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Friday, January 24, 2003

Wisteria a-bloom

Even if you practically live in your garden, it can still surprise you in wonderful ways.

As I looked out my back door this morning, I saw that the wisteria on the back trellis had begun to bloom. I hadn't even noticed the flower pods on the vines when I was working out there the last few days.

The low morning sun was perfectly highlighting the purple flowers and the air was filled with their scent. A wonderful way to start the day.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Web Links

Country Living Gardener had some interesting links in this months issue. All of these are specifically non-Californian in their scope so hopefully this will balance the SoCal bias you find here at AGN.


Buckeye Yard and Garden Online

News for Northwest Gardeners

North Carolina Pest News

State Partners, USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service

Prunings finished...Yea!

As you can see, I finally finished up the rose pruning today. Working through the 20 bushes in the front garden took me just over an hour.

I still need to go back and clean up underneath each plant. This helps to prevent rot around the base of the plant and also helps to clean up any leaves that might have been infected with black spot or other fungal diseases.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Let there be light!

I took a few minutes the other night, after dark, to string up some leftover Christmas lights around the large wisteria trellis at the back of the house. It is a bit early to be planning for my annual garden party in June, but since they were lying around I figured I might as well put them up.

The back garden doesn't get a lot of use after dark except by the nightly visiting opossum and feral cats of the neighborhood. I want to remedy this as the nights start to get warmer. Often, in the heat of the summer, the only time you can enjoy the garden is after the sun has set. Any day that rises above 100 degrees F usually leaves 70-80 degree F nights in its wake. The trellis lights are merely step on in the process of lighting up the back garden.

I have been looking at various landscape light sets, much the light the one I have in the front yard. That set came with a transformer, wire, 6 pedestal lights and 3 spot lights. I realize now, as most people do, that pedestal lights are fairly worthless in lighting up a garden. The simple up-lighting of my Elm tree, my tree fern and the azalea bushes in front of our porch are much more interesting than the wash of light on the driveway from the pedestals.

I think I am going to go and buy the parts separately and build my own system for the back garden. First, it will be almost entirely spot and flood lights. I have lots of good opportunities for up and down lighting throughout the back. It will probably cost more than a packaged lighting system, but I think it will be much more attractive and useful. It will also take longer to install, but if I start soon I should be done in plenty of time for summer outdoor fun. I will post more and the project comes together.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Rose Pruning

We had some visitors today so I took advantage of them by asking them to come out to the garden to talk while I started the mundane task of pruning my 50+ rose bushes. It was really nice to have the conversation to make the time pass quickly.

I felt I really needed to get started on this task. The weather has been in upper-70's to low-80's the last week and so the roses were already putting on a flush of growth. Usually I have until the end of January or even mid-February before I have to complete the task.

I got through about 20+ bushes in the rear garden today and will spend about another hour finishing those in the front garden before I am done. Due to its better exposure, the front garden roses grow much bigger and so take a bit longer to prune.

The nicest thing about this job, though, is that once I get finished I don't have to think about it for another year.