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A Full Spring-like Weekend in FEBRUARY!

February 19, 2017

The thermometer felt more like April than February today. I was actually sweating and hot in short sleeves as I was gardening today. It has been a full weekend.

From working most of yesterday and then last night we went to the Joint with Harry.  Harry W. is a MG who travels with us a lot.  He also is one of the sponsors for the Joint and a non-profit organization called the Henry Hawk disabled rehabilitation fund.  Last night before the performance we saw a short but really well-done video on the Henry Hawk project.  It was truly awe-inspiring. the-joint-and-harry-feb-1 the-joint-and-harry-feb-2  Then we stayed for the performance so it was a late night for the Carson’s.  It is the first time I have been awake past 10 p.m. since Vietnam/Cambodia and I actually slept past 5 a.m. this morning!  Maybe I am getting back to normal.

Today I did some mundane things like cleaning, laundry and started on taxes, plus I cleaned out some more shelves and finished three powerpoints and their handouts and sent them to the people who need them in advance. Then I treated myself to a couple of hours in the garden.  I raked and mulched leaves from around the water garden, cut back some spent perennials and annuals that should have been done months ago and pruned.  I pruned back the dwarf crape myrtle that is covered in bark scale. When you are pruning infected plants don’t leave the trimmings on the curb. This can spread the problem as they travel in an open yard waste vehicle. Instead, double bag them and put them in your normal trash. crape-myrtle-bark-scale-disposing-feb17-1 crape-myrtle-bark-scale-disposing-feb17-2 crape-myrtle-bark-scale-disposing-feb17-5 img_1933

I cut off the bulk of the damage but I will still treat them later this spring with the systemic imidicloprid  as they are leafing out. crape-myrtle-bark-scale-disposing-feb17-6

It is amazing to me how far along some plants are.  My blueberries are about to burst into full bloom and it is February 19!  blueberry-blooms-feb18-2 blueberry-blooms-feb18-3 blueberry-blooms-feb18-5  The blackberries and raspberries are leafing out as well.

The leaves on my lycoris –Naked Ladies has been up for a month and they are full and lush. lycoris-foliage-feb-13-17

I did not get around to pruning my roses rose-feb-17, spireas or buddleia today, but simply because of a lack of time.  Everyone still needs to prune these even if you wait until the first week of March.  Late pruning is better than no pruning on these plants which need pruning every year.

One plant that SHOULD NOT have been pruned now (except with a chain saw to the ground) is the ornamental or Bradford pear as well as any other spring flowering plants.  Julie sent me this picture from her neighborhood. topped-bradford-pears-feb  When are they the prettiest? In the spring with flowers–(of which these have have had all their flower buds cut off), and again with fall foliage. If you are planning to have them and enjoy them, wait to prune until AFTER bloom, not before, and then internal thinning cuts are better than this.

Then tonight I had all the kids for dinner.  I have been listening to some Italian mystery audio books and they always describe the cooking, so I channeled my inner Italian and made homemade sausage manicotti, homemade rosemary bread and spinach salad. It was tasty and the company was even better!

This is Arkansas Flower & Garden Show Week, so we have a busy week getting ready, plus I am driving to Jonesboro Tuesday for their new spring gardening seminar. Another busy and full week. I hope to see you at the Statehouse Convention Center this weekend in Little Rock. The full schedule was in the paper yesterday if you missed it.  It is also on the AFGS website at:

Keep your fingers crossed that winter is over!



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