Wildflower Seeds…and Stuff

We have had multiple days of chilly rain that soaked the ground. I raked the old straw from the coop into the pens and it was so waterlogged that it was springy. The temperatures were cold–down into the 30s at night and only into the 40s during the day. We even had periods of snow yesterday. I really enjoy the variety of weather, but snow is a bit unwelcome at this time of year. However, I remember years when we’ve had snowstorms in the middle of May so I endure it patiently. Changeable weather is to be expected in Northern Michigan.

The rain makes me drowsy–especially when it’s cold and I just want to sip hot coffee or tea and wrap myself in a comforter. However, I did a few things done.

I want to plant wildflowers among the tiger lilies alongside the driveway. I envision a beautiful garden lining both sides of the driveway. I know that a local farm store sells a variety of bulk grass seeds that they grow themselves and I thought they also had wildflower seeds, so since JJ was home on Monday and I had access to the Xterra, I decided to go get some. Since TSC is only a short distance from the local farm store, I decided that I might as well go there as well and buy some poultry feed. I stopped there first since it was a right turn. The road that the farm stores are on is busy so it’s easier to plan our routes so that we make right turns whenever we can. I had to turn left out of TSC, but I could make another right turn into the local feed store. Disappointingly, the local feed store didn’t have bulk wildflower seeds, but the clerk suggested that I could perhaps stop at McG’s or a plant nursery. McG’s is another favorite local farm store, but it is in the middle of the city and I didn’t feel like driving all the way there. However, there is a wonderful plant nursery on my way home so I decided to stop.

The plant nursery is huge; I think BC is the largest plant nursery in Northern Michigan. Its large property is very magical. It goes back and back to a very beautiful immense lake. Walking through the nursery feels like going into Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory–or maybe like walking further up and further in to Narnia. I think I could easily spend years and thousands of dollars there if I lost control of myself.  I try not to lose control. It helps that I don’t have a lot of extra money to spend. These are photos from their website:

There was a sign at the service counter that said that employees were in the greenhouse behind the little pool. The greenhouse was quite a ways back, so I wandered a bit and then headed back to the service counter. I figured that sooner or later someone would see me and I really didn’t want to tempt myself too much by wandering through the grounds. Walking through BC and trying to resist temptation is like an alcoholic going to a bar and trying to resist buying drinks. I tried to remain focused on my goal and not to look to closely at the thousands of plants. The only wildflowers I saw were packages that I see in many stores–TSC, Lowes, Meijers, etc. When a clerk finally did come up front, I asked her if those were all the wildflower seeds they had, and she said yes. Bummer. But any wildflower seeds is better than none, so I asked her if the flowers did well in sandy soil, because that’s all we really have. She was like, “Yeah, tell me about it,” because our whole area is mostly all sand. She said the seeds did well in sand, and then she told me that the best thing to do is mix the seeds in topsoil and spread it along my driveway and then cover it with straw to hold the moisture in while they germinate. If the seeds dry out, the germination will stop. I have plenty of old straw from the ducks and chickens so that’s good. The clerk also told me not to expect spectacular results this year–it will take a year or two–and she suggested that in the fall I walk on the flowers to help the seeds fall off into the ground. The clerks at this nursery is always so very knowledgeable and helpful. I bought two packages of seeds–one of a wildflower mix and the other a butterfly/bee mix.

If the soaked ground dries out enough, I’ve got outside projects I want to work on. The grass is getting long so I want to mow it. I’d also like to get my wildflower seeds planted. EJ wants the dirt from the raised garden beds replaced with fresh dirt, so I might use that dirt to mix with the wildflower seeds. The other morning I saw two of the rouen ducks squeeze under the shed and I suspect they are laying eggs under there. Those eggs will attract predators so I need to get them out, but I’m not thrilled about lying on the soggy spongy straw so I’d like to give it a chance to dry out first. I placed old boards in front of the shed so the ducks don’t have enough room to squeeze under it. Lily seemed a bit upset this morning that she wasn’t able to get under the shed. Oh, well, she’ll get over it.

I like letting the ducks and chickens out in the morning because they are always so excited to be released from the coop. Here is video I took this morning:

Sunsets are really always very pretty here. We can’t really see sunrises or sunsets in the warmer months because the trees hide them once their leaves come out. However, in both winter and summer the sunsets touch the hills to the south with a band of light. Depending on the colors of the sunset, the trees turn gold or red. Yesterday evening the band of light was a vibrant gold. The trees almost looked like they were wearing their autumn leaves, but it’s actually early Spring and the trees are still mostly bare; it’s really only the sun coloring them with light:

Monday afternoon JJ gave his two-week’s notice at the grocery store. He is really excited about the park ranger job. He also was very happy when he came home from college yesterday. This is his last week of school–he had finals for all of his classes except for math, which will be on Thursday. He said that he is getting 4.0s (the highest grade) for most of his classes.

EJ is still suffering greatly from back pain. Sometimes it’s not too bad, but then I think pain meds wear off and the pain returns. I feel bad for him. 😦

There’s time for another cup of coffee before I get busy….


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