Our friend and mentor Katherine O'Block is leaving Figaro's this week and we can't thank her enough for her generosity, genuineness, hard work, expertise, and enthusiasm for helping people grow their gardens and their spirits. Katherine joined the Figaro's world almost exactly 6 years ago and has been an essential anchor ever since...we wish her all the love and happiness and success she deserves.
A Farewell Thank You
For the past 6 years I have had the great privilege of working at Figaro's Garden, and for this, I would like to say thank you. Thank you to Glen and Peter for taking a chance on a young urban gardener looking to work with them in their 'Urban Oasis'. Thank you to Faerlyn for being such a solid rock through out the transition of ownership. Thank you to Hartley for seeing the potential in this wonderful little neighborhood garden shop. Thank you to all of my co-workers and fellow plant nerds over the years! It has been such a pleasure to work along side of you rain and shine. And last but not least, a huge thank you goes out to you our customers! Thank you for sharing your love of plants and trusting us to help you with your gardens. You have made Figaro's such a meaningful and rewarding place to work. I love hearing about your gardening ideas both indoors and outdoors. Oh, and Wilbur! Thank you for keeping a watchful eye over the shop and being such a wonderful furry friend.
Few gardening endeavours are as gratifying as starting your own seeds. When those little cotyledons pop out of the soil, it always feels like such a tiny miracle. Starting them yourself saves money and is a great activity with kids. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1) Drainage is essential - make sure your pots have holes otherwise seeds/seedlings will rot.
2) Cover trays or pots with a plastic dome or wrap to create some humidity and stable moisture. Remove after germination
3) Bottom heat will encourage a more thorough, quick germination as most seeds appreciate temps of 18-24 degrees. Use heat mats or place on top of an existing heat source. Check moisture regularly as heat encourages quicker drying
4) Feed regularly with a liquid fertilizer once its first set of 'true' leaves are up (the leaves that look the plant when mature)
5) Harden off seedlings before planting outside - slowly introduce them to the outside world and the sun over the period of a week.
This is the time to consider putting out your mason bee homes and cocoons. The Blue Orchard Mason Bee is a native bee species that does an awesome job of pollinating our early fruit tree crops. They will start to emerge if we ever we get a few solid days of warm temps and some sun. Sigh. Look for Forsythia or Pieris in bloom for a good phenological indicator. We have some beautiful, new mason bee hotels as well as locally harvested cocoons in stock.