Manic Spring

I’m going to be pretty busy this week with some work projects so blogging will be irregular.

It occurs to me I haven’t done any garden blogging in a while. It feels like spring has gone forever this year, but that’s just because we never really had a winter. In March we had some near-90 degree days, but then April turned cold: last night it was down into the 30s!

This means my garden has been very confused. When it turned hot in March, everything bloomed all at once: the lilacs, the irises, the tulips, all of the flowering shrubs and trees. And then all the blooms dried up and went away. So my usual showy spring display — a pop of spring colors and aromas staggered over two months — was pretty much kaput in three weeks. Damn you, climate change!

Right now everything looks a little overgrown:

My Garden Runneth Over

Pest control is always a huge problem for me. Usually I just douse everything in insecticidal soap and hope for the best, but this year I decided to experiment with some beneficial insects (I find Arbico Organics is an excellent source, though I’m sure there are plenty of others as well). I’ve already dumped a few thousands ladybugs on my roses, and sprayed some green lacewing eggs around. The lacewings hatched and went to town on the aphids after the ladybugs went off to parts unknown. I’ve also got some praying mantis larvae pods strategically attached to problem areas. Those haven’t hatched yet.

So far, so good. The aphids that were destroying my roses have vanished, and some other problem pests haven’t made an appearance yet. Hard to tell what’s the work of the beneficials and what’s the work of the squirrely weather.

Herbs Glorious Herbs

Even The Pond Is Overgrown Already

So, how does your garden grow?

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23 Comments

Filed under garden blogging, gardening

23 responses to “Manic Spring

  1. ThresherK

    Somewhere on the internet is a blogger whose yard looks as bedraggled as ours. Your blog is never that place!

    Large swaths of our yard have become “rezoned” owing to losing half of our trees, and we haven’t figured out what to do with it. Probably putting in groundcover this week.

  2. deep

    Wow. Beale your garden is gorgeous! Even overgrown it’s still more fabulous than anything I could ever produce.

  3. Min

    You have an amazing garden. I am envious beyond my ability to express.

  4. Mark Rogers

    I think bedraggled is unfair. I love your garden. It has a wildness that speaks to an owner with personality rather than someone who relies on gardeners or spends an obsessive amount of time gardening themselves.

    It looks so peaceful too. Very secluded and relaxing.

    • I think that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said on my blog. Thanks! :-)

      I do like to meditate by the pond in the afternoons. It can be peaceful — when the neighbors aren’t mowing their lawn of course.

      • Mark Rogers

        SB,

        It is a very lovely garden. And I never mix business with other things. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean that I don’t like and respect you.

        To quote from the Sacred Writings:

        “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”

      • Oh, see for me it is personal because I really feel strongly about these things. I know people whose lives have been adversely affected by Republican policies, moreso than even I am. I know people who are able to get insurance for the first time in years thanks to the healthcare law. Who are able to take care of some serious medical issues they were forced to put off for years, thanks to Obama. Knowing these people and caring about them, I just have a hard time respecting those on the other side who think everything was fine and we should go back to pretending that these people don’t exist or somehow are to blame for their situation — or worse, “chose” it.

        So. Guess it’s not my business, it’s my life. That’s the difference, I guess.

  5. My garden is–what ain’t broken ceement blocks and bricks–more thinly covered than my own scalp, S’okay, saves me mowing it.

    It was snowing earlier today.

  6. Mark Rogers

    SB,

    I could reply with a litany of reasons why I might have a hard time respecting those on the other side from me but what would it solve?

    The greatest problem we face as Americans isn’t health care or abortion or education or values or any other issue that someone thinks falls into the realm of ‘public policy.’ Our greatest problem is the growing gap between good people who represent the majority on each side. That gap grows more and more each day because the extremists on both sides want to widen that division because it increases their power to control their side.

    That is why it is so important to be able to disagree on education or taxes but to agree on gardens or movies or whiskey. That is how we avoid the trap of assuming moral superiority over those with whom we disagree. As Lincoln would say “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

    Also I try to keep in mind that the great secret of American self-government is not our ability to win elections but our ability to lose elections. I didn’t want President Obama to win but he did and he is my President. I have no more truck with the Birthers than I had with the ‘re-elect Al Gore’ crowd.

    I loathe anyone who talks about leaving if their side loses or who want to undermine the winning side. If a Republican representative or senator ever left the state to prevent a Democratic Legislature from being able to govern, I would campaign against that person,because such behavior is worse than any legislation it might prevent.

    And that is why even though I disagree with you on many things, I value your ideas and I like the relaxing environment of your garden.

    • That gap grows more and more each day because the extremists on both sides want to widen that division because it increases their power to control their side.

      See, I don’t agree with that. What you call extremists on my side and what I call extremists on my side are two completely different groups. The people I call the extremists on the left have very little traction in the Democratic Party. They have few if any elected representatives, their candidates are marginalized into never-gonna-win third parties — Ralph Nader, for example. Their leaders and ideas are basically shunned by Democratic Party leaders.

      I think the biggest problem we have is the failure of anyone to serve as an arbiter of reality. The idea that the Republican Party can claim President Obama is some kind of radical, far-left Socialist, and there are people who actually believe that? Despicable. When most of his ideas and policies are moderate, warmed-over Republican-light! Every idea was something that the Republicans embraced back in the 1990s, from healthcare reform to cap-and-trade. These were all Republican ideas. It boggles the mind. Obama is no more a radical far left Socialist than John Kerry was, yet both were “to the left of Ted! OMG!” And now we’re the extremists, for supporting policies the Republicans embraced 15-20 years ago? How does that figure?

      I’m waiting for the Republicans to come back from the edge to the world of reality. You can say you had no more truck with “birthers” than “the re-elect Al Gore” crowd, so I take it you’re equating “birthers” with the “stolen 2000 election” folks on the left? Really?

      And here is yet another great disconnect: birtherism was made up. Fabricated. A lie spread by the right to undermine an elected President. The president has a birth certificate. It was released. There is no controversy here, save one imagined by the tin-foil hatters at WorldNet Daily. But the 2000 election was not imaginary. I didn’t dream up a Supreme Court decision that stopped the vote counting, I didn’t imagine truckloads of Republican congressional staffers pretending to “riot” in a staged-for-the-media effort to stop the recount. I didn’t dream up butterfly ballots and the purging of thousands of names from the voter rolls by Secy. of State Katherine Harris. I didn’t make up the fact that Katherine Harris was the Florida state chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign and was uniquely positioned to sway the state’s electoral votes in the GOPs direction, or that the governor of Florida was the brother of the man who would be President. I didn’t fabricate any of this stuff.

      It’s nice that you acknowledge extremists in the Republican Party. Now you need to acknowledge that they have completely taken over the Republican Party, are in its highest levels of leadership, and hold every major elected office. There simply is no equivalent on the left. None.

  7. “I’m waiting for the Republicans to come back from the edge to the world of reality.”

    Rule #3 of Fight Club, “Never get between the lemmings and the sea.”.

    • Mark Rogers

      SB,

      “There simply is no equivalent on the left.”

      If the Republican Party has gone too far to the right in the last several years, it helps to remember that the left has taken the Democrats even farther into the Twilight Zone in modern American history.

      Or perhaps you think that providing aid and comfort to the Vietnamese who were killing our soldiers wasn’t extreme. And where is the conservative / Republican equivalent of the organized violence as practiced by the anti-war movement, the anti-globalization movement and the environmental terrorists?

      And when in all of American history did conservatives or Republicans participate in systematic espionage for another country, particularly one that was busy enslaving Eastern Europe and murdering millions of its own people? Let’s forget the espionage and just consider the left’s efforts to lie to other Americans about the nature of the Soviet state and their ties to it.

      The Republicans will come back to reality just like the Democrats did after McGovern.

      • John Weiss

        You are ‘fuller of shit than a Christmas turkey’. Democrats never had ties to a ‘Soviet state’. Name a single one.

        Meanwhile take a look at American capitalists who had ties to Nazi Germany.

        I know, I know, you don’t have a grip on the Google machine.

        To make it short and sweet: go to hell.

      • … it helps to remember that the left has taken the Democrats even farther into the Twilight Zone in modern American history.

        Bullshit. My commenters have adequately addressed your straw man argument but I’m not even going to go there. I’m talking about contemporary politics and you damn well know it.

        Next thing we know Mark is going to remind us that it was a Republican who freed the slaves.

  8. John Weiss

    SB, please don’t ban me. MR is an asshole. I swear I haven’t broken any furniture, and if I did I’ll fix it..

  9. “And when in all of American history did conservatives or Republicans participate in systematic espionage for another country, particularly one that was busy enslaving Eastern Europe and murdering millions of its own people? Let’s forget the espionage and just consider the left’s efforts to lie to other Americans about the nature of the Soviet state and their ties to it.”

    Thank teh GOD that Richard Milhouse Nixon was on the HUAC and went after Alger Hiss (who is probably the person whom Mark Rogers is referring to). Interestingly, despite a mountain of “evidence” and Jedgar Hoover’s “hunches”, Hiss was never convicted of espionage. Nixon went on to become president and massive law breaker, but he wasn’t but since he was a republican it wasn’t really a crime, just overzealous MurKKKalove.

    Gene McGovern, decorated bomber pilot was a softie on totalitarian governments? only in wingnuttiauniverse.

  10. Flying Junior

    Winter in zone 23 1/2 (coastal palisades), or even winter in zone 24 (the beach) is so sunny and nice, it really does put summer to shame. Despite the cold rainy La Niña conditions, I was completely fooled. I sprouted cilantro, tomatillo, dill and tarragon on MLK Jr. weekend, at the same time we bought bare root roses. They came up alright, just like a parable in the bible. They are about the same size three months later. We started a tiny six-pack of tomatoes that week. They have all been replaced. Still need to paint my tomato triangle, (4 feet equilateral, douglas fir.) But I do have the gallon of lovely greensward paint and box of TSP. The prettiest plant of January was my Sentinel Manzanita, now almost three to four feet around. It puts out little pink bell flowers. It is the only manzanita I have cultivated to live three years or more. California natives had had a good year with all the rain. I have several sages, mimulus, (including a magenta beauty!), holly-leaf cherries, willows, incense cedars and a cottonwood!

    Our two goldens keep the yard well patrolled, but sadly coyotes have thinned the feline population in the neighborhood. It is a banner year for mockingbirds and lizards. Handsome little guys that sit on the bricks warming in the sun. I actually got a high-res foto one morning Skin is amazing. Trying to save a 45-year old Meyer Lemon that lost its leaves with citrus grower’s mix and welling. It has put forth new leaves and flowers. My other favorite plants are my prize-winning four-foot spherical Boston Fern (now large enough to survive winter outdoors), my Lipstick Hibiscus hedge and my own California Fan Palm.

    I would love to build a little glass conservatory for sprouting seeds and tomatoes in the winter and early spring.

  11. Susan

    Your pond looks great. We have three crop seasons here, and I haven’t kept up with my tomatoes. We have sage, basil, pineapples, green peppers, climbing red roses in abundance, four colors of bouganvilla. The cypress are happy. I have three families of woodpeckers and two families of screech owls.

    • Pineapples? You grow pineapples? Seriously? Where are you, Hawaii?

      I miss bouganvilla! We had it growing up, just huge racks of bright magenta blossoms. So gorgeous. Can’t grow here in Tennessee, too humid I think.

  12. jimvoorhies

    Well, what an interesting gardening thread. :) What I need in my garden is anything other than weeds that can grow under the dense shade of too many 80′ trees.