Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cleaning the Garden

The first warm days have come after a particularly bitter winter( temperature as low as 16 degrees Fahrenheit in the city).  I covered many plants and brought all I could in, even my pencil plant, but suffered heavy damage to plants who seldom experience temperatures below freezing.

All my plants are outdoors once again.  The hanging baskets have suffered from feline predation while inside; the spider plants no longer have spiders.   The tricolor dracaena has a flat-top courtesy of whichever cat climbed into my office.  The office is off limits, but even with the doors closed some of my cats can squeeze between frame and door.  The house is  97.  Its entitled to have some sagging doors. The only casualty was the avocado plant that was hidden behind the sanseveria and did not get watered.  Even the ficus did well this year.

Photo by briweldon
Outside was a disaster.  My yellow jasmine (texas nomenclature) or primrose jasmine (jasminum mesnyi ) is now two-toned with a top layer of tan, dead branches over the budding green ones below.  I will trim the jasmine in a week or so when I can see which branches will flower or not.  The nandina which is at least 60 years old did just fine.  The cane is putting up shoots from the ground.  The sanseveria on the south side of the house have frozen to the ground. Those I covered on the east side have some damage, but will recover.  The cacti are just fine, but the cereus is dead. The parent cereus is alive and well in a pot.  My salvia and my "I don't know what you are" plant( purchased two years ago at a thrift shop sale and unlabeled) are fine. My herb garden is fine, but I need to plant some basil and cilantro soon.  Basil doesn't make it through winter and cilantro gives out in the heat. All together I am happy with the survival rate.

I have removed obviously dead cane and trimmed the lantana to about two inches tall..  Lantana must be cut back or it gets too leggy to be attractive.  The lantana already has green leaves showing next to the ground.  I will save the cane to use as stakes in the garden and put the lantana trimmings out for the brush and clippings pickup.

I need to start preparing the vegetable garden.  I did not plant last year because I assumed I would lose the house.  Since I am still here, I will tempt fate and put in some vegetables.  Tomatoes need to go in first to ripen before the heat comes.  A few radishes and maybe carrots might be fun.  I have some decisions to make.

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