Wednesday, April 1, 2009

At Least it's April

I am completely confounded by the folks who claim they will at some point between now and my death (although I'm sort of taking a leap of faith here - they really haven't committed to a time frame) to fix my fancy Dacor ovens with the dark green glass doors that cost 5x as much as my first second hand car - a cream coloured, brown vinyl topped, dripping in shiny chrome, white walled 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger - which upon reflection, only worked when it wasn't raining, snowy, slightly damp or parked as the #3 car in the driveway.

Photographic Interlude #1 from Oven Rant....Squirrels hard at work in the garden:

Unlike my Dacor Preference Ovens, a.k.a. the useless hulks of gleaming modern perfection, I could get that old Dart to spring to life when it stalled at a light, by removing the airfiltery metal thingie under the hood, propping up an underneath flap with my Mabelline Eyeliner Pencil, then jumping back inside the car, turning the key, jumping back outside, making confused and apologetic gestures to everyone around me in the traffic, retrieving my eyeliner pencil, putting the airfilter back on, closing the hood, jumping back in the car, giving someone the finger who just laid on the horn, putting the car in drive and then using all 318 of those horses to speed away, hoping and praying that I wouldn't come to another long light where the procedure would have to be repeated. That was 30 years ago - and as a note, I have removed all rude gestures from my driving communication repertoire and have for the last two cars driven Hondas.

Photographic interlude #2 from Oven Rant....Carex Ice Dancer - as if on cue, the plant collapses mid-March - new leaves to come soon:

We are up to query phone call #15 and are waiting for service call #3 from someone named Everald the Supervisor. I'm not feeling very confident. However, as a side note, I have lost 3 lbs - my new "Watch Your New Ovens Commit Suicide - and Say Goodby to Home Baked Carbs Diet" seems to be expensive, but very effective.

Photographic interlude #3 from Oven Rant - hope on the horizon in the form of new buds and leaves on the Ivory Prince Helleborus.

As foolish as all of this is, as Kevin said, "At least it's April." And, he's right - on Sunday culled a bunch of seed packages that I'd been warehousing in files with notes and decided to see if any of the very interesting old ones will sprout. If yes, hooray - and if not, no loss. Here's what I started on Sunday:

Zinnia 'Magellan Coral' - Stokes (09)
Basil 'Di Genova' - Stokes (09)
Celosia 'Kosmo Vanilla' - Stokes (08)
Calendula 'Victoria Sunset' - Veseys (07)
Cisanthe grandiflora - W. Dam (08)
Spikey Blue ornamental grass - Renee's Garden (08)
Petunia 'Frillytunia Burgundy' - McFayden (08)
Petunia 'Opera Supreme Pink Morn' - Park (07)
Digitalis 'Pink Champagne' - Park (07)
Rudbeckia 'Tiger Eye Gold' - Goldsmith (09) - a freebee and a reseed - very poor results from Stokes - believe temperature was too cold
Lavatera arborea variegata - Veseys (07) never got variegated leaves - maybe 09 is the charm?Frank's Dad's Tomato Seeds - Harvest 07 - from the old country

Deinanthe bifida - Gardens North (04!)

Butterfly flowers - Renee's (08)

Heteropappus meyendorfii 'Blue Knoll' - Gardens North (07) - very pretty and had hoped they would reseed, no luck - close to blue coloured daisy flowers that bloom in the fall

Organic Basil - McKenzie (09) - going to do taste test vs Basil di Genova

Amaranthus 'Velvet Curtains' (06) - last self seed gone last year - big honking maroon amaranthus

Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy' - T&M (09)Freebee - was so pleased to receive this one to try - had knocked it off my seed list during sober second thoughts

Clematis 'Blue Bird' - Gardens North (Year: I can't remember)

Oryza sativa - McKenzie (08) - looks a bit weedy also called Black Madras - but, again nothing ventured

Pumpkin on a Stick - McFayden (08)

Purple Wave Petunia - McKenzie (09)


Teza said...

I guess the weight-loss could be one positive effect of the lack of functioning ovens, but I suspect you would have rather found another way!

Egads.... I have never met anyone who is so brave when it comes to starting plants from seed.... perhaps its because I don't have the space or time, or to be honest, know how. I will say that you will greatly appreciate the Deinanthe bifida.... large crinkled leaves, and Hydrangea like small flowers..... intense bee magnet for sure! Be sure to let us know how well they germinate!

Kim and Victoria said...

Those rascally squirrels. They've been visiting me also.
Calendula Victoria Sunset? Why haven't I started some of those I wonder.

Cathy said...

Oh those little rascals can sure damage and make bulbs disappear!
If you dip them in orange oil before planting it they won't touch them.
Such a nice list of plants, wish I had the space to start some by seed I definitely would have more flowers.

Barbarapc said...

Teza, these days I'll take any positives I can get. I'm very hopeful about the Deinanthe bifida - it was love at first sight when I saw the photograph. However, the seeds are just like dust - probably the smallest I've ever worked with - fingers crossed!
Kim & Victoria - Aren't those little rodents the worst - pity they're so darn cute. And, the Victoria Sunset were the first to germinate (just 2 days - may have overcompensated for age of seed and planted them too early)! The day I can find a flower named Barbara, I'll be sure to put it in a place of honour.
Cathy - never heard of the orange oil - will definitely give that a try - thank you!

Jamie and Randy said...

I always have the very worst luck with starting seeds, but I still do it. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. If I direct sow I have pretty good luck, but starting them in the little peat pellets never seems to work for me.--Randy

Barbarapc said...

Those peat pellets aren't the greatest. Find if I start the seeds in a 3-4" pot filled with a good seedless mix, then transplant them to either 4 packs or individual 4" pots when they have their true seeds, it really works quite well. Also found that a heating cable and plastic cover or ziplock bags are essential to keeping the moisture levels up.

Frances said...

Hi Barbara, so sorry for your oven problems, green glass doors do sound like an excellent feature, but the thing needs to work. Your Dart story, complete with Maybelline brought a huge guffaw from the lazy boy. Thanks! I needed that, being a little under the weather. I can just picture you, finger and all. Ah, youth. :-) I have the Cherry brandy seeds, they germinated fairly well on the heat pad. They have been planted into the ground and we wish them well. We wish your efforts well also.

Gail said...

Barbara...I read this post last night and thought that it was brilliant...really there you are waiting for help, frustrated as can be and you are cracking us up with great writing and story telling! I hope E and company fix the ovens! I do love your seed list...Once it stops raining here ...I am not sure it ever will...I will scatter my seeds! That's my best technique!

Barbarapc said...

Frances, so sorry to hear you're under the weather, do hope you're feeling better soon.
Gail, and you know, when there's nothing you can do - sometimes just writing about it, makes me feel a little better - and if I can spread a little fun, so much the better. The southern rain and weather system has reached us - hoping it's stopped at your end. Nothing says spring to me like scattering seeds directly in the warm soil.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Had to laugh at the saga of the Dodge Dart. I had one, different make and model (mine was a yellow Mustang) but just as temperamental;)

Good luck with the ovens.