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Thursday, April 04, 2002

A Gardener's Notebook

You can easily tell when Spring has arrived in our garden here in Van Nuys. The roses were nothing but "shorn sheep" after their heavy pruning in January, but now they are already large, healthy bushes bursting with buds. By the beginning of next week I expect to be in the middle of a "Rose Tide." when all the pink blooms peak at the same time. In a good year we get several such explosions, one always more welcome than the one before.

The purple roses in the back have already bloomed, but they are smaller, more scented and more delicate. They will bloom almost continuously during the summer. A few JFK and Mikado roses join the mix in the back garden, as well.

Joe and I potted up a bunch of cuttings from our garden and that of our friend, Jo Ann. She brought over an entire bag of ice plant cuttings taken during the cleanup of her garden. If I can get them to root I will use them to fill in some holes in the front beds. We also potted up several rosemary cuttings that will eventually turn into small topiaries. Finally, I took some ivy pieces and started them in hopes of covering our small wall made from recycled concrete. I am not sure which ivy it is, but it seems much less invasive than the typical English Ivy I hve seen in other yards in the neighborhood.

The bulbs are mostly done blooming at this point; their foliage flopped on the ground, soaking up the energy they will need for next years bloom. They look so untidy, but I refuse to spend the time braiding, twisting or otherwise cleaning up the mess. It requires too much time and energy. I will wait until the leaves brown and dry and then clean them up.

There is always more work to do, but I hope to fill out the plantings in the shade garden, now that the new soaker system is in place. This will make it much easier to maintain the area and insure that any new plants get off to a good start.

I realize that things happen a little more quickly out here in California, but I am sure you all will be back in your gardens before long.

Be well!


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