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SDB;TB: bloom and stalks sighted

Finally!  Despite snow, wind, frosts and God alone knows what other stressors
these irises have lived through, I have SERENITY PRAYER in bloom--first opened
yesterday, another today.  TB bloomstalks are shooting up all over the
garden--except on nearly all the new things.  The winter on-again, off-again
weather got almost all the central fans on nearly every new planting in the

One glorious exception is MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.  Every single mature fan
bloomed last summer and fall.  Now it is covered with oncoming buds just about
to show color.  Bless you, Lowell Baumunk, for this contribution to our

Also I have tucked small seedlings back into the ground repeatedly.  Driving
rains wash them loose in slightly raised beds.  My bending over is very
limited yet so there are still quite a few dangling by a few roots that need a
hoe-full of dirt scooped up and tamped around them.  They either will or won't
survive.  I'll get to them eventually.

On seedlings from last year's germination I see a few stalks coming.  Too much
shade, too poor soil for the kind of growth I got used to in Idaho.  Not being
able to lift and carry limited the lime and compost input, so most of these
struggled along in too acid, too leached soil.

New germination is rampant and I have to have help to clear out areas to plant
them.  Some friends have promised to come and cart off surplus to clear the

Another week and the restraints come off on how much I can lift so maybe the
hoe will begin getting a workout.  I've been very fortunate to have a friend
come in and do the spraying for borers and leaf spot--have seen no evidence of
surviving larvae yet.  It is still early--but TB bloom is probably less than
two weeks away for its beginning.

The beautiful azalea Iris-Talk had sent to me is finally beginning to fade.
I'm planning on planting it out, but am afraid it was treated with a herbicide
to prolong bloom.  It has been a glorious sight in our living room during my
recovery this past month (thanks to you-all by way of Laurie Frazer)--and I
want to say a heart-felt THANK YOU to all of you, and especially to those of
you who sent e-mails and cards.  You warm my heart!

Neil Mogensen
Zone whatever (hear that, Rosalie Figge?) despite the USDA maps--near
Asheville and Hendersonville, NC somewhere between the tropics and the North
Pole in the stickiest red clay with the least amount of life I've ever seen.

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