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March 14, 2013

We’ve been having cold nights, sometimes spitting snow, but I’ve been glad to see the sun rolling back around.

So has Max. 🙂

That was from about a week ago, but he’s basking again today, and the house is getting aired out whether I like it or not. (It’s not much over 5°C/40°F right now.) When there’s some sun and I open the back door for any reason, he will flop down in the doorway so that I’d have to pinch his paws and/or snout to get it closed again. 😉 He’s cute enough that I usually don’t make him move, and it does feel warmer in the sun again.

Feist prefers a perch inside the back door. She also prefers that we not find somewhere else to store those boxes.

The rest of these probably belong on my sorely neglected gardening blog, but hey.

From the other day, the rosemary is getting new growth in spite of some freezing temperatures.

I’m not even cropping out the piece of trash that blew in, nicely demonstrating that this is a very London spring*. 😉

I’ve been impressed at how well that rosemary has done, anyway, coming from a climate where overwintering even the extra-hardy ‘Arp’ cultivar is a crapshoot. I used to have to replace plants most springs, if I wanted to grow rosemary, since overwintering in the house didn’t work out so well. In this climate, bog standard rosemary just puts out some new growth most of the winter. This one came in a 4″ pot, not long after I moved in the spring of 2004, and has pretty much taken over the rosebush in that raised planting bed. We keep hacking it back, but it’s also determined to take over the pond anyway. For scale, the gate-pruned upright side comes most of the way up my head. The pond is about a meter across, and I’d totally drain and move it if we had a better place for it to go. (I may end up just dismantling it, instead of turning it into a carnivorous plant bog as half-planned now that there are no fish in there. Just a great need for mosquito dunks! :-|)

Besides having more than plenty of rosemary for eating, I really like the smell it gives most of the patio in warmer weather.

This is another one where the afternoon sunlight was a bit dazzling, but I kind of liked the visual effect.

The potted roses are also putting out new growth. I need to prune a couple of them back, anyway; the timing is still tricky for me to figure out, since they never go totally dormant.

Watching microclimates in action is interesting, even in a space as small as our mostly south-facing patio. The plants on shelves next the house wall, and under upstairs’ deck, stayed protected and enough warmer that more made it through the winter than I’d have expected. Some alyssum out in the open made it through, too, but I was surprised that flowering tobacco and Calibrachoa (close petunia relative) are still alive next to the house. Weeds are also really starting to come up in the pots now. Lot of maintenance work to be done out there!

A geranium is also trying to bloom. Pretty ratty-looking right now, but it should take off pretty quickly once it gets a bit warmer with more light.

Max dug up most of our bulbs, before I put some little edging fence on the main bed.

Those containers up in there? Trying to block some of the digging.

But, we have a couple of mini-narcissus up in a planter now.

Winter-lush layers of moss, with seedlings starting to come up in it! Also, a columbine sprouting up behind it. Snapdragons are trying to come back, further back in the bed. So, unfortunately, is grass.

I’m feeling a little intimidated right now by the amount of work that needs done back there, but plan to try to take it slowly and sanely. The gardening bug has very little regard for physical limitations, sometimes. 😉

But, overall, I’m glad for the light.


* Last month I did come within a hair of totally losing it, and chasing some guy down the sidewalk to most likely whale on him with my walking stick if he gave me too much lip. Mr. U and I were coming back from a nice dinner out, and saw some jerk openly emptying a bag of trash over our front garden wall. I did bellow at him to come back and pick his shit up, but kept some self-control in the face of rude dismissive gestures. The bellowing still surprised him, and he went scurrying away at some speed. Best just to go in the house, and not start acting like my mother on a bad day. But, really, the simple littering is aggravating enough.

That, BTW, would be the same front wall that some drunken jackass knocked a good chunk down with a sledgehammer, a few years ago. (I at least assume it was the same dude we actually saw lurching around in the middle of the night, taking a sledgehammer to walls down a side street about a week later. O_o) I also got extra irritated, because there was some dispute about who was supposed to get it repaired, and it still hasn’t gotten fixed. Given Kate Fox’s “Garden Preservation Society”, a couple of different people have said that they thought the house was abandoned because of that maintenance lapse (including one delivery person who didn’t even bother ringing to leave a package!)–and I also got pissed off at our yard apparently being fair game for OTT litterbugs because of it. Principle is one thing, but I also don’t want the neighbors to hate us. It actually looks better in these photos than recently, because I was having an easier time then bending over to pick up the trash regularly. I need a grabber, or one of the pointy litter-stabbing sticks.

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And, yeah, more complaints show up here than I would like, because it’s a safe place to air them! I’m not that crabby-sounding all day every day. Probably. 😉

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