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April 23, 2005

Bleh -- supposed to freeze overnight

and snow two or three inches. It's the last week of April, it's been above 40 even at night for about two weeks -- everything's in almost full leaf/bloom. Hell, the daffodils and the muscaria are already bloomed out and the tulips are at full maturity! So naturally it's going down below 30 degrees tonight and a couple of inches of snow.

It's springtime in Ohio, none of it surprises me.

The only really odd thing, for that matter, is the sustained warm weather and above freezeing temps we've had since the second week of April. Funny (and I don't mean funny ha-ha) that the Bush Junta claims ecologists who say the climate actually is changing (probably at least in part attributable to humans' injudicious use of fossil fuels, changing the near-earth atmosphere) are wrong, but almost every web site I visited -- and I visited several different kinds of gardening sites, including one for a fruit orchard -- states as if it were accepted fact that spring arrives earlier now than it used to in many places, and the likelihood of loss from late frosts because of earlier spring is greater now than it used to be. The gardeners and orchard managers and farmers know this is true -- it stares hobby gardeners like me in the face every time we have to run out with sheets and trellises to try to protect already leafed-out plants from frosts that used to be seasonal on these dates -- but the BJ crew says that's fuzzy science.

It's fuzzy reality, apparently. Hell, like I think anybody in the big BJ up there in Washington has actually been arsed to garden any time in their pampered lives. I'm sure their families could afford to hire gardeners to handle all that inconvenient dirt anyway. Dirt is too real for folks like that, I'd wager. The Queen of England probably sees more of the weather than they do.

Anyhow, since the cold tonight likely will destroy all my tulips, I went out and cut several of them to bring in. They're really pretty -- deep maroon, almost purple. I think they were called 'black' tulips, and they're roughly the same color as the last ones I had that died when I tried to relocate them. These should be okay where they are, all of them, so I won't have to go through that crap again.

Anyway, I took some pictures of the tulips I cut, and I grabbed a couple of the blooms off the mockorange viburnum in the side yard just for kicks. We trimmed it back about a month ago, so there aren't as many blooms as there usually are by now -- but I'll sacrifice a few blooms to stave off the threats of the neighbor who hates anything that grows if it gets past the fence between our yards. I don't need to hear it.

Here they are:





And, of course, none of this would have been possible without the invaluable assistance of at least one of the staff:


That's Squeek. You can pretty much count on her to get right up your ass in the middle of anything you're doing that would better be done without her 'assistance.' Gord had been by earlier, but he'd determined that none of the flowers were food and bailed out. It isn't worth getting poked and shoved out of the way if it isn't for food, as far as he's concerned. Tink had helped me upstairs, while I was trimming them down to put in the vase -- like Gord, she was convinced they were food. Not knowing if tulips are poisonous to cats (most varieties of lilies and hyacinths, including the muscaria, are), I sprinkled water on her until she stopped trying to claw her way through my wrist to get at the leaves.

The dog, Max, and Doodle were, blessedly, absent from this project. It's not that they're any better or worse about it than the rest, it's just that the dog tends to want to get in my face when I have the camera, and Doodle trails a thin stream of chaos in her wake wherever she goes, whether she means to or not.

We've set up some 'hardware' to attempt to cover a couple of the plants outside for the night -- the new weeping pussy willow, which has finally leafed out this week, and the Atlas cedar, which has been looking more and more like it's recovering from whatever was bugging it over the winter -- there are green buds on most of the branches, and new needles growing. Figures we'd get a cold snap and some snow, I'm sure that's exactly what it needs (/sarcasm).

Feh -- at least my rosebushes and flowering almonds weren't scheduled to ship until Friday (yesterday). By the time they get here, it'll be sixty degrees again and hopefully I can get them in the ground next weekend.

This should be the last of the shitty weather for the year, so they ought to do okay once they go in. I don't know, though -- I've seen cold snaps exactly like this one as late as Mother's Day before. I put nothing past the weather in Ohio. It's about as realiable as one of Iacocca's little wonders from the late seventies. In fact, it reminds me very much of my '78 Plymouth Debacle, thanks very much.

Posted by Melinda at April 23, 2005 04:27 PM


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