Yesterday i stayed offline a good bit. After waking i spent time talking about a possible road trip with Christine. I didn't go to Meeting, but instead spent hours on the deck. It was comfortable outside, and much had dried up from the last rains.
There's a lot in flower, which surprised me. I've a purple verbena and an argyranthemum: they look like they are ready entering their long blooming seasons. Lavender and rosemary are blooming, and the lemon tree has quite a number of blossoms. The hellebore, subject of my photography on Saturday, was looking very unhappy, and i think that's what drew my attention away from all the plants that were beginning to spruce up. Usually the scented geraniums are what get my attention as the early blooms, and those are not blooming. I don't know if it was the frosts in December that nipped the taller branches or what. I didn't see any buds. On one of the red geraniums, though, there is a stalk with fat buds.
So, i wired plants up on stakes: one scented geranium is an experimental espalier subject, and the sage had gotten lanky. I wove together the newer branches of the white and scented geranium planting on the declining bakers rack: these plants i'm growing into some strange lattice to make use of the way they send out rambling branches to get the light.
I dumped out lots of little 4" pots full of dirt and dead plants: i've no idea how i collected so many. I was inspired to thin the aloe planter, which always seems to be thriving with complete neglect, and so took on the bigger job: digging out the Hedychium gardnerianum (a yellow ginger) from it's planter. This has been on my to-do list for over a year, but last year it sent forth such wonderful flowers, i couldn't bear to interrupt. The rhizome had utterly filled the planter. The ginger and aloes are off to a friend for her yard.
I'd a little viola that had survived the winter neglect, and in the dumped out soil i found some other rhizome or tuber. Maybe from the kalanchoe i'd bought as a blossom lesson for the first day school last fall? (That's why i had the viola.) Those i put in the "flower" planter: home to the happy purple verbena that i've got growing up a stake, to another less happy yellow kalanchoe, and to bulbs that never bloom.
With all the dead leaves and litter clipped, snipped, and swept, and with the plants rearranged to show off the most green, the garden looks thriving. With the rain coming later this week -- lots and lots and lots please! -- getting things tidy before they were all wet and slimy was a good thing. I did find where many of the slugs were hiding. Those were hurled off the deck, with hopes that robins would find them.
I'm incredibly stiff. This is a sign i sit far far too much!