I love the approach of each season every year, but I really, really love Spring. It’s warm enough to improve the garden, but not so hot that I fear heatstroke while doing it. And even though I lamented the mild, mild “winter” we had here, I’m now seeing some benefits:
It doesn’t matter that I kill these every year, within weeks. Hope springs eternal.
The two winters before this one were harsh by Central Texas standards. Each had prolonged periods of several days where the temp didn’t rise above freezing, and both had late-season (mid-February) freezes that helped bring my Meyer lemon tree to a state near death. The tree rebounded with lots of green growth, but I haven’t had blossoms, or, therefore, lemons, since Winter 2009. But check it out! Looks like I’ll be making limoncello and sorbet and tarts this winter!
The neighbors behind us have a lovely loquat tree in the corner of their yard. As it’s grown, the spread of its branches has reached well over into our yard, creating a nice shady corner for our plants. Loquats only produce fruit when winters are mild, and wow is this one producing! When the fruit ripen I’m going to send Christopher over to ask whether we might keep a few of the ones that are on our side of the fence. Who can say no to that angelic face, amirite? (Besides, there must be 100 loquats just on our side of the fence. Can’t imagine how many are on their side.)
Last year, I planted tomatoes earlier than the recommended planting date after looking at the weather forecast and seeing no danger. It’s a good thing I did, too, because I got a couple hundred tomatoes really early in the season and then none after that due to the severe drought conditions. Everyone else I talked to who was trying to grow tomatoes in my area had zero tomato production last year. Sooooo, this year I planted a week earlier than I did last year, and I’ve already got a few tomatoes on the vine!
Eight or nine years ago I planted a vine against our deck trellis that was supposed to produce some cool orange/yellow blooms. It never did, and the vine started becoming too invasive, creeping over everything else and loosening the boards on our deck. I’ve torn the dang thing out several times, but it’s super tenacious and apparently able to come back from a single missed root. I spent about an hour in the garden today pulling weeds and was about to tackle the vine again when I noticed that holy wow it’s blooming! I can’t say for sure that the flowers are a result of the warm winter, but it’s the only variable that’s changed in recent years. Fine, it can stay. For now.
And, of course…
A bumper crop of bluebonnets
The warm winter combined with more rain than usual means there are bluebonnets earlier and more widespread than I’ve ever seen them. They’re amazing.
Here’s the boy in a patch of ’em.
Yep. I heart Spring.