Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Fever

The snow and ice have melted, temperatures are slowly climbing into the 40's and the days are getting longer, so I'm getting a case of Spring Fever.  Actually, this will be my second Spring this year, as it came early to Dove Manor and it's slowly coming to Four Lakes, here in Lisle.  This past weekend I did some shopping, as I needed to replace the folding bookcase the stapeliads were on, since the top shelf broke in half lengthwise.  I decided to relocate the plants in front of the window in the bedroom, so I needed something that was at least 18" tall and 5' wide, yet didn't cost an arm and a leg.  I did some research on-line and decided that IKEA had the best options at the lowest prices.  After going there and debating whether to buy two TV stands for $15 each or three end tables for $8 each, I went with the TV stands, thinking the end tables were too big at 20.5" x 20.5" a piece.  When I got home and assembled them, then loaded the plants on them and realized I should have gone with the end tables, as there's no room for any more plants on the two TV stands.  I'll buy three of the end tables this weekend and move the TV stands to where the bookcase used to be, giving me an excuse to buy more plants.

Fully loaded; I had to put a few on the windowsill.

While at IKEA I also bought a couple of succulents, since they were reasonably priced at $3 each and IKEA seemed to be the only place I could find any that interested me.  I bought an Aloe aristata, which I already have in the wheelbarrow planter back at Dove Manor, and a Euphorbia lactea compacta, which is a new one for me, and they joined the gang in front of the window.  Stapelia kwebensis, which started blooming shortly after I arrived in Lisle, has continued to do so and this morning there were three flowers greeting me.

Euphorbia lactea compacta

Stapelia kwebensis

I went to Big Lots on Saturday and bought a four shelf mini greenhouse for $30 to put on the balcony, as it was a much cheaper option than my original plan, which was to use a baker's rack.  The greenhouse has the added advantage of having a clear plastic cover with a zippered front flap, giving easy access, yet allowing the soil to warm up faster when the flap is closed.  I also bought a Marchesa Bocella bare root rose for $4 and a pot to put it in but didn't buy any planters for the greenhouse, as the ones at Big Lots were $6.50 each.  
I went home, got on-line and shopped the dollar stores and big box garden centers looking for the cheapest planter option for the greenhouse and found rectangular planters for just $1 each at Dollar Tree.  They also had seed packets 4/$1 and I bought a dozen since I had left all my seeds back in Arizona.  I also bought a dozen of the planters, then went to Home Depot to buy some planting medium.  I got two 1 cubic foot bags of mushroom compost, which is a new medium to me, as I'd never seen it for sale in AZ.  It turns out two bags weren't enough, so I need to buy two or three more to finish filling the planters I bought.  I also need to go buy 4 more planters, as they fit perfectly four across on each shelf.

I sowed seeds in the six planters I was able to fill, sowing petunias, marigolds and radishes, and still need to sow carrots, parsley, green onions, Swiss chard, lettuce and spinach.

Mini greenhouse, with room for one on the other side of the balcony.

Marchesa Bocella rose

Really hope it looks like this.

The flowers I sowed


Veggies yet to be sown

Salad in the making

Even though I don't have a plot of land to till, it won't keep me from gardening, not even seven stories off the ground.

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