How do YOU like the sketch for our yard? Personally, I feel more comfortable. It’s like an old hat or a broken-in pair of shoes.
When the first warm days of spring come there is a yen to get out into the yard and get things started. If you have been leading a sit-an-tarry life through the winter as most of us do – there is a tendency to overdo it.
Strained, sprained muscles frequently result. That makes tasks work instead of pleasure… I know. The other morning I got a sudden catch between my shoulder blades, which made even breathing difficult. So again, let me say, start your season’s activities gradually.” What was I doing? Oh! I was peeling a banana.
Recently we had what may, or may not have been, our last snow of the season. Starting as rain in the evening, the next morning it was wet, fluffy, and sticky. It built upon every twig and limb to probably over an inch thick. The junipers and pines were huge cotton bolls.
The shrubs in the early morning light looked like white-shrouded ghosts. As we drove north later along the meandering stream that runs through back yards, it was simply a bejeweled wonderland.
“They,” whoever they might be, always say to sow grass seeds on top of the last snow. Not having a built-in weather prognosticator, I’ve never been quite able to tell when it was the last snow. Bluegrass will not germinate until the weather is warm. It does like a cool moist climate.
So touch up those bare spots in the yard right away, and give the lawn a dressing of fertilizer.
Locally, last summer was another one of those “driest years on record.”
In spite of that, some things gave a pretty good account of themselves. The asparagus did wonderfully well. It’s too early to drool about asparagus, but I can’t help thinking how luscious and tender those stalks are going to be again soon.
If you haven’t a bed started, better put that down on your list as a must this year. Asparagus likes plenty of lime and rich soil. The Book,” the one so many writers quote and each writer follows the one before says to dig a deep trench, etc.
Years ago I remember trying to follow some such directions. I even placed rocks in the bottom for drainage.
Shades of the Sahara Desert! That year I remember well. During the month of May, it rained every day. From June 1 until fall there wasn’t so much as a sprinkle.
I put my present bed in the lazy man’s way. I opened up a furrow, spread the roots out and covered. It grew this way in the first season. In the fall I mulched it with three or four inches of well-rotted organic material. Since then I have given it an occasional dressing of a complete fertilizer.
It grew rank and tall this past summer. Since it was thick, I didn’t find weeds any problem.
Another dry weather thriver with us has been petunias. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” as the old saying goes, but some wag has suggested that an onion a day keeps everybody away. In landscaping, plant a bed or more if you have a room of the new bright colored petunias together with some landscaping rocks and you’ll draw a crowd.
You’ll have hummingbirds and other feathered friends, as well as human sightseers.
Of course, I’m looking forward to a year of ample rainfall. (I do that every year.) But if we don’t get it, I know we can depend on the petunias.
I’m one of those and I suspect there are others who hate to cut off or pull up a plant, even though it is a volunteer. This past season, the tomatoes I set out with such loving care gave up the struggle at an early date. But a half dozen stray tomato plants came up here and there.
And the orphans” I suffered to grow, repaid us for having their lives spared with tomatoes until frost.