Spring Is Coming...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 04, 2015 8:06 AM GMT
    The frogs are singing. They woke up last Tuesday. There are two owls in the yard, hooting up a storm, and one farther off in the woods.

    Only a few more weeks until I can put the shirts away and take the top off the jeep. icon_razz.gif

    Are you ready for outdoor sex season?
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    Feb 04, 2015 8:21 AM GMT
    not here, it's snowing.icon_sad.gif
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Feb 04, 2015 8:24 AM GMT
    @Mindgarden

    But you're in Oregon, that's not fair! Some of us are stuck in a veritable arctic tundra. Curse your temperate climate! icon_cool.gif
  • jeep334

    Posts: 411

    Feb 04, 2015 12:36 PM GMT
    In central New York we haven't had a day above 32° in almost a month with most nighttime temperatures falling below 0°. Even Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby told us there's going to be another 6 weeks of winter just before he tried to bite the ear off of the mayor. We're used to a lot of snow but the cold has gone on for a really long time. The only good thing so far is that heating oil is almost $2.00 less a gallon than it was at the end of the season last year. Spring can come anytime and would be most welcomed in this house.
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    Feb 04, 2015 12:47 PM GMT
    mindgarden said

    Are you ready for outdoor sex season?


    Over here on the upper right coast, not until June, at least...

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    Feb 04, 2015 12:48 PM GMT
    Still a bit nippy in the deep south, but you can feel that the seasons are about to change.
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    Feb 04, 2015 5:51 PM GMT
    It is always warm here in North Queensland icon_smile.gif
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Feb 04, 2015 6:09 PM GMT
    This thread makes me wish living in South Beach for the year-round warm weather.

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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 04, 2015 6:29 PM GMT
    Whatevs
    Spring was so last week.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 04, 2015 6:31 PM GMT
    mother of snow storms in Denver today
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    Feb 04, 2015 8:14 PM GMT
    Spring has come - it's almost summer now. But where are the those hawks? Planted some tulips and forgot to cover them with wire, and the damn squirrels (alien invaders) dug down and ate them in short order.
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    Feb 04, 2015 8:30 PM GMT
    Birds signaled spring here too. Hawks becoming way more active and gregarious as are the crows. I heard some sandhill cranes in a neighbor's yard yesterday. My laural oaks are already green again. In another week or two I'll start dividing bamboo. This week I've been spring cleaning the garden, pressure cleaning off any abundance of moss or lichen; some stuff got a little moldy and I've got a few species susceptible to scale so I pressured cleaned those off. Just now I was power washing an ancient ligustrum.

    They live 50 to 150 years and from where this one is planted I'm assuming it dates back to at least the 50s. They can get to about 20 ft tall, which is about where this one is. I've never seen one this large before so I do want to keep it healthy. Only it's right under some pines so gets rained on with needles that were creating a mat over the entire thing. So probably every five years or so I'll just knock those off. Also I cleaned the branches which were laden in lichen. You have to be real careful not to damage the bark with the pressure cleaner so I judge by distance, only getting close enough to take off some of that outside layer of gunk.

    Anyway, it's a messy job but coming out pretty good.

    Here's some pics of all that.

    pressure cleaning off scale from Bambusa malingensis
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    Bambusa lako spring cleaned
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    Dendrocalamus asper 'Betung Hitam' cleaned up nicely.
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    This is Bambusa Nana, super beautiful. Normally I'd just cut down one that got that bad but this is a division I had trouble cranking up, very surprised it survived, and only put up two culms last year so I'll keep this one with it's leafing intact to collect the sun's energy until this years culms come up. But even still, it cleaned up well enough to not look horrible...

    IMG_7931_zpsfr3yqpkj.jpg

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    Here's a random web pic of what that will look like when mature. Isn't that just stunning.

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    Here's the ligustrum. You can see how bad the matting gets on top (first two pics, one from underneath)

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    It's a dirty job but someone has to do it
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    Here's how beautiful it comes out showing off all those negative spaces.

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    Close up of the lichen on it. When I finish it will look like basically a 20 foot tall bonsai tree.
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    And here's the sure sign of spring, no cleaning required. Just walk by the windows and enjoy.
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    IMG_7999_zpsg374lckx.jpg

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    Feb 04, 2015 8:47 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidAre you ready for outdoor sex season?

    I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm. I'm as jumpy as a puppet on a string. I'd say that I had spring fever, but I know it isn't spring. I am starry eyed and vaguely discontented, like a nightingale without a song to sing. Oh why should I have spring fever, when it isn't even spring?

    I wish I were someone else, walking down a strange new street and hearing words that I've never heard from a man I've yet to meet.

    I'm as busy as spider spinning daydreams, I'm as giggly as a baby on a swing. I haven't seen a crocus or a rosebud, or a robin on the wing! But I feel so gay in a melancholy way, that it might as well be spring; it might...as well...be spring.
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    Feb 04, 2015 9:15 PM GMT
    Yep, the first wildflowers are popping open. These little crocuses we call "grass widows." I can usually find a few, the first week of February, if there is no snow on the ground, but there are hundreds out around the house already.

    PurpleGrassWidow_225x231.ashx
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    Feb 04, 2015 9:29 PM GMT
    Down here in California we often get these "fooled ya!" warm days in February. Yesterday it was 71 and I had all the windows open. Today it's back down in the 50s.
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    Feb 04, 2015 10:41 PM GMT
    These first flowers usually get buried in snow or frozen - the main wave is in April.
    The big problem is when these warm February days tell the fruit trees to start waking up, then a hard freeze comes along and kills all the buds. That has happened all the way up to May 15 or so. icon_sad.gif
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    Feb 04, 2015 11:55 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidYep, the first wildflowers are popping open. These little crocuses we call "grass widows." I can usually find a few, the first week of February, if there is no snow on the ground, but there are hundreds out around the house already.

    PurpleGrassWidow_225x231.ashx

    Beautiful. Seeing that made me wonder if the spiderwort was in bloom yet so I scoured and found one
    spiderwort_zpseicawcux.jpg

    and that color would mix perfectly with your crocus.

    I'd thought last year to catch these before bloom this year, gather up all the random scatterings of them and plant them purposefully in a bed of them but I guess I've missed my timing on that so I'll just let them go into bloom and maybe gather them up at the end of season instead of waiting for next season again.

    Just checked hardiness zone for crocus. Think I'm just a tad warm in summer. They probably burn out. Bummer. Nice plant.
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    Feb 05, 2015 3:29 AM GMT
    Astronomical Spring begins on March 21st
    Meteorological Spring begins on March 1st.

    Can't wait for either date. even though here in southern texas, winter hasn't been bad at all.
  • wesv

    Posts: 907

    Feb 05, 2015 3:31 AM GMT
    It's been pretty warm here in the Southland. Winter is practically over. We have temps in the high 70s and low 80s. Warm temps but the smog today was horrendous.
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    Feb 05, 2015 5:00 AM GMT
    theantijock said

    and that color would mix perfectly with your crocus.

    I'd thought last year to catch these before bloom this year, gather up all the random scatterings of them and plant them purposefully in a bed of them but I guess I've missed my timing on that so I'll just let them go into bloom and maybe gather them up at the end of season instead of waiting for next season again.

    Just checked hardiness zone for crocus. Think I'm just a tad warm in summer. They probably burn out. Bummer. Nice plant.


    Here are the particulars for that plant.
    http://www.learn2grow.com/plants/olsynium-douglasii/
    But... it does most of its growing under the snow, or in saturated, shallow soil (like 1-2" over bedrock) at 30 - 40°F. Seems to thrive by being earlier than anything else. It goes dormant as soon as the weather gets warm. So... I'm guessing it's not gonna like Florida. Maybe some phlox?
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    Feb 05, 2015 4:29 PM GMT
    I didn't know about phlox, well, except for, ya know, phlox onion and eggs, but google-imaged and those are very nice. Thanx for making me aware of them. Reading further it seems most varieties would burn here but some speculate that a few of the varieties might survive our summers. It sounds too risky for my survive-on-your-own gardening style.

    I can grow more of the northern-esque flowers since moving out of south Florida (those azaleas outside my window now, I was never able to grow further south) but I seem to be in some sort of a weird microclimate, I think based upon topography and varying surrounding environments being near both city and wilderness. So planting gets tricky. For instance, it should get enough cool here to produce good eating apples, but my summers might get too warm for the trees even though I understand that if I could get them established, they should be okay. Meanwhile, I've killed a number of them trying. So I'm still figuring this out.

    I've a question maybe you might know. Last year I thought I was going to have a bumper crop of avocado (Mexican Grande) based upon their flowering and I've got the same flowering right now, the tree is full with them. But last year I got not a single fruit.

    The avocado is supposed to be self pollinating, not requiring even cross pollination. The flower is interesting because it opens twice, once as male and once as female, if I understand that right. So not a matter of bugs or other trees, should I be shaking the tree to try and mix it up or something? Any reason you can think of why a plant would flower but not produce fruit?
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    Feb 05, 2015 6:22 PM GMT
    Well, it happens all the time here... as mentioned above, spring time frost kills the embryo within the blossom and the whole crop is lost in one night.

    Don't know anything about avocado, except they cost too much in the stores up here.

    Fungal disease can also damage the embryo, but usually not the whole crop at once.

    The blossoms still look fine... you have to tear them open to look at the embryo, or if they're wide open and you know what you're looking for, you can just peer into them. The little knob at the base of the pistil should be bright green, no black or brown spots. Quite frequently, the whole pistil just swivels away to a tiny dried black thread. icon_cry.gif Can't find a really good picture on the web...

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    Right now, most people here are worried about the arctic blast we had last fall, before the trees went dormant. There might not even be any buds this year. Lots and lots of dead wood out there. Some of the new plantings are probably completely dead. Can't tell for sure how bad it is yet.
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    Feb 06, 2015 6:41 PM GMT
    I had read your mention of freeze, I don't think we had that, but I don't now know. I recall thinking it so odd because at the time I thought we hadn't a frost but I don't recall now if I'd checked all the nighttime temps so maybe we did have a dip I wasn't aware of. Hopefully that was the only problem if so. If it happens again this year I'll check all that.

    Because as you rightfully note, those things have gotten pricey but I love them so that's why I planted. Tree got real big already. Is beautiful. I was going to plant a few varieties that can handle this zone but with differing fruiting periods to extend the harvest but I wanted to see what this one did first, which so far only produced one early on as a baby, which didn't ripen right but the look, color, texture was all excellent and even the taste was good considering it wasn't ripe. It seemed it would one day produce excellent fruit.

    What you say about the embryo, I guess that's stuff I knew all along having had earth science classes and some biology way back in school but don't normally think along those lines, being non hetero haha; but real interesting how you describe it, and I might just dissect one to see. Gee, I hope I won't be labeled an abortionist.

    Hopefully no fundamentalists are lurking here or we'll soon have them protesting the jet stream.
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    Feb 06, 2015 6:49 PM GMT
    Spring is coming? It hasn't been over 30 degrees here this year. icon_razz.gif And we have a foot and a half of snow on the ground. Sigh...
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    Feb 06, 2015 7:01 PM GMT
    ^icefishswimmer
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