Garden Report: February 7

Apparently it's been a little snowy in other parts of the country. This is what our weather has been like here:

Sunny, gorgeous day

Hah, just kidding. Actually, today was a rare break in the rain storms that have been buffeting us for weeks. In fact, just yesterday, while I was off wrestling with sheep in the central valley, it poured cats and dogs and chipmunks and otters while Noel was trying to get a small part of the hay field that had taken over our lawn mowed into submission (he had to break out the gas mower, the lawn was so deep). I'd tell you how much it rained, except that it rained so much in January that my rain gauge pot sprang a leak. All I know is we're over 15 inches for the season.

Today we went out and repiled the compost heap (the chickens knock it over regularly). Then I spread out some straw in their yard. Noel had dumped some cut grass in there yesterday, to keep the mud down (muddy eggs are no fun), but it needed something more.

Straw in the chicken yard

In the meantime, I let the girls out and Noel mowed the rest of the lawn down. It's been very very wet out back, so it was slow going, but the lawn is a lovely green.

Rosie and her peeps

Things are starting to bloom again, which means it's time to get some tomatoes started. My benchmark for getting them sown is Valentine's Day.

Anyway, for those of you snowed in or about to be snowed in, some blooms from this afternoon's gardening work:

Here's my contorted quince (an ornamental, but apparently with proper cross pollination they will produce fruit). It's actually been blooming one branch at a time for a several weeks now. I think I need to give it a heavy pruning this year.

Contorted Quince

This year I have my first ever volunteer Heliophila longifolia, right around the time when I'd usually pop off to Annie's to buy a couple in pots.

Heliophila longifolia

The anemone bed under the Asian pears is coming to life, and we have a little pink bud:

Anemone bud

A real stunner, the bloom phase of my Lapeirousia oreogena. Last year this just looked like a little weird grass stalk. I just potted it up, ignored it, and look what came up? Gorgeous. Totally worth it, despite the boring look when it's not going to bloom. I'll feed it in a week or so, then nothing else.

Lapeirousia oreogena

A more mundane bulb we're getting to see is my scattering of crocuses around the garden. Every now and then you'll be walking along a path and this little bit of purple will jump out at you. They're great.


And shortly behind the crocuses come the species tulips, which should be good this year.

Species tulips coming up

Then we'll have tree blooms happening, and then it all just explodes at once. Look at these buds on the quince, fattening up. I just sprayed it with copper for fireblight last week (I'll give it another spray this week, because of all the rain).

Quince buds

Finally, we have some lemons hanging on on the variegated lemon tree. I've fixed their irrigation situation, so I hope to get some decent lemons this year. Also, we did just get a large Meyer lemon tree in a container that should put the fear of competition into this guy.

Will we finally get some variegated lemons this year?

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posted by ayse on 02/07/10