from the ground up


Preparing to prepare…

Time keeps rolling on, days into weeks.  Glancing at the calendar, anxious gardeners, such as myself, can’t help but get a little excited about the approach of spring.

But mother nature has insisted on reminding us that we do live in a zone 4 growing climate.

There have been no footsteps into the greenhouse, yet.

But soon, these tables,

and baskets,

will be full and growing.  Soon.

But before that happens, we have quite a lot of preparing to do.

Yes, those are weeds behind that frosty plastic (yikes!). They need to be cleared out, after the autumn neglect.

The snow is melting on the outside of the greenhouse, which means the temperatures inside are warm!

And a sure sign that spring is on its way, at least on the calendar…

Hooray for thoughts of spring!

And now…some shoveling is in order, to get into that warming greenhouse…

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Plant Profile: Air Plant.

Common Name: Air plant

Latin Name: Tillandsia species

Family: Bromeliaceae: Bromeliad family

Growth Requirements:  Air plants are epiphytes, often growing attached to other plants in their native habitat.  They are not parasitic plants, but only grow attached to others externally by clinging to bark or nestled on a branch.  They are also aerophytes, requiring no soil for growth and collect particles out of the air for food.  Air plants prefer filtered light, direct sun may burn the leaves.  As a houseplant, water by soaking in warm water, up to 2-3 times per week depending on temperature and humidity of environment.

Additional information:   There are over 500 species of Tillandsia. They range from small and spiny, to the large, smooth and very bulbous. Their flowers are small, but intricate and are a wonderful conversation piece.

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Our stack of daily mail has become much thicker within the last month.

It is filled with color.

And none of us can resist thumbing through the color filled pages.

Finding treasures to dream about.

Some are truly dreams in our climate…

But others are very real, indeed. Dreams that we will grow, soon.

Ahhh, yes. This color feels just right, amongst the white, brown and grey of February.



We’ve been away, spending some sun and snow filled days at my childhood home.  Before winter insisted on returning, we roamed (and ran) through yard and garden.  My little ones searching for signs of spring, as I walked a little slower, remembering how it all felt to me, not so long ago.

My parents are collectors of one of my favorite types of art, garden art.  Handed down to them or collected from near and far, each with a story or two.  Each piece is aged to perfection.

And before the snow flew, we found a few hints of spring.

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Snow Ghosts.

Massive, towering, seemingly animate. Giants sitting. With a coat of armor in an icy kingdom. A natural protector of majestic trees. With an illusion of cotton, but the feel of marble. Inside: quiet, still, a haven. Outside: harsh, rough, battered.  An amazing scientific phenomenon

And to experience these first-hand, you must be willing to go up. Up into the ice world on top.  All photos courtesy of Zach Heller.