Mid-Atlantic

December, 2005
Regional Report

Start Journal

Your very own garden journal becomes a source of inspiration and an itemized record of your own garden's microclimate: your best resource and future reference for keeping track of all your gardening activities from seed starting to tree planting to frost dates. The time to start one is now; it's an easy New Year's resolution to keep.

Organize Seeds

Between saved seed, leftover seed, and seed shopping by mail and at the garden center this spring, you may find yourself buried in an assortment of packets. Try organizing them in a storage box with dividers. Sort them by estimated starting date, by type, or alphabetically. Experiment to develop a system that works for you.

Survey the Winter Landscape

Take the opportunity during these cold weeks to view your landscape or garden from many vantage points, especially your favorite windows. Would additional evergreen plantings or plants with interesting berries or bark enhance the views? Take notes or photos as reminders, and plant accordingly in spring.

Prolonging Fresh Flowers

Florist bouquets cheer things up in midwinter. Help your cut flowers last longer by recutting the stems at home. Use a sharp knife and cut under water, then plunge into the vase of water plus a commercial floral preservative. Keep your bouquet out of direct sun and set it in a cool location each night to help it last longer.

Research Plants

If you expect to invest in planting trees and shrubs this spring, or want to install a new flower bed, take a little time now to research your choices. Books and magazines and Web sites can be helpful starting points, and garden center staff will have more time to consult with you now than during the hectic spring rush.

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