It is always amazing to me how quickly the time goes by from Christmas to April showers. I did my seed inventory last week and there are a few vegetables I need to either order or get from friends. When you save your own seed, there is very little buying and every year I have to buy less. But there is always that vegetable, herb, or flower I haven’t tried before and the seed packet or plant acts like a siren call to me.
This year I am going to try growing artichokes. Yes, the kind we buy in the store from California and that we eat by scooping out their leaves. I have done some research this winter and I just need to get them started quite early (probably yesterday) and this year I will do part in big pots and part planted in the greenhouse. Their season is quite long so I will need to plan for protection in the fall when we start to get frosts. Every year there has to be some fun experiment.
I remember when I was a kid my dad grew peanuts. Now, peanuts in Michigan is no small feat. It was so much fun seeing how they grew and how to “cure” them. It was somewhat like growing potatoes. And then we roasted them in the oven. My dad was a very practical person but even he had to play around every year with something new.
So as the snow falls, or this year more like lots of rain, think about what you want your landscape to look like this year. This is the time to order seeds, shrubs, and trees for spring planting. Remember to consider how many ways a plant in your landscape can work for you. Make plantings dual purpose: an apple tree makes a great shade tree and hedge plants that have edible berries make great freezer treats in the middle of winter. They are also good shares with neighbors (as well as bird sightings).