Monday, March 7, 2011

The Garden is Winning

I am still pruning away the dead branches and bushes that were a result of this year's unusual low temperatures. Yesterday I removed the obviously dead branches on the primrose jasmine.  I cut down more hackberry saplings.  I am sure if left alone, hackberry would take over this part of Central Texas. Hackberrys are the trashy neighbors of the tree world.

When I moved to this house as a child, there were three large hackberry trees in the front.  Within 5 years, they had all had to be removed, but their offspring continue, even 50 years later. I have a friend with a chainsaw who I hope to enlist in my hackberry war.

While hackberrys reseed and grow at an amazing pace, my elm in front is dying.  The largest tree in the front of the house, I will be sad to lose it.  Two summers ago, we had a real scorcher with weeks in the 100's.  I watered as often as allowed, but the tree simply could not stand the heat.  I had hoped last year's mild summer might rejuvenate the elm, but it did not. This year a few feeble sprouts have appeared near the trunk, but none of the branches have buds.  I will wait a few weeks, but I don't have much hope.

My last project yesterday was to begin preparing my vegetable garden.  I turned over and worked in compost in a four foot by four foot area yessterday.  I was reminded that I did all the work myself with a garden fork when I woke this morning.  Every joint had a complaint.  I have a variant of rheumatoid arthritis, so some joint is always on the warpath, but this was more universal.  I moved from bed to chair to medicine cabinet.  Now, all but my spine has hushed.  I know that my spine will continue its wails for misuse through all planting season.  So far, I have succeeded in ignoring its fuss.

I will put four tomato plants in that square, trying out a denser planting than in past years.  I also plan to plant more peppers this year.  If I have time today, I will prepare a plot for my radishes and carrots.

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