“ Winds of March, we welcome you. There is work for you to do.
Work and play and blow all day. Blow the winter cold away.”
Here in Phoenix we get ready for Spring early. We don’t really have a Winter in our city, not a real one anyway. We will have some nights that get to freezing and the occasional rain storm but that’s about it.
March in my garden is always about flowers. I have such a hard time trying to decide which ones to purchase. I have such fun walking around the plant nurseries looking at flowers. I could spend hours there.
I only have a few pots I fill with flowers since they can get a little pricey and they don’t last long once the heat hits our city.
I have one huge pot that I reserve every Spring for flowers. I throw a whole mix of them in there and hope they survive at least until the summer. We get extreme temps here in the summer and nothing really survives well out there.
This month I worked on cleaning up and transplanting. If you have a garden, you know the upkeep of a garden never ends. There is always something to do everyday.
I got up early one Saturday morning and started sewing up new covers for my patio chairs. Everyone was still asleep so it was very quiet in our home.
I used an old shower curtain for the outdoor pillows. The design is a little busy but it was something I already had on hand and I am trying to stick to that 2020 goal of mine of using what I already have on hand. The animals on the print are really cute and whimsical, it does add some cheer to the garden . I used two prints to change things up. This is my trick to using small amounts of fabric, I just choose two patterns.
The chairs used to be really bad when I first got them. Another throw away item from my husband’s aunt when she moved to the Canary islands.
Some of my baskets I stained and filled with clippings from other plants.
I finished the garden bench. I started working on that last month.
Remember I used up some old paint my husband found cleaning out our mini shed. This poor old bench is on it’s last days I believe. My husband says it is held together with paint.
I still keep keep it around for my cement bird feeders I made from leaves in our garden. I love looking from our huge picture window in the back room at the birds eating off of it.
The quail are full grown now.
My husband built a place to keep their house up high away from predators. It used to be on the ground.
Now it is harder to get into. My husband will be working on another design later. Just more work added to our long list of fun projects to finish.
The new chicken coop is taking a bit longer, we were hit with that ugly old virus and we had to go shopping and prepare for other things first but we will get to that as well, just at a later time.
No bees yet, but we are hopeful we will get some wild ones like last time. That was such a gift. We still have honey left from those bees.My husband and I are planting all kinds of pollen plants like sunflowers and lavender which bees and butterflies love. We don’t use pesticides either.
I worked on garden gnomes as well. They still had their Winter outfits on.So much fun repainting and changing them up for the seasons. My kids bought me this garden gnome so I keep him around even with his little broken nose chipping away.
I also worked on a Spring bouquet using my bird planter. I bought it at a thrift store a couple months ago, such a pretty planter for less then a dollar. My daughter has her eye on this one, reminding me that when she gets her own place someday our home will be missing a few items of furniture and other things. I just laugh and say that just means I get to go shopping some more to replace things. I never get too attached to material items, but I am sure a hoarder of the sentimental (added that one for you Margaret)
It rained again this month. At one point our garden looked like a small pond.
There were some grey days but my grown kids made chicken and dumplings with their dad to add some warmth to a cold wet day. They are trying to get through the university closures the best they can and cooking is a nice distraction. It is especially hard being quarantined inside during grey wet days.
It isn’t like that now of course, so many different temps in one month. Petty soon the succulents my husband bought me for Valentine’s Day will have to come inside by a window. The heat kills all my succulents.
My husband and son worked on a new design for their hydroponics hobby. They are having fun experimenting with this new hobby of theirs. It’s a nursery of baby plants right now.
We also have been using some of what we have growing to add some fiber to our diets. We are trying to stay in as much as possible, avoiding people. Conserving on the food and supplies we have, hoping to stretch things far so as to avoid shopping out in the city. My husband and I used to shop once or twice a week buying fresh fruits and veggies, something my husband has done from his time with family in Italy.
In Europe they shop for small amounts of food throughout the week. Shopping for weeks at a time is not an easy thing to plan out. Anyway, one of the items we are using for fiber in our garden that we have plenty of right now are grape leaves. You can eat them raw or cook them.
I cut up parsley and grape leaves to add in place of lettuce. Lettuce is not easy to grow here in our hot desert sun. We have really nice neighbors and they will share Kale and lettuce with is from their garden and we share chicken eggs.
We actually were able to get a lot done considering the world is in a bit of a mess right now. On our local news they are reporting that more and more people are heading to the nurseries here in our city to start gardening. They will love it. It is hard to get going especially here in our desert but even with disappointments we love growing things and seeing all this life pop up. Here in the city we do a lot of our gardening in 5 gallon buckets. So even if you live in a city, those 5 gallon buckets make great gardens too.
Oh, and I can’t forget this…surprises from the garden. Sometimes I will walk around and see something growing that we didn’t plant. Last month it was lettuce, which I think somehow lettuce seeds blew into our garden from our neighbors garden. Our neighbors next door to us came over to tell us they had a tomato plant growing by their pool that just popped up one day and how they were eating fresh cherry tomatoes from it. I love garden surprises like that. This months surprise was very colorful. Tiny yellow pom poms. I do not know what this plant is but it’s pretty so it makes me happy.
It reminds me of a wild desert plant I always come across when I am hiking in the Spring. Right now the trails are very crowded because everyone stuck inside are hitting the trails. Now it’s not safe to hike because of all the people around. They are so crowded that they are talking about closing the trails.I am missing my little yellow flowers that I normally see hiking. The other morning walking around my garden I discovered this beautiful surprise. What a special gift from above, so many things to thank God for. Guess I didn’t need to go hiking, some just showed up right in my garden. I will have to ask my husband if he planted this, I didn’t tell him I love these flowers. Maybe it will be a surprise for him as well. Photos below are what they look like in the wild on the trails.
That’s it for this month. Stay safe out there and thank you to everyone sending prayers and kindness to the whole world right now. Happy gardening everyone.
Extra update- Asked my husband about that tiny yellow pom pom plant and he said he has no idea what that plant is but he noticed it popped up the other day as well. So it was a nice surprise for us both. Later he looked it up and discovered it is just a weed and invasive. I told him I still love it, so leave it be. If it starts choking out our other plants then we can always feed it to the chickens. For now I will walk outside every morning and enjoy my little pom pom weed from above. Weeds don’t get enough attention and the bees and butterflies love them just as much as I do.
Hopefully we will get a chance to walk the trails and see some in the wild. If it is crowded though we will be driving away. To think, here I was missing those tiny little yellow ball flowers…what the heck are they called? And then they just showed up. Like Christmas for me. All of us need to look around and see the signs and gifts that God is always leaving for us all, even in times of stress there are moments of beauty.