Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter Chores

One of the best things about winter in Atlanta is that it is generally mild, and the cold snaps tend to be short lived.  Earlier in the week we had overnight temperatures down into the twenties, and we didn't warm out of the thirties for a couple of days.  Now that the sun has returned, the plants (and our old gardener bones) were loving today's 60 degree temperatures!
"Mr and Mrs" were away last week with their children, so we had the perfect opportunity to disassemble lots of the holiday decorations in and around the main house, and it was also the perfect time to do a good cleaning of the glass house.   We started in the potting shed getting rid of things that had outlived their lives or simply hadn't been used in the past couple of years; in the glasshouse proper, it was time to do some hard pruning on some of the tropicals and start shaping them for their spring re-emergence at the pool and elsewhere in the garden.  (The red hibiscus doesn't seem to realize it's winter, though, and continues to bloom its little heart out!)
The glass house still looks somewhat empty, though this is the time of year when it's a favorite reading spot for "Mrs" when we leave at the end of the day.  (It is positively glorious in a snowstorm!)  The first of the seeds are starting to sprout;  this one I like mostly for the story it brings.  A parrot seems to have dropped it at a friend's garden in Coral Gables last year, and the seeds were collected and brought back when I was there in November.  I think it's an iris or something similar, but we'll see soon! 
Outside, we've been topdressing the vegetable beds, giving the earthworms a couple of months to work their magic before we start planting summer crops.  The winter brassicas and such are continuing to provide kale, chards, and other greens.  We pull the snapdragons from the patio containers for the coldest part of the winter when they aren't blooming.  After a brief respite here, they'll bud out again and go back to the area around the house. 
Carmen, the weeding machine, preps everything prior to the topdressing, and also takes great delight in clipping the Creeping Fig that grows on the garden wall.  She is also the one who does such perfect squirrel-proof packaging for the potted tulips that will go up nearer the house when they start to sprout. 

1 comment:

  1. Tim,
    So happy that you have started blogging again.
    Everyone missed you these last six months. You are an amazing gardener.

    Have a great weekend,