[gardeners] An unexpected fall, and the glories of spring.

Ron Hay (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 12 Feb 2001 07:42:45 -0800

Good morning, George, and other friends:)

George, I hope that your dear wife's ankle is much better by  now. I
know how very painful such a fall can be, as my right ankle is,
congenitally, so weak that my orthopod said "better you should break it
than sprain it again." Ow!

Matter of fact, I was out looking at new home listings on Friday, and,
bam! down I went, ruining a brand new pair of Dockers...went clear
through the sturdy twill knee:(

It's a rainy, chilly morning, here in L.A., with rain and cool weather
expected through most of Tuesday. We expect about an inch of rain or
two, here in the flats, something we desparately need. And the rain here
in the flats will result in from 1-2 feet of snow above 2500' tonight,
perhaps even lower down, a commodity which is also essential both to
provide this desert state with water and with a badly needed source of
hydroelectric power.

The rain is causing buds to swell all over the place. The pomegranate
has begun to leaf out, and the buds are swelling on the apricot, fuyu
persimmon, nectarine and blueberries.

The stella d'oros are popping up, having multiplied amazingly during the
winter. And, among the other bulb-type plants, the callas are almost in
full cry, creating this gorgeous green and white panoply against the
street side (north side) of our garage.

The roses are sprouting all over, as well. The ones at our church, which
were pruned about 3 weeks earlier, are already in bloom!

This past week, we just received a city permit to put in a golden
trumpet tree in the grass strip between the sidewalk and the street. We
have wanted a tababueia for ages and finally got around to obtaining the
permit. It will be a joy to see the tree covered with golden blossoms
every spring.

Out in back, the Mandarin, navel and blood orange are beginning to show
signs of setting buds, while the lime tree is resting, after a truly
amazing harvest; and the first artichoke is visible as the artichoke
forest continues to burgeon. At last count, the 2 original plants, put
in 2 years ago, have become about 11 or 12...it's kind of hard to tell
under all that dense foliage what comes from where, if you know what I

The madonna lillies are popping up, as are the Turkish crocuses, and the
"supermarket" ginger is about an inch tall as of this weekend. That one
bit of root produced 7 stalks the second year, and I expect at least
that many more this  year.

And the geraniums! They have grown so huge with the lengthening days
that I have had to whack them back, taking cuttings to give to friends.
Those cuttings seem to root so well at this time of  year, and it is
such a pleasure to spread the beauty among friends, especially to those
in townhomes with limited gardening space on balconies, since, in pots,
they do not grow anywhere nearly so huge, and bloom continuously until
late fall.

And the rosemary! It's breathtaking, simply breathtaking. It's hard to
see the foliage through the forest of light blue blossoms, from top to
bottom; and, since it is just about the only thing blooming in the back
yard right now, it is a virtual carpet of honeybees in the morning and
in the evening.

We had wanted to plant our cinnamon tree this weekend (cinnamomum
cassia), but it was far too soggy to work in our soil, which is
basically well-amended adobe clay.

If the weather clears next weekend, we will plant it, along with our
second curry leaf tree (murraya koenigii) and transplant some roses to
the front yard, along the driveway, so that our newly-expanded artichoke
forest will not have torn leaves from the roses.

Well, spring is just about here and we are looking forward to being out
in the garden once again:)

Be well and think of spring, which for a good many of you, I know, is
still a couple of months away, and enjoy thumbing through all those
myriad gardening catalogues, which tempt us like kids in a candy store:)

Van Nuys, CA