Friday, January 14, 2005

Getting an Early Start on Spring

Monday: No stress on the new fruit trees today. Today started out with a heavy fog. The roofs dripped as if there were a light rain falling. This is not uncommon here in the spring and fall. The picture at right was taken this morning. It looks a little eerie, but when you are there it is actually very peaceful, even a bit surreal. It was the same on Saturday and Sunday while I was planting and transplanting. Moist cool evenings and mornings. It actually makes for ideal great planting and transplanting weather. Temperatures have been running in the mid to upper 70s. However, winter is due to return in the next 4 or 5 days with lows in the mid 30s and high in the 50s. We need a few chilling hours you know even those super low chilling hour varieties like I just planted, otherwise we won't have any fruit. I passed by Walmart today to see if any spring plants were coming in yet. They were busy getting ready in the garden center but no plants quite yet. I did pick up some Jiffy 7s and a bag of seed starting mix. It is time to start some tomatoes and a few other early things. Grabbed some good looking Dahlias as a surprise for Cel. They are not good as perennials here because of the intense heat of summer, but they make dandy annuals. Maybe we will try these in a container to see what happens. As I was driving today I started making list of some border plants that I could use, both heirloom and modern. I need to id some natives as well. Now that I have a good idea in my head as to where the paths should go I am increasingly thinking of the 1000' of border and the money I don't have to plant it, or the time to keep it up till it gets going. Oh, well I can dream for free. I have tons of new great links to add to the website, but I am just not motivated. Winter doldrums I guess.

I did find the neatest old greenhouse pictured above in North Lafayette. There is some evidence that the 2nd floor has something going on. There is a modern looking window air conditioning unit and a table visible through the window, but for the most part it looks disserted. What a wonderful structure. It is obviously going into disrepair and should be saved.

Saturday: It was a busy week at work, not much time to even think about gardening. At this time of year, due to daylight savings time and my commute, I leave just after sunrise and get home after dark, so there is not much time to garden even when I wanted to. Today, would be a different matter, but like last week, cooler weather with its fronting rain came late in the week. It is a beautiful sunshiny day, but with fully waterlogged soils so it is a day for piddling at best. I'll head to New Dawn in a few minutes to check out the fruit trees after the winds of the arriving cold front. We'll see how the new staking system performed. Poor staking was a primary reason for my dismal tree performance first go around. Hey, its time to plant some tomato seeds in flats in the greenhouse. That is something fun I can do today.

Sure enough, didn't do squat today. Walked around the gardens envisioning things to come. Took a look at plants here and there. Watered plants in the greenhouse. Picked out some tomato seeds to plant, gathered up the pots, and seed starting mix. And there it still sits. Read a couple of seed catalogs. The fruit trees seems to be doing well in their new locations with their new stakes. Maybe this will be a good year for them. I did notice that the Flowering Quince started to bloom this week.

Sunday: Moved 3 big climbing old garden roses. The largest went into the middle of the old horse trailer as planned. I have been trying to dream up a structure for the other old roses. I think I have it. Last year someone removed the old wrought iron, or faux wrought iron porch post popular in the 40s and tossed them to the road. Being the unashamed scrounge that I am, I threw them in the back of the truck. What my friends must really think, but keep unsaid. I get a big grin when I think about it. I knew I would eventually think of something to do with them. Now I have it. Here it is, under construction, ugly would be a good way to describe it at this point. But this will be a good picture to do a before and after later this summer. I think the roses I moved today were climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison which went to the horse trailer with Climbing Cecile Bruner and Tausendschon going to the new arbor complex. I went though the old jounals and am pretty sure, but spring blooms, which will be sub-optimal with the transplanting, should still be enough for a positive ID.

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