January in Kentucky is proceeding in the way we've learned to call 'normal.' Grey rainy days when the wind has a cold bite, interspersed with blue skies and climbing temperatures.
Yesterday was one of the overcast days with a high in the mid-forties.
I've been eyeing the amaryllis bulbs which, removed from their outdoor tub in October, refused to enter dormancy.
I've never coaxed an amaryllis to rebloom, but Fred, our friend and former renter at the Amish farm, had success with this, encouraging me to try again.
Most of the fat white roots on the bulbs had shriveled to dry strings which I carefully rubbed off, then settled the bulbs into pots of fairly coarse soil mix.
I have three large bulbs and two 'babies.'
We've been noting that temperatures inside the greenhouse stay about 20 degrees above the outside temp, although even a few minutes of sunshine bring a quick climb.
A self-sown catnip plant had burrowed into the soil in a big tub; I lifted it carefully, discovering a stem and pale leaves beneath the soil.
Do I need a pot of catnip? Perhaps not, but the temptation to have a few hardy things growing was irresistible.
Lemon balm is one of my favorite herbs---not because I do anything practical with it. I love the dainty crinkled leaves and the fresh scent which links me in imagination with gardeners and herbalists of many centuries.
I grubbed about in the mud beside a rose bush where a root of lemon balm was hastily interred during our move in the autumn of 2018.
Although I couldn't work free much in the way of roots I'm hoping these bits will thrive and produce several new plants.
The foxgloves which should have been self-sowing abundantly by August didn't produce seedlings until the rains in October. I found them popping up by the dozens. Most have languished not having time to develop good roots, but poking about in the sodden garden I found several small clumps of plantlets.
I brought one clump into the greenhouse and carefully unraveled the roots to find that I had 5 sturdy baby plants.
These have been given individual pots. Being cold hardy they should quickly grow into strong plants for locating into the garden in early spring.
I trudged from the lower porch to the greenhouse many times relocating empty pots, buckets for mixing soil, small tools, all tidily stowed under the benches.
My largest rosemary, about 5 years old, hasn't been thriving in the window of the downstairs family room. Perhaps it will enjoy the greenhouse.
I had to discard a rosemary plant which developed mildew.
I took clean cuttings from the tips of several branches and put them in a tiny vase of water which I placed on the east-facing kitchen windowsill.
About 10 days ago I noticed that roots were forming, so topped up the water.
This week I mixed seed-starting mix with a handful of perlite and tucked the tiny cuttings into a container. They are residing on a windowsill in the sunroom. I'm hoping I can grow them on.
Not sure yet where the greenhouse project will take us. Jim mentions installing a fan, maybe a small heater. Watering won't be a problem as there is a stand pipe/faucet right outside the door.
I suspect I will find excuses to spend many hours 'pottering!'