Monday, February 8, 2016

Snow Oddity

It began late as a fine sleet.

Then turned to a picture perfect fluffy big flake snow.

It snowed heavy. The ground was quickly covered.

Then it was over. In the same amount of time it took to fall, it melted away to nothing. The storm was nothing more than passing showers, each producing a different variation of frozen. Dark, then sunshine. Spits and short down pours.

A heavy round came at the end of the day. You could call it fat sleet I guess. It pinged on the metal roof of the front porch.

The pacing impression pressed into the earth from a roving gardener in other times is revealed. Today I followed the cats example during this snow oddity. There was little movement. Discarded hairs drifted to hidden gatherings.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Warm Enough For Paint

Except for a fresh crop of fallen tree branches and sticks, the ridge top garden is ready for spring. The chop and drop of the dried wild flower remnants is done.

An acre and a half of ground was chopped with manual hedge clippers in three visits. That is possible because this is a shaded forest garden and the wild flower residue by this time of winter is a ghost of its summer lush.

I actually prefer using hedge clippers over a weed whacker because one, it is quiet and two there is more dexterity and control over what gets chopped. I need to be careful around some of the smaller shrubberies and I certainly don't want to be whacking the bulbs that are coming up.

They are coming up. This is only the tip of the bulbberg. I'm am seeing just the faintest of stirrings.

Good thing. The fine print in the weather diagnosis should have said wicked with the wind chill. I may get eight inches of snow in the next three days. It's a Tennessee border snow. That means me.

I finished the chop and drop and had enough time to run to town for a few extra supplies. While I was there and since it was warm and dry enough, a can of red spray paint was purchased.

I like red.

Red is better, but I am not sold on the current where and how of its hanging. It might need to go elsewhere and higher, much higher, in the trees. It may need to hang like a mobile from a wire.

This will get me through the winter storm they are calling it now. Before it was just snow.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

One More Day Of Cold

I may get some chop and drop done tomorrow on the last day of cold before the snow and bitter cold arrives. Bitter cold is any day when the high is below freezing. Monday to Wednesday is looking like that. Taxes here I come.

It has already been cold enough for the snowdrops to wilt. They perk back up with enough sun and degrees above freezing. Snow cover would be good for them. It will protect them from drying winds.

I planted a circle of snowdrops around the heiau becoming two falls ago. They are already more noticeable their second year. In two to three more seasons, this circle of white should be visible from the front porch.

It's nice the beasts are at least willing to go for a short walk with me in the late afternoon. Mostly it has been too cold for them to want to be outside. The varmints are having free rein. So far the remaining Hesperaloe look unchewed. Damn varmints!

I don't believe in spring until mid March. It takes me that long to get the wild cultivated gardens ready on the available days when things can be done. The chop and drop needs to be finished. Then I can move on to getting the roadside vegetable garden ready for spring. I have the vegetable garden annex to prep this year too.

I need more winter time. I just need some intermittent with it.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Back To Winter

I woke up to a trace of snow and seventeen degrees. The day never warmed up enough to be useful. I never got motivated enough to do anything useful.

I did ponder the cabin side bed. The original thought was a zen like sedge lawn of sorts with a few flowers for interest and the one Japanese maple tree. I have the start of that. Then a whole lot of asters and other tall wild flowers that I don't have the heart to whack moved in. Some iris, mums and daylilies with no place to go ended up in there. The zen lawn of sedge idea got very cluttered.

I need to be ruthless this year and rip out the tall wild stuff and other extraneous intruders. I'd like to add more of the variegated evergreen sedge. The acorus was a nice addition to the theme. There is room for more of that. Wish me luck.

I wandered down to the fire pit this morning to stir up the coals and burn off the remnants of some bigger log pieces. I forgot to contemplate the rearranged art piece while I was down there. It was cold.

I wandered back at the peak of no where near warm, grabbed the metal ring and pulled it out. I like that better, simple, with the glass in front of the tile table top.

This can be contemplated as winter returns. Snow is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday and the high temperatures next week don't really qualify as such. The crocus and species tulip ring around the fire pit has been put on hold.

I couldn't just toss a perfectly good piece of junk. It didn't get far. It ended up hanging in a tree.

It will need to be painted again. I'm thinking red.

Someone thinks this cracked pot has a familiar vibe. I'm thinking any time their business gets done outside it's a good thing. Just going outside is a good thing. Their minimum operating temperature is no better than mine.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Preparing For A Crocus Ring

Last time I wandered down to the Great Lawn I noticed the ring of crocus and species tulips around the fire pit were starting to come up. Two sunny sixty degree days have a powerful effect. I don't want a big hairball of sticks in there when they are in bloom. It was time for a fire.

While I was down there having a fire I made an adjustment on something that has been bugging me  for weeks. Can you spot it?

I wasn't liking the placement of the glass table top and metal ring anymore. I decided to combine them into one art piece with the tile table top and see if I like that better. The metal ring definitely needs a new coat of paint. Maybe the metal ring just needs to go away.

It's free art made with junk. Absent any financial commitment, it is completely changeable. I'll ponder it some more.

I am a bit surprised 'Jelena' is still blooming. The Witch Hazels have a very long bloom time. I can't wait for them to grow into eight foot high shrubberies.

Now I am ready for a crocus and species tulip ring. I can only hope there are not a whole lot more wicked, branch shredding winds before they bloom. I'd have to make a hairball of sticks some where else in the garden.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It Rained

A lot. On ground saturated with snow melt. And all that water pouring from Culvert Falls disappears into the ground just past the maple tree. How is that possible?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chasing Snowdrops

My endurance for work is on a low ebb. Or maybe it is an enthusiasm deficit in the face of cold, wet and brown. I was tired when I got home and thought a walk would be good to help build my endurance back up. I thought the three lazy creatures I live with should go to after sleeping all day.

There are some crocus coming up by my front porch. They appeared during the pre-winter warm spell and hadn't budged since they first came up. Two days of warm has them moving again. The cold will be back on Thursday.

"Come on. Let's go for a walk." My little pride follows. Miss Collar is always in the rear so Button can't sneak up behind her and jump on her head.

I looked in a lot of the right places and did not see any crocus coming up. I am seeing more daffodils just breaking ground.

On a warm sunny day the snowdrops open their petals wide. I have seen a number of bees crawling inside.

When we arrived next door, Button and Miss Dinah promptly sat down. Lazy beasts! Miss Collar maintained her distance. I wandered around the garden looking at snowdrops and picking up sticks.

The trip back home was more problematic. Miss Dinah gets a bit scared when she loses sight of me and starts wailing. I have to keep calling until she finds me. Button waited in ambush and pounced on poor Miss Collar, his common tactic, as she followed behind. There was a mad chase through the forest, over limbs and logs and into the stream. She got away.

Now we can rest.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Another One Bites The Dust

Under the cover of deep snow, some damn varmint finished off the second Hesperaloe. Damn varmint! That's two down, six left. The others all survived four degrees. Cold hardiness was my main concern. That is going well. I was not expecting they would end up as tasty morsels for some damn varmint.

I do know that fresh from the nursery, pot grown plants are always more succulent and tasty than a plant that has had time to acclimate and harden off in the environment. Now my hope for the Hesperaloe is that they will get tough, woody and unpalatable.

Except, some damn varmint ate a tiny sprig of a Yucca filamentosa that followed me home a while back. Damn varmint! That has not happened before. All the larger yucca look fine. Was that an accident? Am I having a population explosion of voles? They sure better not develop a taste for yucca roots.

Button needs to get busy.

That is why the poisonous daffodils are the go to bulb of choice. The damn varmints won't eat them. Unfortunately I am a gardener who covets pretty. There are quite a few entirely tasty and edible bulbs planted in the garden. I won't know if anything is missing until spring.

Under the cover of deep snow and in the presence of actual winter conditions, the daffodils that poked up early came to a complete halt in growth. That is one of the good things about daffodils. Up to a point, they can put a halt to things and wait for better days ahead.

The entrance to the garden expansion and nature walk in the forest starts at this end of the slope where the varmints have been dining.

I have pretty much tidied the first section of the forest. The next section is going to be much harder. There are huge rubbish piles left over from a neighbor logging a good number of the giant dead hemlocks. That needs to be burned.

Once they were gone and the sun hit the ground, a forest of vicious blackberry and locust sprang up. It is a tangled thorny mess. Only persistence will get rid of the blackberry. I have to burn up the rubbish to access that part of the slope before persistence can even be attempted.

Another day.

I did get one winter project completed this year and winter isn't over yet.

The snow is gone though.