Farewell My Quince

On Sunday we took advantage of a break in the incessant rain (seriously, I have not seen a rainy March like this since I moved to California) to do some yard work: Noel worked on repairing the leaky valves in the irrigation system (and was able to hook the tank back up!), I mowed the lawn (not the brightest idea -- I'm allergic to grass -- but a good workout since the grass was 12 inches high and damp), and then we cut down the ailing quince tree so it doesn't infect the other rosacaea (the Asian pears and apples, basically).

Without the quince tree

Then we spent a ridiculous amount of time burning the (green, obviously) wood in the fire pit. We still have a couple logs left.

I will definitely miss that tree.

In the evening, after I sterilized the tools we used on the tree, I sharpened and oiled the loppers, which were woefully dull. I do like having nice, sharp tools, clean and ready to use, but I'm usually too lazy to stay on top of it. This year it was really obvious that I needed to sharpen everything, though.

Some other gardening things I did over the weekend included adding a couple plants to the front planters. They're pretty haphazard, but I like them more than the professional designs that look a little too much like floral arrangements.

Front container with new plants

This planter has some nice native penstemons (the taller plants at the back with buds on them) and a bedraggled snapdragon, so I added a polemonium and a little dwarf fescue.

Other tall front container with plants

I added a very bushy dianthus barbatus to this planter, and it went from looking like it was dying to looking like it has been growing madly all season long. You can see that the pansies and snapdragons in this planter were looking a bit worse for the wear, but with their new friend they don't look quite so scrawny.

Now that the irrigation is working again I am going to rework the plumbing that used to water the roses to water these containers, so I don't kill more plants by forgetting to water them. (A couple years ago I stopped irrigating the roses, and since then they have been free of black spot and rust and powdery mildew, so no more irrigation for them; the ground water is close enough for them not to need it, anyway.)

In fact, I will be working on a couple of circuits of container-watering irrigation this spring. I'm really good at planting stuff in pots and then letting it cook to death when I forget that pots need more regular water than plants in the ground. Hence the need for an automated irrigation system in the first place.

We're supposed to have a few days of nice weather this week before it goes back to being grey and rainy over the weekend, so with any luck and good planning, tomorrow Noel and I will get to the store to get materials for the top formwork for our wall, so we can get that project done and struck from the list.

For those who have asked, Dot is still on the runabout, but neighbors have been notified to look out for her, and she is both belled/tagged and chipped. She's also the smartest of our cats, if a little crazy and kitten-level energetic. In the meantime, her brother Dash keeps looking for her in her favourite litterbox, which just goes to show you how glad I am he doesn't fit through the hole she went out through.

posted by ayse on 03/30/11

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