When you picture quintessential Cape Cod, visions of sand dunes, gentle bay breezes and rose covered arbors come to mind. Ever since honeymooning on Nantucket in 1980, I’ve been in love with the look of rose covered cottages. After we moved here into our very own Cape Cod cottage , I didn’t waste any time in planting all kinds of roses. Red, pink, yellow, rambling, climbing, bushes. I tried them all. But I couldn’t duplicate the abundant cascades of color that I remembered from Nantucket. I would buy a healthy plant about to burst forth with blooms, only to have it drop all its leaves within a few weeks. Or, I’d have a fast growing climber with healthy, bushy growth…of leaves, that is, not many blooms. Between the diseases I couldn’t control, the wrong varieties I planted, and my less than knowledgeable pruning practices, my rose covered yard never quite fit the picture in my head. I figured that growing a successful rose garden was a skill that would remain elusive to me. Maybe that was the appeal of roses….the mystery of growing perfect blooms, known only to those who know the secrets. I was convinced that I’d always suffer from rose arbor envy as I rode along Route 6A admiring other’s successes. Continue reading Coming up Roses!
I spent a couple of days last week cleaning up the gardens from all the mess left behind by the winter storms ( and all the leaves I neglected to remove in the fall). Now comes the fun part…deciding what to plant! I have a small vegetable garden. It’s a 6×10 raised bed and I usually buy small plants from our Garden Center to plant in late May. Last year I grew some fantastic tomatoes that were started from seed by the garden experts in Snow’s own greenhouse. I do like the instant gratification of using transplants, but I thought I might try growing some plants myself from seed again. I say again, because I’ve been this route before but haven’t had much success with growing healthy plants from seed.
I actually saw a few crocuses fighting their way through the half frozen mulch the other day. For me, seeing those first signs of spring means it’s time to break out of the winter doldrums and get a jump on spring cleaning! Now, it’s not that I like to clean as much as it is that when my house is sparkling clean, it makes me feel all sparkly too! It used to be that if you looked in my cabinet, you’d think I was collecting spray cleansers, there were so many. But the reason I had all those half full bottles of cleansers is that I kept trying new ones to find the miracle one that would work! My right bicep was getting quite a bit bigger than the left due to all that hard scrubbing! But, if you look in my cabinet now, all you’ll see is a tote box with a half dozen cleaning products. Continue reading Spring Cleaning
Spring is in the air. We all know what that means. Birds happily chirping after their long flight back north, and crocuses popping up through the last snows of winter.
The official first day of spring is March 20th. The exact date, which is either March 20th or 21st, is dependant on the vernal equinox, which is when the sun sits directly above the equator. The word “equinox” comes from the Latin language, meaning equal nights. Some people believe that on equinox day, you can balance an egg on its end.
Some say that there is no Spring on Cape Cod, that the gray skies and cold, blustery months continue straight into the warmer weather in May. But if you take a look around, you’ll soon see some sure signs of Spring:
Snow’s has one of the largest collections of jigsaw puzzles on the Cape. I pass by them many times a day but other than admiring the beautiful artwork on some of them, I never really thought about doing one. Felicia Shea is our jig saw puzzle expert. She’s completed hundreds of puzzles. Many of them she glues together when finished and frames them as a beautiful work of art. I knew they were good for children as a learning tool for coordination, problem solving and self esteem, but I didn’t know that working on jigsaw puzzles was so beneficial for us adults and our aging brains. And any exercise that doesn’t involve huffing and puffing is fine with me! I was fascinated by what she told me:
Snow’s announced The Benefit Bead of the Month Program in August of 2010. It features the popular, blown glass beads from My/Cape My/Town designs. Each month, a new bead will be featured that has been exclusively designed for a local organization. A donation of ten dollars will be given to that organization for each Benefit Bead that is sold
during the featuredmonth and the months that follow in the program. Available exclusively at Snow’s, each bead is accompanied by a
gift card with a description and logo of the charity. The hand blown, glass beads can be worn on bracelets, necklaces and hoop earrings available at Snow’s. Like all the beads in our MyCape/MyTown collection, they also fit on most Pandora, Troll and other collectible bead bracelets. Some of the other local organizations that are part of the program are Habitat for Humanity, Independence House, Alzheimer’s Services and Nauset Regional Schools.
I was surprised to see a robin at my suet feeder this morning. First, because I thought they went south for the winter and it’s still January, and I thought robins were only ground feeders. So I asked one of the bird experts in our Garden Center. She told me that most robins stick around on Cape Cod feeding on winter berries and fruits. She said that they aren’t seed eaters but would love us to put out berries and other soft fruit such as apples or cherries. I put up bird feeders in winter with black oil sunflower seed. This leaves a lot of non-seed eating birds out in the cold. So, I was glad to hear that there is a way to keep my robins happy in the winter too! I once saw a flock of Bluebirds at my suet feeder in February!
The most common winter birds you’ll see include:
Continue reading Feathered Friends