Friday, January 11, 2013

Dreaming of Spring

By: Gordon Sim, Chief White House Gardener
From: The White House Gardener Mysteries by Dorothy St. James
Book 3: OAK AND DAGGER will be available April 2013!

I know it's only January, but it feels like spring in D.C. right now. I know from experience not to be fooled by this unseasonably warm weather. A cold snap is always around the corner!

Just because many of our planting beds are bare, that doesn't mean the White House gardeners are idle. Besides tending our winter crops, we're busy getting ready for spring!

We love the spring colors, and I'm especially looking forward to a new year of vegetable crops.
Here's a list of some things we're doing that you, too, can be do for your home garden:

1. Get your pruning equipment ready for use in mid-February through mid-March.

2. Clean up fallen blooms/spent plants to prevent diseases in the fall.

3. Collect soil samples from your lawn, trees, flowerbeds, and vegetable garden and submit to your local extension service.  Soil samples can be taken at any time of the year, but it is best to sample the soil a couple months before planting a garden, establishing perennials or before the optimum time for fertilizing lawns to allow ample time for the lime to react with the soil.

4. Shop for seeds for your spring plantings. (This is everyone's favorite task around here!)

So, how about you? Are you already dreaming of spring?


Dorothy St. James writes the White House Gardener Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Flowerbed of State is the first book in the series. Be sure to grab your copy while they're still available! Visit with Dorothy on the web.

"Credible characters, a fast-paced plot, and a light look at political life in Washington, D.C., will delight cozy fans." ~ Publishers Weekly
Order Flowerbed of State from your favorite bookseller

"Itching to get out there and dig in the dirt, but don’t quite have the energy to pull yourself up off the couch?  Read The Scarlet Pepper by Dorothy St. James.  It’s a heckuva whodunit, and it’s practically gardening via proxy – what better compromise could you hope to find?" ~ The Season Blog

"A potboiler of homicide, blackmail, journalism, power and sex - but one that St. James handles with taste as well as verve - “The Scarlet Pepper” fulfills the promise of last year’s series debut, “Flowerbed of State,” and then some." ~ Richmond Times-Dispatch 
 Order The Scarlet Pepper from your favorite bookseller.

Coming April 2013:


  1. Not ready to jump into Spring yet - I'm still hoping for a little winter here in Maryland. I am ready to watch the High School girls play a little softball.

  2. Shh, I'm just glad everything isn't growing like crazy and in need of trimming. My pruning equipment needs to nap. I wouldn't want to wake it quite yet. Plus, I'm hoping for a little snow to help kill some of the remaining ticks and mosquitoes.

    ~ Krista

  3. That is a good thing about takes care of the insect population! Personally, I'm a Southern girl who loves things to stay warm year-round.

  4. We have spring early here - and yes - I cannot wait for the red buds - the new leaves on the trees - love it.

  5. I'm dreaming of Autumn actually. It is unbelievably hot this Summer here in Australia.

  6. What a lovely pictures, thank you. I have a teeny tiny garden, and I will have to wait till June to put new plants in. I like climbers, to cover the walls.