it is the first thing to emerge every year. When I pulled everything else out of this bed, I saved it. I love how it’s just pushing mulch out of the way like nothing is going to stop its march on spring.

In any case, it’s a sign that the first bits of gardening are starting to happen. Last weekend I pruned back my Limelight, Incrediball and ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas. This weekend I’ll sow my first indoor seeds, nearly two weeks later than I did last year. It’s taken me a little longer to get going this year and I’m OK with that. It’s a little less time spent tending baby plants. And I’m trying hard to grow everything a little smarter this year.

I like to watch some gardening television at this time of year. It’s almost like warm-up for getting back in the garden. Fortunately new episodes of “Gardener’s World” started on BBC last week so I got to watch Monty Don trying to keep a brave face whilst gardening in the snow last week. I used CactusVPN’s Smart DNS service to catch my favorite BBC shows, but if you’re looking for something a little easier and slightly more above board, “Love Your Garden” with Alan Titchmarsh and “Big Dreams, Small Spaces” with Monty Don working with homeowners to redo their yards are both available on Netflix in the U.S.

HGTV photo

Speaking of gardening television, we all know that there is pretty much no gardening left in HGTV any more, but I feel like they don’t even try anymore. I saw some pictures of their new Smart Home and the landscaping is pathetic. Why can’t they dedicate even a little bit of the budget to some decent landscaping?

Linda at Each Little World shares some of the plants she orders every year and it’s one of my favorite posts of the year. It’s clear that Linda is an excellent plant researcher and more far less susceptible to the  “ooh, I want that” kind of impulse buys I try in vain to avoid. The Adiantum x tracyi fern she ordered is stunning. 

Confession: I hate corned beef and cabbage. With a name like Erin you’d think I’d be a little more into the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal (that I’ll be forced to pick at and end up eating a potato on Saturday), but I just can’t get into it. But I could do a St. Patrick’s Day cake like this

Will you be getting out in the garden this weekend?

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11 Responses

  1. Don’t you love to go out this time of year and find daffodils with little brown hats?
    Linda does find the best plants. I too am a ooooo shopper. I always have a list but my eyes always lead me astray.
    I don’t like Guinness so I wouldn’t like the cake. I will have a wee dram of Irish whiskey with my corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.
    Have a good weekend.

  2. Erin, when you say you pruned your hydrangeas, do you mean the old blossoms or the whole plant ? And I agree with the HGTV schedule. My long time favorite was “A Gardeners Journal” many years ago.

    1. In this case I was pruning Limelights, Incrediballs and an Annabelle, so I prune those relatively hard. The Incrediballs and the Annabelle get cut to about a foot from the ground. I prune my Limelights fairly hard just to manage their size. I don’t prune my mountain hydrangeas because they also bloom on old wood.

  3. Erin, the cake sounds really good! I wish that I was out in the garden doing cleanup but we have a good foot of snow on the ground. Living in northern Minnesota shorter growing season. I can’t wait to get out there and start the clean up. Happy gardening!

  4. They should remove the G in HgTV since they no longer have any good shows on the topoic. I too loved Gardeners Journal as well as several other gardening series. As a lot of my gardening knowledge was self taught it was books and TV shows that were my source of learning.
    Warmer in my neck of the woods so have been cleaning up the gardens , doing some dividing and replanting of perennials and making list of what I need to purchase this spring. Such a great time for dreaming of beautiuful gardens to come!.

  5. My mom’s family was French/German and my dad’s Irish. I only remember her making corned beef and cabbage once and I hated it. And there were leftovers which of course we had to eat. Don’t think I’ve ever eaten it since. The meal I’ve made a few times for Saint Pat’s is salmon with wild rice/asparagus salad and potato/watercress soup for starters. I’ve made beef stew with Guinness and have always been going to make a Guinness cake but never have. Look for Darina Allen’s “A Year at Ballymaloe” cookbook for real Irish cooking.

    Spent an hour and a half outside on Sunday picking up pods and sticks. It was lovely. But temps in the day and nighttime mean we are not at Spring yet. Typically our pond ices out between 3/24 and the end of the month and it is just barely melting at the edge.

    You are the person with the variegated Aralia, right? I thought it was your garden where I saw it. Can’t wait to get back to Monty. Thanks for the heads up. Have you ever watched the mystery series “Rosemary and Thyme”? Fun, UK series with plants and gardens at the center.

    1. I like your St. Paddy’s day meal much better! Sounds delicious. Interesting that your pond is slower than usual to melt. That’s a good measure of where we’re at weather wise.

      Yes, I’m the one with the Aralia. Oh and I love Rosemary and Thyme!

  6. I totally agree on broadcasting more gardening shows. It seems like all you see now are cooking shows. How would one contact someplace like HGTV and voice your opinion concerning this? You are correct in saying the landscape on the SmartHouse really needs some sprucing. You know, saving energy is good on the inside but you’ve gotta look out all those windows at some point and at what? I’m thinking if there were gardening show- how shows that maybe, it might inspire some neighbors to get up from their recliners and spruce up their yards too. All of these cooking shows tell us what recipes to cook with what you grow from your garden But very few offer suggestions on How to grow these things. I remember a few years back where I could not wait until Saturday morning to watch Merrifield Gardens questions and answer show. This too is gone from TV.

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