Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Winter's Last Days
This latest snow storm has been in the forecast for days. A small amount of wet heavy snow creates scenes of unparalleled beauty with few of the negative consequences. Wet snow catches on every nearly horizontal tree branch. The contrast between the dark tree bark and the pure white of new snow is captivating to see. We choose to live here in part because of winter. Its cold kills pesky plant munchers and makes the warmth of spring special. Still, it is close to the end of March and outdoor work calls strongly.
Tuesday is a day when we travel to an indoor pool for controlled exercise. Ed was up early to clear the driveway so that we could get to the road. As the time to leave for the pool drew near, the snow began to fall in earnest. We have to cross over a high hill to get to the pool and that road is frequently slippery. We opted to remain at home. Still, the snow on the pine trees is beautiful. If we ever retire to the south we will miss scenes like this one.
A state wide ban on all outdoor burning is now in effect because of the seasonal risk of forest fire. One has to wonder if this new snow cover would ease the enforcement of that ban.
This seemed like a good day to enjoy our indoor plants. We seem to have stumbled on the requirements of lemon verbena that must be met for its winter survival. Pruning both above and below ground matches the size of the plant to the size of the pot. Any disturbance of the roots sends lemon verbena into a major pout. Days in the shade and gallons of water are necessary to unshrivel the leaves. This plant also has a high water need inside that must be satisfied. Twice this winter these pots have been carried outside on mild days. Wind and a shower from the sprinkling can helped control the white flies. Soon it will be time to take cuttings to start new small plants.
Scented geraniums are both easy and pleasant to keep over the winter. Every time that they are watered they fill the air with pleasant scents. Fresh cuttings will also be taken here to keep the size of these plants manageable. Some may accomplish that task with pruning but we find it easier to start new plants.
Two rosemary plants silhouetted against the harsh last days of winter will close this post. They look ready for some time in the sunshine. We know that we are ready.