What a swing - it was in the low '80s late last week, and now they're predicting a hard frost tonight with lows in the '20s! Growers across New England is worried about their crops, especially on fruit trees that flowered early and are in danger of coming up empty this year.
I'm not worried about our apple trees, which have started to sprout leaves but not yet flowered. But our "Raritan Rose" white peach tree is about halfway into open flowers, and I hope it will be ok. I have faith that all will be well, as I've read that the biggest danger is to trees that have already dropped their flowers, not those whose buds are just peeking into pinkness.
I thought about putting a blanket or something over the peach tree, but everything we had either seemed too flimsy (insect shielding garden fabric) or too heavy (even our most lightweight blanket). So the little guy is on its own, warmed only by the concern of its caretaker....
Sigh....Soon enough we'll be back to the warmer side of this wacky spring, able to enjoy such sweet things as this:
My garden never ceases to blow me away. Almost the hot second that I pushed "publish" on my post lamenting my tall, healthy, but flower-less sugar snap pea plants, what should I see sprinkled all over the top foot or so of the plants? And thanks, Nell, for urging me to "just wait." Wise advise inceed!
Oh, and guess what's happening in the orchard?
A bona fide peach! Yes, sir. Things happen in gardens.
This morning my neighbors sprayed their trees for winter moth. The spray is "non-toxic," so says the company and some mild Internet research. It's water-soluble as well. But...it's bug spray, and the tree hovers right over my vegetable patch (which the winter moths could care less about), from whence comes tonight's salad.
Last year I got on a list the company maintains to be notified before the spray went on, and I was super-impressed that they actually followed up and called to let me know it was coming.
So last night, this happened:
And this morning, when the spray rained down and floated across my backyard in a white cloud, wow was I glad I did it. Another hour or so and the stuff should be dry, so Operation Rescue My Sweltering, Tented Plants will go into effect.
By "bald" I mean that my sugar snap pea plants are almost 3 feet tall, healthy and strong, yet are sporting not one single flower. Some initial research suggests this might be due to a potassium deficiency in the soil, so I'm contemplating ways to get a quick jolt of potassium into the soil (unless that's a bad idea....anyone out there have thoughts on this?).
But there are some beautiful things going on in the garden. Chiefly, our very first strawberry harvest. They weren't the sweetest berries we've ever tasted, but they were red, they were ripe, and we grew them from some spindly little seedlings we bought at the nursery last year. As my great-aunt Minnie loved to say, God is good.
Two bits of "second chance" inspiration in the garden -
First, the cloned New Dawn roses that we started in our condo before we moved here almost 2 (!) years ago are springing to life beautifully....all 4 of them! We couldn't have ever imagined such success, and now all we have to do is wait for the buds and blossoms. We even had to trellis them, not bad for a year-2 plant that started as a cut-off-the-original stick.
The other second chance is the hanging planter ball, which I had failed miserably at with lettuce, and which sat fallow last year in our garage in the frustrated-failed-projects corner. I decided to give it a fresh start this spring, and I put mint in instead of lettuce. The legend is that you can't kill mint, and although I've always managed to find a way around that adage, hope does indeed spring eternal.