Blue skies and gentle breezes beaconed for me to get outside despite the cool temperatures. Afterall, it was so warm and toasty indoors and so much left on the “winter list to do”. Ah, but that sunshine looked so inviting…and the encouraging nicker from the horses gave way to this soul.
Lassen County – for that matter, anywhere in north counties can be speculative for approaching any outdoor activities. One minute it could be raining, the next minute snow could be falling and quite possibly the sun may peak out finding us shedding our multi layered attire.
With that knowlege given, the garden is oft times neglected even with the most stalwart gardener. Yet, there is no excuse for not getting into the greenhouse where snow may be on the rooftops, but always the promise of solar warmth found within – so I ventured in.
Months of neglect revealed the planted vegetable garden located within literally had gone to seed. Four foot stems from carrots weaved in and out of the open grid countertops. Frost tender potted plants spilled over their containers, some finding root in the soil below the pots. Spilled seeds from earlier plantings also took root in the moist soil on the greenhouse floor. Creeping thyme now covered stepping stones and sadly the zonal geraniums turned to mush. Clearly the greenhouse could not sustain the natural solar heat collected from the daytime as the evenings of subfreezing temperatures permeated the triplex walls and roof. This gardener had her work cut out for days to come.
Without thinking, the cool temperatures found me a donning polar fleece sweatshirt as I went out to work. That type of material became a marvelous attractant for seed collection and it didn’t take long that seeds peppered and clung to me. One of my neighbors stopped to visit and indicated the seeds could be used in his garden if there was other means of collecting them. I could only laugh.
The scene gave pause for thought. How could these self starters and growth be utilized. Creeping thyme can be cut back and perhaps recycled in other locations of the garden if the root system is developed enough. Perhaps the cuttings can be planted in flats to see if they take hold first. Careful extraction of seedlings from the earthened floor could be transplanted into larger pots and moved outside with warmer weather. It will also be interesting to see what other seeds germinate once the weather warms up and the irrigation is turned on. It will be a springtime wonder to be certain!
One thing is certain – sometimes neglect can provide interesting outcomes. I must say, it isn’t one I would recommend on a regular basis, but surprises can be fun!
Have a great weekend.