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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Gardener's Diary: Balmy February

Signs of spring as mid-February goes bipolar in Charlotte: 80F one day; 50F the next. Today a rain front is coming in.

But there are signs of life in the garden.

Across the street, my neighbor Mildred's forsythia is declaring spring sprung:


Well, *I* call them forsythia. Mildred, who will be 86 in the summer, says they are "yellowbells," so that is that.

Late last summer I took some cuttings and planted them out back, next to the compost bins, and they are thumbing their nose at their first winter on their own:

The ancient rosemary is in first bloom, bottom right:


Late last summer the front beds were dug out with a mechanical backhoe, to rid us of the roots of a mimosa that threatened to upend house and driveway alike, as well as three 35-year-old boxwoods with the blight.

I took a fortnight to sift the soil, pull out all the bulbs I could find, and then mulch and spread the new beds. I took another week to separate all the bulbs, then replant them in groupings. 

Now there's 152 of them coming up in better, less-compacted soil:



My much-loved, and much-moved pair of grape hyacinths are not only about to open, but they are now four:


That's one of the best things about gardening: take care of what you start with, and God gives you more as a reward.

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