From the Philadelphia area, thank you commentor Jeffery:
Hardy orange, 4/11/21Ornamental quince, 4/13/21Apple blossom, 4/14/21Parrot tulip, 4/15/21
What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?
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53 degrees and beautiful
Beautiful pictures jeffrey!
My early spring bulbs are done but the late ones are just beginning to bloom. Light frost the last two nights haven’t hurt them, but the hard freeze expected Monday and Tuesday nights will, and will probably drop the just blooming apple and peach tree blossoms again. Fruit used to grow so well here, but the early warm ups followed by hard freezes have affected harvests the last few years.
Also looks like I lost a climbing rose and two lilacs over winter, though one lilac has a small sucker at the bottom that I can grow into a full shrub. That’s going to take five years to get it near bloom size. ?
I’m surprised to see pictures of a citrus tree that far north, but the photo is beautiful. Thank you for sharing them.
@raven: It’s balmy in Athens. It’s 47 here.
@satby: The old apple orchard I live on in Virginia was similarly knocked out by a warming climate. My landlord planted it 1980-81, and it was productive into the 90’s. But then warm winters caused early blooming, and April frosts wiped out the crop. Bill planted three more suitable apple trees last weekend, which was good to see. But he made little money even in the good years, and it’s a hobby farm now. I’d like to plant some sour cherries this fall.
Not garden related, but:
Our friend has an organic farm and we went out and planted butterbeans yesterday! The Bohdi didn’t care for the pony and donkey but they liked him!
@raven: It’s beautiful.
Butter beans are one of those things that sound as good as they taste.
@Geminid: I’m going to try covering the 2 dwarf apple trees and maybe the peach tree with sheets, but it’s going down to 27°, so I don’t think it’ll really help. Last year I got one single apple after a similar late freeze. I brought the potted tomatoes that have been outside for almost two weeks back in too. Covering them for light frosts has worked well, but not even trying for a freeze.
Here’s the donkey and critter friends sweating Bohdi!
Some of the bamboo grew a foot while we were there.
@germy: My wife has a spiritual relationship with them. We grew a big plot last year and got abut two servings so we hope this is better. I’ve been known to drive 80 miles roundtrip to get them for her.
@JPL: The citrus is probably Poncirus trifoliata. It is deciduous so not bothered by freezing. The thorns are wicked seemingly 50 / 50 thorn to branch. The fruit is reported to be rough and bitter, as I recall. It looks okay in bloom and the rest of the year it looks threatening.
Wow, Jeffrey, those look like they came out of a catalog. Love the parrot tulip and apple blossom.
@satby: If you do more sheets and even a blanket, plus plastic tarp that is tight to the ground it will help hold the warmth from the ground around the apples. Remove the tarp when it’s daylight and above freezing to avoid overwarming. WA apple growers spray water that coats the trees with ice but this works for buds, not open flowers.
@Dan B: I’ll try that on the two apple trees! Not sure I can manage it on the peach, it’s over 6 feet tall. But I can give it a shot. Thanks ?
It’s pouring rain here. Dark with thunder cracks. So much for boating. Family are all vaccinated so we were hoping to slip in a boat ride. First in almost 9 months, but right now doesn’t seem likely.
it’s been getting hot here. For us, it’s almost summer. I took cuttings of begonias from mom’s garden to root. Today if the rain permits I will take cuttings from my blue daze to root. Probably several trays worth as it is a great ground cover and border and blooms for months. My coleus order came from Rosy Dawn. I Potter them up as well as an eBay order of 75 common violet roots and 5 birds foot violets. I dug some wild violets from my mother. I plan on a lot of violets under the big oak tree with the heavy shade. I need to plant out the phlox and dahlias she gave me. And plant my squash starts, hill up the potatoes. Beans are about 18 inches, last year the old fashioned pole beans out last new hybrids and produced all summer, till I got a little tired of beans. I also started rooting pentas. Red ones for mom, pink ones for me. I have aster seeds to start too. My biggest seed order hasn’t come. Seed companies are still back ordered. People stuck at home have discovered gardening leaving those who have been doing it for years saying where are my supplies? I did order pest control ahead of time this year. Last year when the bugs arrived, everything was sold out. Bugs like to eat vegetables and fruit more than flowers.
This is a fun time of year.
@satby: if you have any old Christmas lights, the hot incandescent ones, you can put them on your trees under the blanket, but not touching, to keep the tree warmer. The new leds don’t generate heat. This is an old citrus tree homeowner trick from books.
@Gvg: Darn, I don’t. But thanks for the tip. I’ll have to look on ebay for next year.
My daughter in Bordeaux said there had been several frosts there last week, which of course is a potential economic disaster for the whole region. The vineyards use giant paraffin candles to warm up the air around the vines not so much for temperature as to generate air circulation. She said the entire city smells of smoke. One day it was so strong, she felt the doorknob on the apartment beneath hers as she went to work to see if it was hot and there was a fire in the building. So I wouldn’t recommend that method for home use.
Here in Maryland the pruning in the vineyard has been finished for 2 weeks and buds are beginning to break. A bit surprising as the nights have still been pretty chilly. Low on Wed predicted to be 35, so keeping an eye on that, but it we dodge that freeze there’s a good chance we’re in the clear for the season. That would leave only fungus, bugs, critters, etc as disasters that need to be avoided for a good harvest. As local grower has said, “the only surprises from now to harvest are bad ones”.
My Serviceberry tree was in bloom when the weird cold snap/snow struck us on Friday. It never got below freezing, but the snow might have ruined the blooms. It’s been rainy since but sun today? Hoping to find out if all is lost…
Fun, but busy!
Didn’t they use to use torches to warm Florida and California orange groves when there was a threat of frost?
ETA: No, smudge pots.
Stupid question, but does your friend intentionally farm bamboo?
@satby: google about it. I just did and there are a lot of good tips about it. Also I hadn’t thought of halogen shop lights or plain old heat lamps. Also temperature controls…there are some mentioned that I have never heard of but are apparently common and cheap in colder areas.
Another citrus tip is to pile a line of dirt or sand along the bottom of the cloth or plastic so that cold can’t get under the edge to the plant. If you use plastic tarps, use 2 layers. Bubble wrap around tender tree trunks is really good insulation.
@debbie: The candles are the French equivalent of smudge pots, I guess. Five years ago there were real late killing frosts and severe damage to that year’s vintage. The richest chateaux, Petrus, Chateau Margaux, places like that, used rented helicopters to generate air circulation!
@debbie: Yes, his kids are selling it and they use it for mulch’ Dude is a top-notch organic farmer.
My attempts to garden this spring keep being interrupted by snow. My yard is cold and soggy, and soggy is unusual here in dry old Colorado.
I ordered spring plants during last winter’s shut-in time, they are starting to arrive, but the ground’s too wet to dig in yet.
Such lovely flowers to start the day.
@debbie: I’m processing video I took 12 years ago of him, a Rabbi and a bunch of friends harvesting wheat for Matzah for his wedding. Mind you this farm is deep in Oglethorpe County Georgia!
I was assuming the bamboo would be sold and processed into linens and everything else they seem to be making out of bamboo. I don’t know, the bamboo seems more threatening than triffids in your photo!
@debbie: They made their Sukkah out of it too. The bamboo in not a large scale part of the farm.
@raven: I love bamboo. There are so very many cool varieties. Up north her, not many are freeze resistant. I have one clumping type which is a fountain type. I have to police the base perimeter, but it doesn’t stray far fast.
My FiL had beautiful bbop -+ Buhda Belly and Golden. They were his wind break and neighbor screen. They were at least 20 feet tall but they all froze in the big chill. All the leaves dropped and my BiL said he raked up 32 bags of fallen stuff. Whether the bamboo survived is still unknown.
@Immanentize: The bamboo scene in Crouching Tiger is intense.
Versus “accidentally dropped a piece on the ground three years ago and has been trying to eradicate it ever since”?
@Immanentize: And Lil Bit’s prayer flags are on about a 12 ft bamboo pole!
@raven: I love that movie (and that scene). I never bought many DVDs, but I bought that one.
@raven: lil bit! I loved that pup. Not as much as you, but he spoke to me. Maybe particularly when he developed his tongue trouble. What a trooper. The prayer flags are high enough to send wishes straight to heaven.
@Immanentize: You should see this video I’m processing!! I’m at 45 minutes of harvesting wheat by hand and then using a bicycle run thresher!
@Immanentize: She was a good little doggie. My neighbor/tenant just brought home a black lab pup! The wheel is turning. . .
One of my very favorites, but I liked watching on a very large screen, just to appreciate the very subtle changes in facial expressions. Who would have thought such a tiny change in an arched eyebrow could mean so much?
@debbie: Ask Groucho!
Ceci n est pas mon nym
There’s a little bit of mystery in this year’s vegetable garden. I started some seeds early in a small portable greenhouse. Then one day we had strong winds and the greenhouse blew over, dumping the trays and piling debris on top of them.
I put the dirt back in the pots and about 3/4 of them actually successfully germinated. But they’re all mixed up. There should be at least 3 different species: tomatillos, yellow peppers and kale. Possibly a 4th I don’t remember (using up the last few pots). I think I’ve got survivors of all but I’m going to have an interesting random mix as I put them in the ground.
This is the most ambitious veggie garden I’ve ever done. I blame lockdown. Not ambitious for most of you, you’d probably call my 4’ x 8’ raised bed a window box. But ambitious for us.
Nah, he was playing to the back rows!
Hot! Dog! Great pictures!
I don’t have a yard anymore, but I do have a tiny patio in back of the townhome. You can’t keep a determined gardener down ;-). This weekend, I put out all my new babies in pots – tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, rosemary, and two kinds of basil. I finally feel at home now.
Three inches of snow this past Thursday night. That’s all melted now. Sunny and 60 today, 16 and four inches of snow forecast for Monday night. All pretty standard for April here: mow the grass, shovel the driveway, mow the grass, shovel the driveway. The conventional wisdom is “Don’t set out any plants before Mother’s Day if you want them to survive.”
@debbie: All my mother had to do was raise one eyebrow and I knew to shut up ?
I have inherited that trait ?
Purina Panda Chow!
Good Morning Everyone ???
@Immanentize: How is your FIL doing?
@rikyrah: good morning!
@WaterGirl: poorly. I think I will fly down to pick up the Immp mid May. Certainly he can get himself on a plane home…. But I think it will be my last opportunity to see Walter.
All this talk of Crouching Tiger and threshing and bamboo ++
One of my favorite songs:
Raindrops Pattering on Banana Leaves
J R in WV
We’re having a wonderful spring here in SW W Va, near the Ohio River Valley. Redbud in full bloom, Dogwood coming on too. Sarviceberry (the old pronounciation of serviceberry_ trees are blooming more than usual this year, also. Lots of wild fruit trees. The maple trees always have these tiny scarlet blooms, far more colorful than the fall leaves changing, but they’re so tiny they become a pastel against the background of leaves.
Of course, the common forest trees are leafing out, and every one has a different color of green, so there are 50 shades of green on the hillsides, which is pretty and interesting — I always wonder if you could use aerial photography to identify individual species of trees on the ground, say to select for sugar maples to harvest their sap.
On the ground we have white violets, violet violets, wild ferns, ramps, mayapple, trout-lillies, paper-whites, variegated purple ajuga, planted ostrich ferns and autumn ferns, trillium just starting, blue-belles, others I don’t really know the name of. The mayapples came up overnight about a week ago. I’ll be digging ramps to eat soon. They go great in any dish you would use onions of garlic in. Fried with potatoes, oh boy!
Yesterday was dim, chilly and gloomy, with a little drizzle, but we went to an old friend’s birthday party, the first gathering of our friends in 18 months, as everyone has their vaccinations now. String music, lots of hugs, some tears. W was 74 yesterday, and pretty women clustered around him for hugs, the lucky guy! We got home about dark, after a great afternoon in the yard around his tiny log cabin. He’s building another log building beside his house to show a friend how it’s done. What a hobby. He’s built some stunning and beautiful homes in the woods and on the ridges over the years. A great musician also, too. He worked with me on both the home here in WV and the winter camp in Arizona.
Gorgeous flowers, this morning. I think it’s better if I just enjoy the flowers here this season. Depressing news this morning about brown tail moths and expected drought this summer.
@Immanentize: I’m so sorry to hear that. So much loss.
@WaterGirl: It makes me very tired.
So sorry to hear this news.
Hopefully this song will bring a little cheer to your Sunday. One of my favorites.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zSWNWWREtsI Texas Sun
Between marauding deer and cancer treatment I am not up to gardening. But I love reading about your exploits, and you motivated me to subscribe to a weekly farm box. Happy Sunday!
Lovely flowers! The bulbs I planted are all done already. I guess I didn’t vary them enough.
@Immanentize: Processing all that loss, even in the background, takes a long time and a lot of energy. Of course you’re tired.
Not to mention covid, which adds to it. sigh.
Today is onion day in this speck of the upper left. Cherries have started blooming and the apples are close behind. The weather is still uncannily good — the lilacs may actually bloom (at the proper time) without being blasted by wind and/or cold rain.
I just made TaMara’s King Arthur Flour English Muffin Bread. It is cooling on the counter. High hopes.
ETA: Thank you for the gorgeous photos!
Two-day chill expected here in NE Illinois Mon/Tues, with nighttime drops below freezing possible. I’m mostly concerned about the crabapple buds, but also the daffs–they are so lovely this spring and I don’t want them to get hit with frost. I also have a volunteer gray dogwood that I transplanted in a more hospitable location and is just putting out leaves, but it’s a native as well so I am hoping it can cope.
I left leaf cover over most of my flowers and shrubs because I half-expected something like this. It is only mid-April. I’m just tired of the cold.
The soundtrack is good too.
@raven: We vacation on the NC coast and butterbeans from the local produce markets really complement the metric shit-ton of fresh seafood we eat when we’re there.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: I had a 4×8′ raised bed for a few years–you can get a metric butt-ton of tomatoes out of something that size. I learned the hard way, however, that you really have to pay attention to soil quality–it can go downhill fast. Crop declined every year until I finally gave up after 4-5. I was feeding the soil but apparently not enough.
Let us know how it turns out. English muffins in loaf form is an interesting concept.
English muffin bread makes the absolute best French toast.
It’s heating up here in Sacramento and the pansies are crisping the last days away. Sweet peas watermelon parsley and basil and a mj are going into the raised bed today – fingers crossed.
@WaterGirl: I’m preparing to make that recipe later today!
@J R in WV:
I love your reports.
@Kristine: We’re supposed to get a wee bit of snow out of that too. Winters last gasp, thank the gods.
Special for shut-ins on this beautiful day: BJ favorite My Favorite Year (1982) coming up on TCM at 12:30 p.m. EDT. “A rookie writer (Mark Linn-Baker) tries to keep an old swashbuckler (Peter O’Toole) sober for his boss’s (Joseph Bologna) live TV comedy show in 1954.” O’Toole’s seventh (of eighth) unrequited best actor nominations.
@Steeplejack: I always thought Peter O’Toole was playing Peter O’Toole in that movie.
Apparently he did an Oscar-worthy job! Unlike Val Kilmer, about whom one producer supposedly said, “I wouldn’t hire him to star in The Val Kilmer Story.” Temperamental.
I’m so jealous. Yesterday we got several inches of snow, which will probably melt off some today but looks like a weather pattern that is likely to continue through the week. The Colorado mantra always being, “But we really need the moisture!” notwithstanding, I am ready for some sun and higher temperatures again. And I really, really, want to hear hummingbirds buzzing around before the end of the month. Seems we usually get them by the middle of April, but these last couple years they haven’t made their presence known up here till later. I miss them.
@J R in WV: I keep meaning to make a road trip out to western Virginia/West Virginia this time of year, when Rocky Mountain April is an even crueler month than it is elsewhere…oh, well, maybe next year, inshallah!
Coincidentally the irrepressible Selma Diamond, who appears in that film, had been one of the writers for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows.
@Kristine: Lime might help. It contains calcium, which tomatoes need. If you don’t want to affect soil ph, garden gypsum might be a good soil amendment, as it is a ph-neutral compound of calcium and sulpher, another plant nutrient. I noticed fairly inexpensive bags of gypsum at a Lowe’s a few weeks ago.
Cowgirl in the Sandi
I made TaMara’s King Arthur Flour English Muffin Bread last night and it came out great! We had it for breakfast this morning and it was really good.
Pansies and lilacs and all the flowering trees are about done here (East Bay CA) but the roses are looking good.
Several heat records set this week here in Oregon. The trilliums and fawn lilies have begun to fade. Cherries are in full bloom and with the dry weather we should get a nice long run from their blossoms. Dogwoods are waking up.
Off topic, but I am now in Facebook jail for 7 days for the sin of quoting a racist’s own words back to her in my response.
OT – Something’s messing with the front page at the moment. Only one column is showing.
If I turn off uBlockOrigin I see that about 30,000 Twitter things are being loaded, so maybe something broke with Twitter’s recent outages/issues.
(Chrome on Win10, but the same thing with FF on Win10.)
I’m not an actor. I’m a movie star! What a great line
There’s an active shooter near the arboretum in NW Austin. Three people are dead so far, and the 24/7 news doesn’t appear to be covering it.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@JPL: Jesus Christ.
I have noticed the cable networks are slow to get to those situations.
@JPL: Another day another day guys are used as a tool….to kill fellow citizens.
Posting from Indianapolis–3 this year for us.
We have here at the new home what I think is a peach tree, based on the pits and the very dried up few fruits I found on the ground last fall. It’s in full bloom and this is a “don’t plant until after Mother’s day” area. The just opening buds survived two morning’s that got down to 27, but it gets sun almost immediately after sunrise and maybe that helped. The arborist told me that getting fruit here is at best 50/50, and that’s fine if it and the smaller cherry never make much.
I went to bed feeling quite beat up after first planting some things for an older neighbour (who appears to know nothing about gardening or plants), then digging up the 6″ deep drip tubing around the bed filled with shrubs and all their roots so I can replace all the damaged parts. Then I transferred some concrete pebble pavers to the front and enclosed them with landscape timbers so we have a place to put the hose so it’s not wallowing around in the fine mulch and being a mess to deal with. We love the Ponderosa pine in that bed, but they drop a ton of needles and any coarser of a mulch means you rake it up along with the needles. So, fine mulch that mats down it is!
@JPL: Damn. It’s just an everyday thing now. The increase in the background level of crazy in this country (thanks Putin and TFG) is driving the rate ever upward.
Today has been just beautiful…I’m actually looking forward to hanging around while Fro Jr is at soccer tryouts later this afternoon.
The tadpoles in our nearby retention pond are getting just a little bigger (and possibly less spastic).
@Steeplejack: A Perfect Movie! Selma Diamond and Peter O’Toole have a brief conversation that cannot be topped. Sheer Joy.
Maybe tangentially related to spring issues… I get about three or four sinus infections a year and have issues with my sinuses pretty much all the time. Years ago (like over a decade) I had a small panel of allergy tests done, about 16 or so on my forearm and was told I had some pollen and mold allergies and a mild cat allergy. Well, this week I went to an allergist for an update and some ideas on how to handle sinuses when the OTC allergy stuff doesn’t do enough.
They did a massive number of tests – 54 on my back and 27 on my arms. And they tell me they were ALL negative. That I’m not allergic to anything. Or at least none of the things they tested for. They tell me I am NOT allergic to cats.
So. Huh. I still feel allergic. I guess in the spring if you’re inhaling a fine powder, it will irritate even if you’re not allergic to it. The doctor said there are other things than allergies that can cause sinus issues, so he’s ordered blood work and a CT scan of my sinuses.
But I can’t just get past the (apparently mistaken) notion that I’m allergic to this and that.
@Steeplejack: OMG! My Favorite Year! “I’m not an actor, I’m a movie star!”
@Steeplejack: I prefer English Muffin Bread to english muffins – there was a guy at the farmer’s market that sold both, and I preferred the loaf.
However, mine did not turn out well. The texture wasn’t right and the taste wasn’t good. No idea why.
@MomSense: I think brioche makes the best french toast. We’ll have to have a french toast-off when we have the BJ woodstock at the place in Maine. :-)
Or we could do it at the one at Betty Cracker’s place!
@HinTN: Let me know how it goes for you. Mine looked good but was not good.
@JPL: And there was a bar shooting in Kenosha, WI early this morning. 3 dead, 2 injured, gunman still at large per CNN site an hour ago.
@JoyceH: I’m not a doctor, so can only relate my own experiences. When there is an overdose of pollen in the air, I can have reactions to anything. You might be mildly allergic to a few things, but if you are in contact with them at the same time, it explodes.
I find that decongestion tablets help, but you have to be faithful taking them. Here you have to sign for them at the pharmacy. NasalCrom is also good.
@Another Scott: Occasionally there is some code in a front page post that causes the right-hand column not to show.
I just saw your comment now at 2:41, and the issue had migrated to page 2 by this point.
i will keep an eye on page 2 as new threads are posted so I can identify the offending thread.
I’m still so tired from yesterday’s landscaping extravaganza that my motivation is sorely lacking, and the list of tasks so long I can barely look at it. Time to break the list into smaller tasks so there’s a sense of accomplishment in crossing them off; that usually gets me going again.
@StringOnAStick: The to-do list has very powerful mojo.
@JoyceH: I have killer seasonal allergies, some years are worse than others. If those might be the source of sinus issues I would try using Flonase, which is a steroid nasal spray that takes around 10 days to kick in totally. I find that easier to use than tablets, and it never causes drowsiness. It is OTC.
Sister Golden Bear
@JoyceH: I have something similar. The official diagnosis is “allergic rhinitis,” which essentially means “you have allergies but we have no idea why.”
@JoyceH: My father was allergic to “everything that’s green and grows” and I’m similar. I went through a course of desensitization shots that lasted years. It helped early on, but I still needed to take otc stuff. (I live in NoVA with lots of oaks, ragweed, etc, etc.)
I used to get sinus infections every winter when the air got dry. It was miserable.
I finally went to another ENT and he gave me a script for Azelastin HCl spray. It’s amazing at first. It instantly stopped the swelling in my sinuses and let them drain properly.
I still take otc stuff (generic Allegra), and the Azelastin HCl isn’t as amazing as it used to be, but it still helps.
I agree with the comments above – irritant reactions can be hard to distinguish from allergies. But keep looking for something that helps no matter the docs want to call it. See if they will give you an Azelastin HCl script.
HTH a little. Good luck!!
@JoyceH: I had a similar event, and I basically think they are wrong. I get a reaction to certain things at certain times, reliably, year after year.
I also found out that they did not tell me to stop taking allergy medication a week before testing , which probably means the tests were worthless. I didn’t know. It’s not like they couldn’t have told me when I made the appointment.
I also found out the tests are kind of generic as to “oak” pollen and “pine” pollen and not the specific species in your area. That is probably significant too.
Whatever, my life is miserable if I don’t take allergy meds and pleasant when I do.
Allergens are often incredibly specific, which makes sense because pollen is a protein, and all proteins are typically huge, incredibly complex molecules. Just one different fold in a section of a protein makes it very, very different.
Example: after decades of being exposed and scratched by those extremely common landscaping junipers, they now give me horrible contact dermatitis that only a course of prescription steroids will stop (yuck). Native juniper trees have zero effect on me. It’s that one variety of plant and it’s specific protein/pollen, and not anything similar. The immune system can be very specific.
@WaterGirl: Dead thread, but I had a few minutes.
I notice that the “Post and Comments” button on your thread – https://balloon-juice.com/2021/04/17/i-got-the-shot-9-weekend-edition/ – (on the 2nd page at the moment) doesn’t show up as a button for me, but rather as just a link. Maybe something got mangled there?
Hope this helps a little. Thanks for all you do, WG.
(Chrome on Win10).
@Another Scott: Yes, that was it! thanks