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Archive for March 23rd, 2007

We spent the morning pruning the vineyard.   If it hadn’t been raining, we would also have sprayed it with Bordeaux mix, an antifungal spray made of copper sulfate, sulfur and lime.  It isn’t as effective as some other sprays, but it has the virtue of being acceptable in organic viticulture.  The vines are already beginning to break dormancy, so it is more than time to get them pruned.   Tomorrow night we will probably burn the prunings.   It is important to burn them rather than compost them.  It keeps you from  propagating fungus and pests. 

I also pruned my rose bushes today.   They have joined the throng and are breaking dormancy.   Everything around here seems to have been paying attention to the equinox, for the daffodils are in full bloom, the plums and apricots are blooming merrily, and the apple and pear trees are putting out buds.  I hope and pray that the weather gods do not feel compelled to send us a hard freeze now that all the fruit trees are firmly convinced that it is spring.  

We have managed to plant the trees we ordered to replace the two elms we had to remove from the front yard.   It made me very sad to have them cut down, I hate to remove mature trees.  Their roots were badly damaged by the city putting in streets two years ago, the drought conditions in the ensuing years made it so they have never really recovered from that.   The ice storm was one blow too many.  So, we ordered a sunburst locust, and a shademaster locust, and they both came last week and are safely in the ground.  Not a moment too soon, apparently, they are already sending out leaves.

I was just over at Charlotte’s blog being amused by her description of the spring festival traditionally held in her town.  I particularly liked the concept of arresting and burning the snowman.  I was interrupted by quite a ruckus going on in my front garden, so I went to check on what was going on.

Undeterred by the rain, a trio of male cardinals were having a vociferous discussion about who was going to be worthy of the favors of a lovely young lady cardinal, who was watching the proceedings coyly from my smoke bush.   I am sorry to inform you that the discussion deteriorated into fisticuffs.   Apparently that was not to the lady’s liking, for she flew away as soon as the combatants engaged in battle.  With no one to fight over, the boys went back to foraging busily in my rain-soaked garden.

The showers we have been enjoying all day broke off long enough for me to run out and take a few portraits of my narcissus collection.   There are others in bloom, but I figure that I don’t want to bore my readers wtih too many frilly flowers.  I will probably break that resolve as soon as the double daffodils start in, they are too special to ignore. 

The first picture is of my front garden with the walkway to my door.  I am particularly pleased with the way the grape hyacinths are making drifts of color to set off the narcissi.

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Following are a few of the ladies up close and personal.   I apologize for some of the dirty faces, it has been raining steadily all day and some of them have had their faces plastered in the dirt.  I had to shake the water off and prop them up to get their pictures at all.  If you put your cursor on the picture, the label will give you the species names.  The first one was a sport that showed up in a daffodil collection I bought years ago.   I have not seen it listed in any catalog.

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Last, but not least, I have been trying for several days to get a decent picture of the forsythia bush that is blooming its heart out in the White Dragon’s garden.  Finally, I think I have done it justice.

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And there you have it:  Just a little taste of spring in the Ozarks.

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