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February 26, 2005

Spring 2005 is now officially on its way in Zone 6.

I've het up the Ferry-Morse plant starters and jammed the seeds in; gotten my hands dirty for the first time this year. In a year when the world seems falling down drunk on its own fantasies; when quasi-moral rectitude doesn't include kindness to the least among us and value for the truth ... what else is there left to do but plant flowers?

I mean, really.

Which is to say, I started the heated terraria and punched in some seeds today. I'm not even sure what will come up, or how much of it I'll have to kill once it does (I overplanted the sod pellets).

What I did was twelve pellets of Texas (yeah, I know, but he's actually an up-east blueblood, so bite me) bluebonnets, twelve each of blue and white delphinium (delphinia?), twenty-four each cobalt-blue lobelias and twenty-four each forget-me-nots (myosotis). I also did two rows of pepper seeds for the hub, since he went to the trouble of pulling them out of the peppers; I might plant more later, I want to see if these germinate. They're from slips we bought at one or another garden center, last year (Lowe's, Siebenthaler, Groby, not sure), and I don't know if the seeds will germinate or not. As a matter of fact, since I don't know that for sure, I also don't know if it's even technically legal to reuse the seeds, even though we did all the dogwork to grow the plants, pull the peppers and harvest them.

I kid you not -- in some cases it actually is illegal, because it's considered trademark infringement, due to genetic copyrights that plant-genetics developing corporations are allowed to take out, to germinate your own plants the following year from seeds you harvested from plants you bought and grew on your property. (Just as an aside, they're selling these same copyrighted, illegal to propagate seeds for some staple crops to farmers in the quasi-free Iraq™ with the caveat that they're not allowed to collect and reuse them, either -- aint' it great to be free?)

Now, presumably this would be made manifestly clear somewhere on the plants, and I don't remember seeing that anywhere, and anyway I doubt anybody cares about the six or seven plants that will actually survive out of the dozen peat pellets I stuffed seeds into today ... but let's be honest, here. Corporations control every single iota of your life they possibly can, and it's entirely possible that what I did was illegal.

Ooh! I feel so dirty! I'm such an anarchist, eh?

Screw Monsanto. I don't think anybody really cares, but even if they do, let them figure it out -- it's not like we won't go somewhere and buy the same damned cayenne plants this year, if my in-house sprouting system fails as gloriously as it often does. Have I mentioned I have a black thumb when it comes to house plants? Yeah, I thought I remembered something like that ...

We also have a packet of cinnamon basil and one packet of pinks. They germinate in about half the time the others do, so I'll probably wait until at least some of the others have sprouted to plant them in the sod pots. I dearly love pinks, and we both like basil -- Mr. Dirt actually makes pesto several times a year from scratch, bless his heart -- though if I were honest, we've had better luck with herbs buying slips from the gardening stores than planting the seeds, if my memory serves. So those will probably be dropped a week or so from now, since the seeds I already started will probably germinate in a week and a half to two weeks (they would germinate naturally in two to three weeks, and the heated starters (without a timer, but I have them on one) are supposed to cut the germination time in half. If I wait a week and then hit the basil and the dianthus, I should be okay.

The amaryllis that somebody where I work gave me for Xmas (now, granted it didn't get socked into the pot and watered until after the first of the year, because the weather went all punk the week before Xmas), that was doing pretty well, has now started turning yellow and brown and drooping off the front of the mantel, as expected. Odds that I overwatered it? I give it 7:2. That's usually how I murder houseplants, it'd be no surprise if I just drowned the thing. Oh, well -- I tried. I'm just not good with plants inside the house, I've learned to live with that.

So now, I have to figure out what I'm going to do with half a dozen delphinium plants, half a dozen bluebonnets, and a dozen each dark blue lobelias and forget-me-nots. I have what amounts to a new front yard, with an entirely new pattern of sunny space, and I chose all the seeds for their sun-sensitivity (nothing I'm seeding in the laundry room this year is anything but a full sun or partial shade plant). What that means is, I have to plant them somewhere out front, since there's nowhere else they can be guaranteed anything like sun.

I guess that means I have to boot up the mildly defective (and apparently canceled) home/lawn/garden design software and fart about with locations. I'm guessing if I put the stuff in the corner where the front walk meets the driveway, on the sidewalk side but not too close to the corner, I can count on it living (if it makes it out of the laundry room, which has even odds) the few years most of it's intended to live. Because the plan is to replace the sidewalk between the front stoop and the driveway, somewhere in the next few years, with some kind of brick or pavers that look a hell of a lot like brick, since the sidewalk needs to be replaced and I'd rather go ahead and redo it in brick.

I found out Spring Hill doesn't have a 'brick and boards' retail store anywhere in the area -- it's a mail-order operation. I'm still hemming and hawing on that, with the consideration that even if I pay ten or fifteen bucks more for something at Siebenthaler, I've still come out on top because I don't have to pay shipping. Siebenthaler has local nurseries, so I wouldn't have nearly the questions about 'hardening to local climate' that I'll have about, say, the Cecile Brunner roses I ordered from the rose retailer in Austin, TX that was the only one that seemed to have them in stock. If it's done in Tipp City (which is twenty miles north of here) or in Cinci (fifty miles south), it's not a major concern; climatically, there's not a hell of a lot of difference from just north of the Ohio River basin to up around Toledo. I guess if I can't buy what I want from Siebenthaler, I should just suck it up and order it from Spring Hill. Their flowering almonds are bitchin' cheap -- less than fifteen bucks apiece, where I paid almost thirty bucks for the one I got at Groby a few years back -- and the weeping pussy willow I crave is around thirty bucks. I probably can schedule to have them shipped in early May, like I did the rosebushes -- that'll be a big help.

Of course, if the bastards had a brick-and-boards store somewhere in a sixty mile radius, I'd just go there and buy them ... but that's life, I guess.

Yeah, sure -- there are retail gardening centers, but most of them are outside the county I live in. Now, I have this theory that spending money in Ohio outside my county just encourages the stupid bastards who currently "run" (I put it in quotes because what they really seem to be doing is running it into the ground) my state, right now. If the money is going to go to a county and a municipality in my state that I don't live in (and, consequently, going to line the pockets of political shills in a municipality I don't live in), I might as freakin' well get them from Cinci as in the counties due south of here. Oh, and I'm quite sure they'll charge me tax, so if I'm going to pay taxes to a county that doesn't help me any, it's as good one as another.

HamCo isn't any worse than Warren, in other words. Both are equally guilty of lack of curiosity, in my book. I might as well give it to one as another.

And that's the truth. Plplplpl.

As Edith Ann might have said many, many times.

Posted by Melinda at February 26, 2005 10:29 PM


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