Spring catch-up

Looks like mother nature finally turned the dial to the right station – and now the volume has really kicked up! I was biding my time for nice weather – now I just need to keep my eyes open – it seems like it’s gone in a blink.

I’ve gotten all the detritus cleared – branches from winter damage cut up, spread out, mulch layered over top, new and existing berms built up. I also did the most dormant pruning ever, and everything’s looking much cleaner end healthier – the full results will be seen in a month or two. I’ve got the major landscaping and have two years of gardening here, three if you count the first year of mostly renovation and prep; I’m starting to get into the swing of things.

Speaking of berms and branches, I got to internetting as I do and on my tangents I learned about hedgerows as well as its place in the permaculture landscape. I then learned of hedge laying – and found there’s even competitions! This is amazing and hilarious at the same time: https://youtu.be/aHMpY5LBHxU.

As a result of all this, I’ve decided one of my gardening “bucket list” goals will be to create my own espalier fence – I’m thinking Pollard style. I have two fruit trees in a large planter box – this might be the way to go. Molding plants in such a way is akin to Bonsai – it’s definitely a whole new paradigm to try.

Chore wise, I’ve been rushing to finish my mini greenhouses. They function. But they aren’t pretty. They are in fact ugly, but I’ll be fixing that soon. I’ve already got the following, and more in there:

Additionally, I’ve started borage, asclepius, Parisian larkspur, cinnamon basil, and… well I can’t remember. But I’ve got lots. The greenhouses are working – kale and carrot have germinated.

As an aside, I also cold stratified several conifers in the shed, and planted them yesterday: subalpine fir (found on a hike last year), arborvitae, dawn redwood, and sequoia. I like to do tiohese sort of as experiments, and I find myself tossing them around in nooks and crannies in the beds (in their pot) hidden away for a future surprise.

Speaking of surprises, my ginger root is bodacious- it’s wrapped all around the pot. This is a bit old, I got it repotted now.

Ginger rootbound
The ginger root

I did a bit of weeding while I was putting down early layer of mulch – and pulled up dandelion root from over winter. These suckers are fat, so I made tea with them – suddenly weeds are useful!

Dandelion root tea

Among others, giant hyssop has overgrown its pot.

Giant hyssop
No but seriously, it’s time to get this stuff out.

Outside, things are clearly waking up quickly. Here, this sorbaria sorbifolia stretches.

Sorbaria sorbifolia
Heather is officially the first to bloom. Bets on daffodil or tulip next.
Many many forsythia buds.
Jostaberry took off something crazy.
Beautyberry seedlings thinned and repotted. Fast growers!

I have a section of the yard where random pots of not that important things can be found. Many things I overwinter or perhaps might be invasive, or were planted as seed or cutting and are mostly considered dice throw. Often times trimming plants and sticking them into the ground as bundles, you might find something fun. Case in point, I found a hugle root mass attached to these cherry laurel bundles. I also got more red willow cuttings.

Free cherry laurel plants… or maybe I’ll try to sell them? These were smushed under a pot.
That escalated quickly

While it’s a self inflicted wound, there’s still so much to do. Onward and upward!

3 thoughts on “Spring catch-up

  1. How do you stratify your conifer seeds? I grow an abies pinsapo ( spanish fir ) that gave me cones and seeds. I burned the cones to get seeds and put them in sand in the cold greenhouse for winter. And you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! I’ve always wanted to try the burning trick for pinus contorta, that’s cool! Do you burn the cone entirely or just scorch it with say, a torch? How long? I’ve pushed the limits with seed prep (muriatic acid, dremel, sandpaper) but have gone too far in a few cases.

      As for stratifying conifers, I just set them in a bin in the shed for 3 months – it gets around 20 degrees. This might not work for the subalpine fir – it grows all over Washington but only at higher elevations (guessing ~>5000 ft), where the snow line remains for much of the year). I’ve never done these so we’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I used a torch like those used in cooking to make “burned creams” if you know. A candle is as good but longer. While heating, the cone opens its scales and the seeds fall. I had already done that for cones of sequoia (still without success …)

        Like

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