Here in Chaplin, we are zone 6a gardeners. This means that our last spring frost is somewhere around May 11th, and our first fall frost can be as early as late September (around the 24th), for a growing season that averages somewhere around 145 days.
Some Helpful Resources...
If you are planning on getting a head start on spring by starting plants indoors, Better Hens and Gardens has a very handy editable seed starting guide.
After many attempts at a garden journal that were not quite right, this year I am attempting to customize my own set of resources. The Gardening Notebook (ebook for $9.95) from SchneiderPeeps' blog is a fantastic starting point!
If you are looking for local sales of native plants, the Eastern Connecticut Conservation's annual plant sale is an awesome source. They put out the sales list in the winter edition of their newsletter, usually mid-February. Orders are typically due end of March and you pick up your plants at Brooklyn Fairgrounds or a Gales Ferry parking lot in mid- to late-April.
UCONN has an interactive map of Connecticut to find the extension centers throughout the state. They also have a general resource for home gardeners, called Ladybug, which has printable informational pamphlets and offers advice from master gardeners to answer your questions through their "Contact Us" page (Take advantage of it...seriously! I was introduced to the service when I happened by their booth at the Hartford Garden Show, and the Ladybug representatives there were encouraging us to ask even what seems like basic questions... they said that's what they are there for, and they LOVE to talk plants!)
Old Man Winter had a few tricks up his sleeve this year, including snow on the first & second days of spring. I've been dreaming of getting my fingers dirty in the soil and am excited about my Conservation District plant sale order! I am posting pictures and information about the plants so I will remember what I ordered when it finally thaws out and starts to "green up" again and I can pick them up!
When life gives you lemons you make lemonade, so when you have a doctor's appointment in Boston, you take advantage of the fact that it is the same day the flower show is happening, right? What a fabulous place for inspiration! I am so impressed by the landscape displays whenever I go to a flower show, and even more so at this one where the theme seemed to be stonework. WOW!
Adventures in the Garden
I have never claimed to have a green thumb...in fact quite the opposite. However, it's been several years since I grew my first container garden (a kiddie swimming pool!) in the city in California, and my Connecticut gardens are getting better every year!