Orange you glad I didn’t sow a banana?

Knock knock jokes are “in” right now in my house. As is potty humor (let’s be honest, humor in my house is never 100% clean.)

Sowing has kicked it up a gear this spring with my freed self and some inconsistently eager sidekicks. This post’s feature, though, was entirely not-my-doing.

An orange tree, from seed.

This is its second pot. It grew heartily after its first transplant and has stalled at this height for what seems like ages.

We can both guess why.

“I’ve given it all I’ve got, Captain!”

So in lieu of ripping out more grass to put in more food (we’re moving in a couple of months, we plan/hope/think), and in need of a soil-centered way to ease my mind nearby the house during nap time, I found a taller pot. But first, removing this start from its home was not something it had prepared for. And why should it? It wasn’t planning/hoping/thinking it would move soon. It was likely planning/hoping/thinking it would never move. That this was its home-home and would thus stay put forever.

I’m pretty sure each root tip was cemented to the pot itself. I’d never had to work so hard to remove a plant from a pot. Minding the roots and the fat long earth worms, I finally extracted it from its outgrown home. Of course I didn’t actually have any potting soil. I put a few sticks in the bottom with some cotton bur compost, chicken manure, soil from an empty pot, soil from the pot I had just emptied, and still needed a bit more…so borrowed some from an empty section of the front bed.

The compost teasing the sidewalk with its tea.

And chose to leave it in plain sight for its “actual” caretaker to spot it after school today.

Raining and raining.

The pollen burst the day after both cars were washed by big and little hands alike. I couldn’t think of the last time both cars were clean at the same time.

The green and gold rained down.

And then the rains came.

Everything human coated in a gold green tint. The garden, keeping it separated.

Not peachy.

Things can’t always be peachy keen. Sometimes when that happens, if I look, I can find a plum and focus on that plum until things look up.

Foreground, background, blooms all around.

June, the plum tree, has four varieties grafted to her dwarf trunk. This branch has yet to set fruit in the years we’ve had her.

I’d yet to prune her in the years we’ve had her.

This picture was Friday and then DH and I left the little loves at home (with his folks) and set off to a resort up the road a smidge. It was our fifteenth anniversary last week (what!?) and so we celebrated with a night of (awful) sleep, a fine dining (delicious) dinner, and an old favorite action movie playing on cable. It was splendid.

Today, the branch is ensconced in blossoms and I’m hopeful the fruit will set before the next storm unleashes downpour. And I’m hedging my bets we’re done with freezing (last average frost is a week or so away and the ten day forecast looked promising. I put out beans and corn today…)

Or perhaps this branch never fruits precisely because it blooms too soon in the spring and the rains take away any chance.

Soft light covers

I didn’t sow any snow peas this year… odd.

They didn’t mind their light blanket so much as their bean neighbors did. A small final harvest, but I marvel at any bean harvest in December.

The volunteer cherry tomato plant weathered the frost, so those will not be the last winter bites of tang.

And skeptical of the forecast, my love harvested the limes. Twenty two in all and when he unwrapped Bill the next day, he was no worse for the wear…including a few incognito limes left hanging.

I do hope the butterflies will return to the lantana. There was a true kaleidoscope of them alight upon the blossoms some days.

Warming up.

It’s only 70 today. We’ve already had our first 90 degree day. The lakes are full for the first time since 2007 such that they’re talking about opening the floodgates.

The grackles, mostly, benefit from my feeder. Pecking order became quickly apparent. They’re quite colorful, in their dark way.

The jays, doves, and cardinals come next, in that order. Finally the finches and sparrows on clean-up duty if there’s any left to clean.

image

I’m warming up as well. Stretching my limbs and strengthening the sedentary after weeks of stillness. My eyes, even, need to stretch having been restricted in their view to the near and dear.

So the beds have some fish fertilizer

image

The tomatoes were well cared for in my absence.

image

And the unwanted crepe myrtle is making a stand.

image

We’d been wondering if our backyard’s central tree (the type of which we’re not fans) had died. Last year it was budding on the heels of the hackberries behind it.

image

Alas, or at last, life unfurls.

image

Are there China berry trees that don’t look like China berry trees? If so, this is one.

Wakeful trees

The rain came in the night. The windows sounding protest against drops as hard as hail. The lightning more witness to the scene. Drink, earth, drink, the thoughts beneath my inner voice coaxed. The thunder resounded, responded. Sleep, child, sleep.

The pecan sleeps.
image

The Arizona Ash stirs.
image