Tallying up

Gail and I have spent the last couple of weeks going through catalogs, engaging in deep discussions about next year’s dream gardens and making endless wishlists. Now it’s time to tally up. We are allotted a certain amount of money to spend each year on the gardens, and we do our best to have fun and spend it right. And every year we switch it up a little. There are certain constants like potting soil and other supplies but otherwise some years we spend a little more on seeds, less on plants, more on bulbs, less on seeds, more at local nurseries, less on mail order… We have to be careful not to spend too much all at once in the spring, saving just enough for fall bulb orders and emergency late-summer gap fillers and impulse must-haves. So before we place our spring seed, plant, and bulb orders we’ll run through the numbers and start making hard decisions about what stays on the lists, what drops off, and exactly how much money to set aside for the rest of the year. It’s a tricky but fun challenge and I applaud Gail for rising to it and keeping us in the black.

At home I have never actually made a garden budget and have relied instead on a natural inclination for thrift tempered with occasional over-indulgence. This year I’m going to see how my spending habits might change (loosen up?) by earmarking a certain amount money (how much?) specifically for the garden. Is that what you do?

As for tallying blooms for January Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day (hosted as always by Carol of May Dreams Gardens), I’m a day late and a dollar short. But it is January after all. And just because a lot of winter flowers (like the witch hazels and hellebores) are still in bud doesn’t mean it’s not spectacular outside. (Check out this adorable reindeer moss I posted on Instagram yesterday.) And the greenhouse is full of flowers as always. That totally counts so here is a small selection. Mouse over for captions and click for a bigger image.

What’s blooming in your garden, inside and/or out?