Twiddling My Green Thumbs

DSC_0024It’s still January.  Boy oh boy this month is creeping by.  I keep checking my Mercury News calendar to be sure I haven’t missed any garden chores.  It’s a short list.

Protect frost-tender plants. Check.  Winter weeding. Check. Watch out for snails and slugs.  Haven’t seen ’em.  And finally, if it’s to cold and wet, order spring seeds. I did that ages ago.

I pruned the fruit cocktail tree, gave the compost a few spins and checked on the worms. I put out a large bag of laundry lint for the squirrels, and made a delicate wreath of the same for the birds.

Today, in need of a few hardware store items, I quickly perused the garden section.  Ho-hum to that as well.

Can you hear me tap, tap, tapping my green thumb? I’m suffering from a serious case of garden withdrawal.

How are you managing the mid-winter doldrums?

Mercury News Garden Calendar: An Annual Tradition

DSC_0047Our local paper publishes a garden calendar every January. The 2013 version arrived with Saturday’s paper. The calendar is a single page, always beautifully illustrated, with general gardening guidelines arranged by month.

I hang the calendar on the back of the garage door and refer to it throughout the year. It doesn’t hold any special advice or information that I couldn’t easily find online, but I hang it up anyway and check in to be sure I’m on track.

I used to be a haphazard gardener. My intentions were good, but also easily derailed when my boys were young. Months would pass before I checked in with the calendar again, but I hung it up just the same.

In this era of declining print, I wonder how long ‘the papers’ will stay in business?  Though I enjoy the immediacy of the internet and the incredible access to information, I still enjoy the feel of a newspaper.  It’s fun looking forward to the yearly calendar.  We check the local section for “spare the air” days and my boys check the weather.  Yesterday’s news is great for catching debris when you re-pot a plant.  You can even add it to your compost pile.

Of course newsprint comes from lumbar, so less paper means more trees.  I can certainly get behind that.  Change is both good and inevitable, but as annual rituals go, I’ll be sorry if and when this one is gone.

For a closer look at the San Jose Mercury news Garden Calendar (available, of course, online) follow this link.  Illustrations by Dave Johnson.