No, it’s not a warm winter!

Looking back, I can’t believe I wrote that.

Just after New Year’s, the temperature plummeted. It’s been below freezing ever since: frequently below -10. So it’s not the time to go out in the garden, but it is time to catch up on garden reading, my coursework for the horticulture courses I’m taking, and reading through catalogs and dreaming of spring.

Vesey’s spring bulb catalog arrived in the mail on Friday, and calladiums are starting to appeal to me, even though they’re high maintenance (requiring starting indoors, then move them outdoors in June, then pull up the bulbs in October). But the colors are lovely, and they work in the shade, which we’ve got more and more of, as the years go by and the neighboring trees continue to grow. Don’t you think a bunch of these would look lovely beside a little splashing water cascade?

I’ll have to finish up my garden map and post a link here so you can see what I need to replant next year. I’m also thinking of enlarging the water garden, but it could be challenging to do that without making it really attractive to the raccoons! As it is, we have been covering both front and back water gardens every night (during growing weather, when the goldfish are in the ponds)… making the pond larger could make that task more difficult. We caught a raccoon at the back pond one evening–he was just reclining beside the pond with one paw stuck in the water (well, up to his shoulder) — gently waving his arm back and forth, looking to catch a goldfish. Very nervy, these urban raccoons!

Looking for more information about gardening? Here are two places to go: if you’re in a northern clime, wander over to Kathleen Purdy’s web site. For a list of blogs about gardening, check out Sheila Lennon’s list of links — lots of great information!That’s about it for tonight — take care!

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