Monday, March 30, 2009

Bee counting project

I recently signed up to be part of the bee counting project. There is a group called the Great Sunflower that is drafting ordinary gardeners like myself to help count bees this summer. You sign up and receive a free packet of Lemon Queen sunflower seeds. You then grow these seeds and when your plants flower you count the bees that come to your sunflowers. There are instructions on how to do this at their website. If every gardener in the U.S. did this, then we could get a better idea of what damage the Colony Collapse Disorder has done to the bee population of the U.S. and Canada.

If you are interested in joining up, their website is:

This sounds like it could be a great project to do with kids or grandkids.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Paper Journal

I have started a paper gardening journal. I am trying to get more practice in creative writing and make my posts longer. When I am on the computer I seem to make my posts short but sweet. When writing in my paper journal I go for a longer post. Hopefully, I can make my computer posts longer and more interesting.

Well on to gardening. My seedlings are sprouting happily. I am surprised that I have had better germination rates with some inexpensive Burpee zinnia seeds and less than stellar germination rates from my expensive Thompson and Morgan marigold seeds ( okay they were free, but if I had to buy them then they would have been expensive). So far the total is 14 marigolds to 43 zinnias. Hopefully they marigolds will start popping up soon. My husband likes Marigolds and I would like to have some in my small border.

I am going to start some lavender seeds next week. They are lavendula augustifola "Blue Sky Elegance". They are supposed to flower the first year from seed. I shall find out. I am hoping to take some cuttings from some "Provence" and "Grosso" plants this fall. I am planning on buying some nice sized plants at the Lavender Festival in Blanco in June. I am so looking forward to going to the lavender festival this year. Last year my husband went and got some great pictures.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Marigolds and Zinnia

I just started some marigold and zinnia seeds in a seed starting medium in six packs. I was totally surprised to have started them on Monday morning and by Tuesday evening I had some seeds that had already germinated. I was not ready for this. I did not have my light put together and ready. I had to scramble this morning to get the light over the emerging seedlings. Now the excitement begins. I plan on setting these out in the garden in a few weeks. I should have at least one set of true leaves by then. I read MrBrownThumb's blog and got inspired. I already have a blog on Vox but this is mostly for my photography and general life stuff. Didn't have a home for my gardening side.

I got the marigold seeds from Thompson and Morgan as a bonus with the rest of my order. I always have good luck with their seeds. The zinnia seeds I picked up at Home Depot. Hope I have a good germination rate.

Propagation is the most fun anyone can have, in my opinion. That is why I went back to school and took horticulture classes. Propagation was my favorite. When those first seed leaves come popping out of the soil I really get excited. Now that my seeds are starting to germinate, I will be watching closely. That is the fun of gardening for me.