No lame, make-believe excuses for me. I can't say "oh dear, the ground is frozen" or "oh dear, there's an ice storm and I could die". No, it's just cold. And wet. I've recorded 4.1 inches of rain so far this year, and there's more coming tonight. In fact, there's nothing in the forecast but rain and temperatures in the low fifties.
I've been having some issues with death and destruction lately... I put out a saucer of beer to kill slugs and I got a caterpillar. That's too bad. But maybe it was a moth caterpillar.
And I broke my shovel digging up the Brugmansia.
We bought this shovel in 2003, before I started gardening. Guy wanted bamboo in the backyard, and this was the shovel we planted it with. It's been a good shovel, but it's not really a gardener's shovel.
So I bought a new one. Say hello to my little friend.
There were only two shovels to choose from at the nursery. It was kinda cheap, only $15, so I hope it lasts for awhile.
I'm preparing for the spring vegetable garden. Clearing out the carrots...
Then upon tasting them, changing my mind and deciding to plant some more. So sweet! Oh, well. Maybe I can get another crop out before the squash goes in in April. I left a few carrots to go to seed when the weather warms up. Carrot flowers are cute and attract beneficials, and like all good biennials, carrots self-sow.
I started a tee-pee for the snap peas. Two are ready to plant out, and I have several more in the garage, germinating.
I love snap peas, and I don't like snow peas at all. Did you know they grew snap peas hundreds of years ago, but lost them?
"Snap peas revolutionized pea growing several years ago, when a breeder discovered in his trial planting a pea plant bearing a thick, crisp, edible pods like those of a snap bean...
After the snap pea became popular, researchers discovered descriptions of just such peas in gardening books from a couple of centuries ago. Apparently, this is an example of an heirloom variety nearly lost but rediscovered by chance during a breeding program."
(Nothing compares to forgetting how to make concrete for 13 centuries.)
I planted an apple tree where the Brugmansia used to be.
I went with this Striped Gravenstein from Raintree Nursery, grafted on their proprietary "mini-dwarfing" rootstock which should hold the plant to six feet tall.
And actually I bought two of them. The second one I planted in a raised bed where I have grand plans for a solar-powered recirculating water fountain.
In order to plant the tree here and give it room, I had to expand the wall of the raised bed and bury a sprinkler head. I never turn on the sprinklers anyway. I turned the water off to them and unplugged the timer a long time ago.
Gravensteins need a pollenizer. They don't self-fruit, and they don't pollinate each other (they don't pollinate anything). My neighbor two doors down (about 40 feet away) has a huge apple tree in his backyard that flowers early, like the Gravenstein. Will it work? We shall see. Hopefully, it's not a Gravenstein too.
What else is going on? One other thing of note. There's a spider-web 11 feet up under my deck...
and the bottom of the web is anchored to the growing, grasping tendril of Cobaea scandens. I can only imagine the growing tendril slackens the web daily. Do you think the spider has to cinch it up?