05-09-2014 Journal Entry–Plant Shopping Day   Leave a comment

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“Spring Has Definitely Arrived”

Yesterday was one of those days I look forward to every year.  My better-half and I both love this time of the year regardless of the work involved.  It was a day spent traveling around southern Maine visiting nurseries and buying the plants needed to complete this year’s garden. We like making a day of it and we visit as many nurseries as necessary to find the plants we’ve decided to grow.

For many years now we’ve shopped at a small nursery or what once was a small nursery along the border of Maine and New Hampshire.  In the intervening years that nurseries reputation has spread and it’s no longer considered  little.  Healthy plants should be the goal of any nurseryman or woman and these people are the best. We tend to find their plants healthier and produce better than those purchased elsewhere.  We spent at least an hour roaming through their greenhouses and making our selections. We picked up a few jalapeño and cayenne pepper plants and a selection of herbs to replace many of the ones that didn’t survive the winter.

We found some beautiful cherry tomato plants that should keep us in salad tomatoes until Fall.  Those kind of tomatoes are also added to our vegetable mixes and canned. There’s nothing like having a selection of tasty garden veggies in the middle of a cold and snow covered February.

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“The Rhubarb is Up”

We purchased a number of pickling cucumber plants that should deliver many dozens of cukes for making our Bread & Butter and Dill pickles as well as sweet and hot relishes.  If this year’s production is as good as last year we’ll be very busy come September.

One of the items my better-half desired was a licorice herb.  It’s leaves have a heavy licorice scent when heated.  I personally like fennel or star anise for that flavor but I’m keeping an open mind for now.  It would be a nice surprise if this new plant were easier to grow than the others and tasted better.  We found the plant at our fourth nursery we visited and were very pleased.  That plant can be difficult to find but certain nurseries are known for carrying the more unusual plants and we know them all.

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“The Sprinkler’s are Installed”

It made for a really pleasant day and we returned home tired but happy to have found everything we were looking for.  We should also have an excellent selection of herbs to harvest and dry this year to fill our requirements for the winter. Another week should get us past the danger of frost for this year and all of the new plants will be planted and left on their own to flourish for a month or two.

Our last purchase next week will be a large number of really fragrant marigold plants. We’ve learned over the years to plant them in and around the gardens to keep the critters away. Apparently small animals and even deer have a real aversion to those flower and their strong odor.  If that doesn’t work then I may be forced to go the high-tech route.  I have a neighbor who installed a system last year that has a motion activated sprinkler. If visited in the middle of the night by deer or other animals the sensors detect the animal and shoot a blast of water at the trespassers to scare them off.  It sounds too good to be true but I’ll keep an open mind.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

This morning is rainy and gray but the plants need the water and I need some time to loaf.  We’ll be back at it soon enough.  A few hours on the X-Box today should clear my head nicely.

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