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Re: hoping for spring soon

It's mild and raining a bit here today - has been above freezing during the 
day for most of the week.  The snow and ice pack is greatly diminished - most 
open areas are clear but there are still great heaps under bushes and on 
slopes.  I walked out to see what I could see - not much.  None of my hellebores are 
showing any new growth - just the remains of last year's foliage.  I'm sure 
there were buds on them by this time last year.  Many daffodils are peeping up, 
and I must go out and replant some that have been dug out by some curious 
 The most distsressing thing, however, is that the apple tree espaliered 
against the boulder beside the drive looks awful.  In places the bark is split for 
several inches, and in other places chunks of bark are peeling off.  My DH 
says that since the tree is about 37 years old - we brought it from the other 
place when we moved here in 1970  - it has probably reached the extent of its 
lifespan.  I hope he's wrong, because I don't think the extent of my lifespan is 
great enough to warrant starting another.  I think it may be the result of 
the crazy winter - bitter cold in early December, mild the first week in 
January, then followed by another six weeks of bitter cold.  I hope I am not losing 
this tree - don't know  just what I would replace it with if I do.   The rock 
face is about eight feet high at that point.  There is a space of about two 
feet between the boulder and the edge of the drive.  It widens out a bit further 
on, and there is an old 'New Dawn' rose climbing it. The back side of the 
boulder, where it tapers down is quite shady.

By the way, guara is treated like an annual in these parts - Zone 5.  


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