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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Early Spring Plants 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Spring comes early to Texas, 
long before the northern states. 
The average last freeze date in north Texas is 
March 13.

Even though there are still about two weeks 
before the last average freeze date, 
my kitchen three-shelf planter holds 
small bedding plants that  
brighten my spirits. 

Bright sunshine streams in through the sunspace windows, 
providing plenty of sun for the early plants. 

Living ivy fills the twig 'purse planter,' 
a gift that held a cut-flower arrangement several years ago. 
Green moss covered the twig planter when I received it, 
but over the years the moss has dried out and turned brown. 
  Yet, I still love it and fill it with new plants regularly. 

 As much as I love real plants, I have a 
hard time keeping them alive. 
The ivy inside must be replaced often, but 
the fake snowdrop looks good year after year. 

Currently, the new ivy bedding plants 
are thriving and shelter a small bird's nest with a glittered egg. 

Spearmint four-inch plants are awaiting transplanting outside the 
back door into a large clay pot when the freeze threat passes. 

I love mint in iced tea in the summertime 
and like having it close to the back door. 

The plants lean toward the sun and have to be turned every couple of days. 

When transplanted to the larger clay pot outdoors, 
the little runners will root and create more leafy mint stems. 
Mint is a hardy plant that is hard to kill 
and thrives even if neglected. 
Often mint becomes invasive when 
planted directly into the soil instead of a pot. 
Which makes it perfect for me. 
Between the hot dry summers here and me, 
plants have to be hardy to survive.  

On the same shelf as the peppermint plants are  
beeswax candles in the shapes of 
a half-moon face, a spade, and a heart. 
I found these many years ago in my sister's store in 
Kennebunk, Maine.

Rosemary is drought tolerant which makes it 
an excellent plant for my area,  
another one that I usually plant it in a container outside. 

For now, I am enjoying the rosemary inside. 
Each time I water it, I gently brush the stems with my hands 
to release the plant's fragrance. 

On the floor nearby is a white ranunculus with deep purple centers. 

Just around the corner! 
March 20, 2014 
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