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Signs of Spring

  • To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
  • Subject: Signs of Spring
  • From: "Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT" <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil>
  • Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2007 09:55:54 -0800
  • Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
  • Thread-index: AcdJTuHpm79u7eSAQfKasq8qGH9ZkQ==
  • Thread-topic: Signs of Spring

For the first time in a month, the weather turned gorgeous on a weekend
we had no plans. Woo-hoo! I was out raking leaves (again) in the front
when I saw crocus blooming in the lawn. I must have planted those 10
years ago, but the blooms fade so fast the timing has to be just right
for me to see them. I needed the cheer too because the garden scenario
could be better. 
I finally got to prune and dormant oil the fruit trees. But while I was
digging out a stubborn clump of grass near my newest peach, the whole
tree shifted. Oh that's bad, I thought, and a little digging revealed a
huge gopher hole and no surface roots on the peach. It still has a tap
root. So we set a trap and I tried to settle the tree as best I could,
but I have a bad feeling about it. Then I checked the remaining jujube -
I lost the first one last year to gophers - and sure enough there were
no roots at all, the whole thing just lifted right out of the ground.
Okay, no jujubes. Two established trees, a Santa Rosa plum and a peach
have bad damage from what looks like fruit tree borers. I know I need to
pay  more attention to them with sprays and all but the whole thing was
pretty discouraging. I did decide to get a couple new trees (instead of
just giving up) but I have got to come up with some kind of gopher
barrier and at the moment I have no clue what to do. 
So while I was raking out six feet of leaves off the front garden beds,
I noticed HUGE gopher mounds in there too. Huge, I tell you, at least
two feet across and a foot high. We must be breeding some kind of
smart-gopher because there were no mounds at all around the peach tree,
I would have seen it, so they are figuring out where it's safe to build
cities and where they need to be stealth. 
And things keep looking worse from the deep freeze, as I go on there is
more damage apparent, but we'll see what happens in spring. Many plants
in the front beds that normally have leaves through the winter now look
freeze-dried, but they are perennial so I am figuring on regrowth when
it warms up. The bigger rosemary bushes look unaffected but the
prostrate rosemary does not look so good. I have not seen growth from
the amaryllis belladonna at all, and there should be lots of it. Foliage
on another winter bulb...ummm...galanthus?,is completely limp. But the
nandina looks very pretty, it is a deeper red than I've ever seen it.
One of our ewes is showing signs of lambing within a couple weeks and
hopefully the other two won't be too far behind. Our fingers are crossed
for no drama this year, last year was bad and we do not want to have to
assist in any deliveries. 
Oh yes, signs of spring. Besides the crocus, we have started getting the
occasional egg from the chickens, and my ash trees have big fat buds for
their version of flowers. And the horses are shedding. I would have
thought they'd wait for warmer weather but no. This could be really
entertaining as I pulled enough hair to knit myself a new pony out of
just one little area - when it really starts coming out we could be
buried. Horsehair cushions anyone? 


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