Over at May Dreams Gardens, Carol gave some hints for living with GADS [that's Garden Attention Distraction Syndrome] while admitting that she no longer tries to overcome it but goes with the flow.
I agreed with her advice to go with the flow and commented that gardeners might do well to act "less like ants glued to a task and a trail, and more like bumblebees among the hollyhocks, appreciating every blossom." I had some ant moments today, but even without hollyhocks, it was better to Be The Bumblebee.
Friday and Saturday nights were relatively cold for Central Texas - down to 26 degrees F/minus 3.3 C. Before the freeze I hauled 4 potted roses and a few other containers inside the garage where the plumerias wait for spring.
For the Meyer's Lemon planted next to the garage I tried a method I'd heard about from several sources - one may have been horticulturalist Skip Richter on Central Texas Gardener.
In theory, the heat from mini-lights suspended under a sheet or floating row cover may be just enough to keep citrus from being killed by cold, without cooking or overheating the plant.
The air was well below freezing this morning when I ran out in my robe to pour warm water on top of the ice in the birdbaths. A few hours later the sun had warmed the patio so I buzzed out to look at the camellia - the open flowers were frozen, but there's a good chance the buds will be okay. I counted at least 2 dozen buds still unopened. The flowers look interesting - like faded fabric flowers pinned onto a real shrub.
I didn't like what I saw on the left end of that border - once again a branch on the 'Chindo' viburnum looks bad in spite of the zone 7 hardiness rating. More than half the original plant has died in the two years since it was planted, one limb at a time, always right after a dip into the twenties. This Viburnum awabuki 'Chindo' should have been a functioning member of the Green Screen team by now - maybe it's time to interview new candidates.
Back to the garage I went, staying glued to my trail, removing the sheets from lemon and palm and remembering to unplug the mini-lights. I started bringing out the roses but stopped before putting them where they belonged. As I passed the patio table I got the idea to first pull off some yellowed or black-spotted leaves, clip off dead twigs and remove dried tree leaves from the surface of the soil.
Hmmm - with the leaves gone I could see a funny sort of depression in this container - aha! A squirrel planted a pecan about 6-inches down. It had begun to split open, ready to germinate.
The other 'Champagne' rose had no pecan, but an acorn from a live oak landed in the pot, split and sent a root down. A seedling of "Coral Nymph' salvia hid in the base of the rose. With dozens of seedlings popping up in every border we're not likely to run out of 'Coral Nymph', so the Cape Cod weeder is fetched to tease this one out before it overshadows the intended inhabitant.
As I carried the roses back to their places in the Secret Garden I looked up at a scraggly crepe myrtle and remembered that mid-February is a good time for shaping them.... wasn't I supposed to look for a special pruning tool? And oh, look - there's something green next to the fence. I flew over to check it out.
I'm pretty sure these pretty, fresh-looking leaves belong to Ranunculus. Julie of the Human Flower Project wrote a compelling post about these flowers in the buttercup family. Last fall I finally remembered to buy and plant a package of Ranunculus asiaticus.
On the way back to the patio I stopped to admire more green leaves - they look similar because they're also in the Buttercup/Ranunculacea family - these leaves belong to Anemone coronaria - not the perennial anemones grown by Ki - but Windflower types sold in packages of corms in autumn.
Back at the table I took a photo of the nuts, feeling that it was a good idea to be the bumblebee today, stopping to groom the roses and admire the tiny red leaf buds. If I'd kept walking the ant-trail with those pots, instead of roses there would soon be a pecan tree growing in one pot and an oak tree in the other. Darn it - the camera shut itself off before I got a good shot - weren't there some batteries in the desk drawer?
Nope - no camera batteries in the desk drawer, but as long as I'm in the office I'll check email and oh, yeah - maybe google around and see if I can find out where to buy something called a concave cutter.
Another gardener told me this bonsai tool would be useful for the kind of shaping I'm doing on the crepe myrtles.
Maybe there's a source at the Austin Bonsai Society and ....oh look - here's a dealer in Pflugerville, not close but not a bad drive...and the shop is open now.
Philo is interested enough in bonsai to go for a ride - just has to turn a pot of turkey soup down to simmer first.
We find MBP Bonsai Studio without getting lost - and meet the owner of this charming place. Mike and Candy Hansen have studied bonsai for 35 years, first enjoying it as a hobby, then establishing their first bonsai studio 25 years ago.
I buy just one tool, but notice wonderful pots, books and decorative items. I also notice Philo examining the array of tools and looking out at the plant nursery. He has "that look" - and I know we'll be back for another visit.
Embracing the GADS enabled us to find this new tool, oust unwanted trees, meet a fellow gardener, discover an interesting place, and we bumblebees even remembered to buy batteries on the way home.
This post, "Embrace the GADS!", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.