" To plant trees is to give body and life to one's dreams of a better world " Russell Page

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why don't you: Spring preparations

Decades ago, the fabulous and frivolous Diana Vreeland (fashion editor for Bazaar and US Vogue - yesss there have been fashion geniuses looong before AW!) inaugurated a funny and quite bizarre column called Why don't you. Hopping Mrs Vreeland doesn't mind I will borrow her title and open a new rubric for gardening tips.

Do you feel the same itching and tickling in your gardening fingers? I guess you too can't wait any longer to get out there and poke at the green tips of tulips and daffs and crocuses, huh?
Well, we're getting there - the yearly mystery of the spring awakening is slowly taking control of our gardens and terraces again! And boy, is that a nice feeling!

But before we jump again into the glorious dirt, let us still calm a little and recapitulate some nice and useful tips that might come handy one day!

1. Transform your long handled garden tools into measuring sticks by writing/etching/painting (whatever you feel like) a measuring tape on the handle. Might spare you the second way back into the tool shed when you will need to measure something...

2. Put coffee filters, even used ones, into your small pots in order to keep the soil from leaking out. That's a smart one, hm? Thank you Pinterest...

3. Use coffee grounds and finely broiled egg shells as slug protection around plants. It is not 100% infallible, but it is ecological and provides some organic food as well.

4. Make rooting booster solution for cuttings by macerating willow branches in water, those furry pussy willow branches you put in your vase or any other type of willow you prune. Haven't tried that out yet, but given the price of rooting hormones it's worth a try.

5. Create a double mulching barrier with wetted old newspapers (guess the roses and larks won't mind the old headlines) before you cover everything nicely with bark or any other mulching material you use.

6. Do please remember to sterilise your scissors before pruning those beloved and often pricey roses, since some carry viruses which can infect other roses... I learned this on my own expenses... and nothing saddens me more than to see a sick and lingering rose.

7. Use the resulting branches of the spring pruning to create protective cages or supports for other sprouting plants. Keep in mind that some plants ( willows and hazel) root very easily, so control before you get lost in a willow forest...

8. If the lucky you happens to own a garden shed, try using a funnel attached to the wall to prevent all the cords and wires from tangling.

9. Use an old and cheap lamp cage as a climbing support for fast growing plants like ivy and small growing clematis. It would not be a bad idea to use a pot with water reserve in order to make watering easy and more effective. You can make quick "fake" but very effective topiary while you wait for those boxes to grow.
10. If anything else fails, give your plants a little moral encouragement...

The depicted images are not mine (courtesy of Pinterest again), but are lovely and you can easily find the sources on my pinterest board "Chlorophyll & Co"


  1. Dobre rady. Szczególnie 1, 7, 8 i z pewnością z nich skorzystam. Dziękuję, że byłaś u mnie w odwiedzinach. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.
    Good advice. In particular, 1, 7, 8, and will benefit from them. Thank you, you were in my visit. Yours sincerely.

  2. I love all the ideas but especially 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Thanks for the info. Need to jot them down :-).

  3. A wonderful post Rosa. There is a lot to learn.
    greatings Marijke

  4. Thank you all! Great to see that you found interresting tips! I will definitely try to continue this new chapter.