The last few days have been glorious here in SE Idaho..temps in the 60's and green starting to spring forth. It won't last...in fact we have snow and temps 1/2 that high predicted for tomorrow. But I have had a spring project waiting for me since Christmas.
A close friend of mine who lives in Alaska sent me a lovely and unusual gift in memory of our days together when we used to haunt the greenhouses there. When you live in the Interior spring is not just a season, it's a release from winter's prison, and nothing screams change more that bright greenhouse raised riots of color of seedlings waiting for a new home.
I suppose I'm behind the times, but I had never heard of "BloemBox" . I guess Oprah highly recommended these little seed boxes as gifts, but this was my first time seeing one. Not only is it a lovely idea (am sure it's patented or I'd be oh so tempted to create my own!) but the one I got was unusual in the fact that it was promising me roses from SEED.
Yes, roses grow from seed in the wild, but as far as I know is always sold as bushes that are already established. I can't say I'm sure that these will grow, or survive once transplanted but I would not be the garden adventurer I am if I didn't try.
The photo above is showing my homemade greenhouse for (hopefully) 32 new rose bushes (the Hens & Chicks wanted their photo taken too...they just sort of 'walked' in and took over lol). I discovered this method last year and it was extremely successful for starting seeds.
Yes, I'm guilty of buying bottled water...I cannot stand the taste or the color of city water here and I usually drink water on the go, when it's handy to have an easy to carry container. It makes me feel terrible that they fill up landsites though, so this is my way of recycling at least some of them.
What you do is cut the bottles in half, the top will slide into the bottom with a little maneuvering. Toilet paper rolls cut in half are used for the 'pot' inside...one per small bottle, 2-3 per large. A good mosisture bearing light potting soil is ideal. Everything is moistened and then the lids are put on. I leave the top up on the snap lids and poke holes in the others...this keeps it from getting too wet, yet retains a really nice misty condition inside the bottles.
Later, when the seedlings are a couple inches high, the caps will come off completely. I set the whole thing on a tray so I can move them around easily. When it comes time to harden them off outside, I remove the upper half of the bottles and I transfer the bottles to a heavy plastic milk crate...this allows the sun and air to still reach the plants but prevents them from being knocked over by the winds.
Last year I started some creeping thyme this way and they were very happy little plants. My trouble always comes when it's time to transplant since we live in the high desert. Too early and the nights will freeze up, too late and the sun will fry them and no two years are exactly alike. Fingers crossed that these little guys work, we removed a huge shrub in front of our house last fall than left a perfect area for a rose garden :)