I've got my fruit tree order ready to go and I'll probably place that tonight. It's through Gurney's. They're having an on-line early-bird sale and I've got a $25 off coupon that I can use. So we've got plans for Granny Smith, Gala and Sweet Sixteen apples, a Stella Cherry, and two more highbush blueberry bushes. All in all it should roll out to about $75. It seems like a lot given the state of our checking account at the moment but I keep telling myself that it is an investment in our future. And really- it really isn't bad for 4 trees and 2 blueberries. I'm still thinking about strawberries. I need to replant this year since the deer totally demolished them last year. They were outside the fenced garden area and I ended up not having time to protect them from devastation before it was too late. They will go in one of the raised beds. But I'm still thinking....
But mostly today, I've been trying to finalize the list for the herbs. It's still a work in progress but here is the list so far:
Culinary herbs: Rosemary (based on comments I've heard, we're just going to put it in a big pot rather than risk it overwintering), Sage, Tarragon, Thyme, Oregano, Marjoram, Chives, Italian Parsley and Summer Savory. We will also have basil but that will be in the regular garden since I tend to use and plant a lot. The only thing new to me to grow is Summer Savory but it sounds good.
I've read that nasturtiums repel squash bugs and cucumber beetles so I'm planning to plant them in the raised bed with the squash and cucumbers.
Herbs for tea: German Chamomile, Lavender, Lavender (or Anise) Hyssop, Bergamot (Bee balm) and possibly Clary Sage. I will also most likely plant a row of Borage in the garden although the Japanese Beetles love it so much. J15 really wants some Lemon Verbena but it isn't hardy here and would have to be another potted plant. She also wants to try to grow Stevia but it's the same thing. Until we have the solarium built we only have so much window space with good light.
We also want to grow several mints but since I have always had such trouble with them spreading into everything else, we've decided to put in a separate Mint Garden with peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm (or lemon mint, or both) Chocolate mint and hopefully apple mint.
Separate from the herb beds we also want to grow some tansy, and some pennyroyal and wormwood for pest control. Maybe a few other things over time. Now I realize that this is a huge list. I'll most likely not be able to plant all these this year. But the list is a place to start.
J15 and I decided that we want to take a trip to Decorah this spring, up to the Seed Savers Exchange. They have a spring plant sale from April 5th through June 13th. I'm thinking that maybe I could pick up a plant (or 2, or 3, or...) of something different so I don't have to buy an entire package of seeds. It could be a fun way to expand my garden repertoire without all the trouble. And besides, it isn't far and it is one of those places that I've always wanted to visit but haven't made it to yet. This will be the year!!
Well, the wind is picking up here. It's been in the teens all day but is now supposed to start dropping. We've got probably about 8 inches of snow. And here I was worried about having snow on the ground for the sledding party that we are hosting on the 17th. I just hope it's warm enough to make it fun to go sledding. We're hosting the January youth event for our church and since we have such a great hill we're hoping to go sledding. Weather permitting we'll have a bonfire outside. But regardless, we'll have hot chocolate, cider and treats. I'll let you know more details as I figure them out.
Stay warm and safe.