18. March 2014 · Comments Off on Spring into Summer · Categories: Domestic
Embryonic Garden - Vast Collection of Pots

How it looked at the beginning of this month

And sometimes it goes spring into summer in the same day – or even from winter to spring to summer. Yes, it’s a bit of a trip, having to have the heat and the AC on within the same 24 hour period, but that is Texas for you, where a cold front can blow in and the temperature drop from the mild 70s to freezing within the space of hours – just as it did a couple of weekends ago.

Fortunately, the most of the plants in my garden which lived through that experience are recovering nicely, and the ones which didn’t are replaceable. I’ve lost about two weeks in the development of the pole and bush beans, and about four pepper plants – plus another two or three pepper plants where a rat came in and ate off the tender leaves. Four pots of lettuce and mesclun greens did very well under a thick blanket for those few cold days, so we’re ahead there, too.

I don’t know if I want to try again with squash and zucchini again. For heaven’s sake, everyone can grow zucchini – and I hear tales of two or three plants being so prolific that the people who have them are reduced to dropping bags of ripe zucchini on their neighbor’s doorsteps, ringing the doorbell and running away. But after two years of trying to do just that, I’m beginning to think my garden is squash-cursed. One year, they thrived and blossomed … and then suddenly nothing, and they all developed mushy stems and then died, and the next year they grew to a certain point and then died.  Well, at least I had harvests of fresh beans and salad greens to comfort us, and oodles of little tomatoes the year before. Hope springs eternal, I guess.

I also west as far as to buy a pair of fruit tree saplings, upon seeing them for sale at Sam’s Club a month ago; a plum and a peach. Now I regret not picking up an apple tree as well – I have room for them all, now that the big tree is cut back. So far, the peach is shyly putting out some buds, the plum is just sitting there sullenly – but it’s not dead yet. The field beyond the back fence has largely been built over in the years since I bought my house, so there are stretches of it now that could do with a good masking from a deciduous tree in summer – and looking how a couple of the trees that I did plant early on kept growing and growing and growing – well, there is hope for the plum and the peach.

How it looked in April, 2012

How it looked in April, 2012

The firecracker plant and the penstemon bushes – which had all the leaves on them killed by the frost are coming back as well. They always do, even though sometimes I have to cut them down almost to the bare ground. When they are going full-bore, they form a pair of sprawling shrubs, one covered with orange and the other with red flowers – which the humming birds love. Right now, with everything either just leafing out or a week out from being planted, the garden still looks pretty bare, but at the rate that the days are warming up, it will not be long in that condition.

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