[gardeners] Spring cleaning

Ron Hay (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 20 Feb 2002 07:41:05 -0800

Good morning, friends,

It seems like our flirtation with disastrously cold weather is over for
the nonce; today we will see 80, tomorrow, 85. This is utter madness!
One week the apricot buds are minuscule, the next, after a much needed
rain (yes, Penny, we, too in So Cal, although not in NorCal, are in
drought conditions: we have less than 4" of precip as of today, whereas
we should have at least 10"), our apricot and nectarine are ready to
pop.....weeks ahead of our citrus, which is virtually unheard of.

This past Monday, Vivian got up on the roof and peeled back what amounts
to an entire dumpster load of frost-killed passion fruit vine. It will
take a while before we can cram all of it into our green yard container
(singular) to be carted off by the city to be composted in Griffeth
Park. At the rate of one can a week (I have ordered a second container),
it will take 3 weeks to dispose of it. Until it is gone, we cannot even
begin on all the calla leaves and other detritus, left behind by our
killer frost.

Our coral tree (erythrina coralloides), the official tree of the City of
Los Angeles, looks absolutely pathetic, having lost all of its leaves,
but its young trunk and branches are still green, so we are hopeful.

The only things blooming in our yard right now are brave geraniums and
our huge rosemary bush, which has become a veritable bee pasture. I had
no idea when we planted our rosemary from a 4" pot purchased for a
dollar at the Burbank Farmers' Market three years ago, that it would
grow to 4' high and wide. It's become sort of like zucchini: friends and
neighbors bar their doors when they see us coming with armloads of

Our roses are coming back beautifully, and the fact that they have been
pruned back to about 2' allows us to do some much-needed weeding and

In between the roses along our driveway, our Iceland poppies are
blooming to beat the band. I would never have guessed that such bright,
delicate creatures would make such long-lasting bouquets in the house!
They last well over a week!

The callas that were not too badly frost burned are beginning to bloom.
I just wish our compost container were not already so full, or I would
put the leaves in there. Maybe in a few days, mother nature will work
her magic and reduce the bulk of the compost pile, but at the rate we
are putting in veggie peels from Lenten dishes, it will take a while.

Well, boys and girls, it's time to hit the trail to work to nurture a
couple of escrows.

Enjoy thinking of spring:)