It’s February in my coastal garden. Time to get out in the sun, or overcast, or fog, and get those weeds pulled while the soil is moist. I’ve put off some fall chores this year and the fruit trees need pruning (husband Don does the big ones and I do the small). The roses need pruning, some shrubs need pruning, the salvias needs to be sheared and the climbing roses and jasmine need cutting back.
I like to alternate garden chores. I do about an hour of bending chores (pulling weeds) then go to work on vines and tall shrubs to give my back a rest. I can’t garden on my knees anymore as I’ve had knee replacements and my knees are tender. I just have to get along with bending and stretching. Today I’ll do my garden in the morning so that the husband and I can watch the Superbowl in the late afternoon. We’re from the North Bay so we root for the 49ers. Go Niners! Hey, I’ve got a life beyond gardening, you know.
I had to adopt a relaxed schedule of gardening in the fall because of our first litter of Australian labradoodles. What fun we had with these six little bundles of energy. The garden suffered but except for a few sleepless nights, we enjoyed raising them and seeing them go to wonderful homes. Our black doodle “Maddie” was bred to a boy from Pennsylvania last month. We’ll see if this long-distant relationship turns out. One of the gardening chores I let go, was deadheading the climbing rose called Berries n’ Cream. I loved watching the rose hips turn from green to red and resemble little red Christmas bulbs; one of the perks of “casual gardening”. Now I need to get out and do the pruning so I’ll have a flush of vibrant pink in a few months.
Most of the leaves have dropped from the deciduous trees. Because our climate is so mild, I sometimes have to hand-pick of the few remaining leaves on some. Our poor naked trees don’t get much of a rest in the winter. Before you know it, we’ll have spring green surrounding us.
I took this picture of the garden from the deck in the light of the setting sun. The orange glow in the background is an ancient Asian pear tree that we don’t have the heart to take out. It still produces giant pears but the squirrels usually get them before they ripen so we don’t enjoy as many as we’d like. This picture of the Asian pear was taken just after Christmas. Now the tree is bare. It has been pruned. It’s time for it to rest and get its required number of chill hours. Chill hours are the number of hours the weather provides under 45 degrees. With the necessary number of chill hours when the tree is fully dormant, the tree will be ready for renewal. I’m going out early today and see how much I can get done. Happy gardening.