The Gambler

Although the calendar says it’s still winter, the plants in my garden have decided that spring is here. The early spring flowering shrubs and vines are in full bloom. The Lilac Vines, Carolina Jessamine, Salvia Trident, Valentine Emu Bush and Red Spike Ice Plants began flowering several weeks ago and are covered with flowers and buzzing with bees. Most of the plants that froze during the hard freeze in early January have begun sprouting new leaves, and many of the other plants have broken dormancy and have begun to grow.

I love gardening and am always anxious for winter to end and spring to begin, so I’ve started my spring gardening chores. I’ve cut back all of the freeze damaged plants from 4 to 6 inches above the ground for plants like Lantana and Red Bird of Paradise, or back to signs of new growth for plants like Yellow Bells or Desert Ruellia. I raked up all the leaf litter and plant debris and the fertilized everything with a 10-10-10 fertilizer that also contains iron, sulfur and other micronutrients. And, of course, with all the rain that we’ve had I’ve been weeding and weeding and weeding. I’ve also been adding a few new plants in the ornamental garden and planted tomatoes and peppers in the vegetable garden. It may be pushing the envelope a bit to be doing all this now since the calendar says it’s still winter and our frost free date isn’t until March 4th, but the plants are telling me to get to work and I’m happy to do it.

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When I was at the nursery buying the tomato and pepper plants the guy at the counter turned to me and said “I see that you’re a gambler.” I replied “No”. Just a gardener!”

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