Spring Surprise

       We stopped by the nursery on the way home from our camping trip and picked out some colorful flowers. Granny was delighted with the ones we picked out for her and showed us just where to plant them so that she could see them from her window. We could feel the nearing rain in the air, and Heather and Powpow helped me get them planted right before the heavy rain started. Granny even planted one!
     Powpow is a master gardener, not by official title, but by experience and results. He recommended we put a little water in the hole before adding each plant. Granny wanted to try something new, which she shared with us the next morning when we returned to plant the Mandevilla beside her trellis. She shared that she read to put a cup of oats in the hole you are putting the plant into to help it retain moisture. We did, with Emily and Heather laughing about cooking oatmeal and dirt. It kind of had a mud pie making fun appeal to it.
     We planted our own flowers and herbs when we walked home, planning to re-use the pots and the topsy turvy planter that were still on the porch from last season’s plantings. Joseph helped the girls carry the dead plants from the pots to the compost pile, and then they added fresh dirt to each flower pot.
     Emily and Joseph both enjoyed walking onto the porch and picking grape tomatoes from the plant in the topsy turvy planter last year. Very few of those tomatoes actually made it inside to serve. The planter stayed in its spot on the end of the porch through the winter, right where Mitch added the special bolt strong enough to support it. We had the new tomatoe plant ready to put in the planter, but when Heather reached up to take the planter down, a bird flew out! It actually flew into the side of her hand. She held her camera above the small hole in the top and took a picture of the nest with four tiny eggs. I hope we didn’t disturb them so much that the Mamma bird will leave them. It will be fun to hear the baby chirps inside the planter as they hatch and grow.
     Last year I read an interesting planting idea, and with our hanging tomato plan thwarted, I adapted that to our needs. We took one of the moss lined types of hanging baskets (also emptied of last year’s dirt) and made two tiny holes in the bottom of it. Then we added two tomato plants, upside down. I didn’t have the foam circle used in the bird nest planter so I put pieces of peat pots around the plants to keep them from completely falling through the holes. Then we added more dirt, a cup of oatmeal, and flowers on top. The rest of the herbs and flowers went into the flower pots and front flower bed.

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