Friday, February 3, 2017

Thinning the herd and matchmaking

Loving the raindrops.

Well, it's the time of year when an old lady's fancy turns to....her garden. And to her garden list.

My garden list gets going in earnest during fall, when I'm too burned out from the heat to do much outside. In September I basically sit inside with a cocktail complaining about the heat and writing down things for Future Me to do....later. Much, much later.

If it's true that everyone hates themselves sometimes, I definitely hate Autumn Me. That witch is a slave driver.

But here we are in the midst of "list season," and so here I am completing it. Thinning my torch flowers was first. With limited water, these plants can only be allowed to grow so big, and so dividing them down to size was the order of the day. One advantage is that in every garden, you want plants of varying sizes, and these just look better smaller (although not right now, as they're a little shocky from the dividing process). 

I won't have as many flowers this year because of the thinning, but that's the price you pay for healthy and not-as-thristy plants sometimes, especially with corms and bulbs. Thin the herd, my friend. They'll drink less if there's fewer of them.

Divide and conquer

I also planted two apple trees I grafted in Master Gardener class last spring. One of the most important things I learned in Master Gardener class was that I really, really suck at grafting, and so these grafts were completed for me by a kind old man who felt I was still young enough to flirt with, and who stepped in and completed my assignment for me. I figure my chatting up Chivalrous Man may well be
 the last time I'll be able to use my looks for anything other than getting a good senior discount, so, you know. One last hurrah.

So I planted the two grafted apple trees, plus a Golden Delicious bare-root tree I bought last weekend, to help my Grimes Golden pollinate better. Supposedly Mr. Grimes is self-pollinating, but having another similarly pollinating friend never hurts, so this will help my heirloom tree produce some fruit. I also played yenta a little more by buying a Black Tartarian cherry tree for my Royal Anne cherry, who is having no luck producing her own cherries. I plan on keeping these pollinators small enough that they don't use a lot of water either; I just want them for their flowers.

And so I work my way down on the list until I'm caught up and can report back to Past Me that her damn list is finished, and hey, nice job on the apple tree grafting, which I happen to know she didn't do herself. Turns out cheaters never prosper, but sometimes they do get apple trees.

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