Indicators of life – Digging

March 24, 2021

I planted 5 small bluebonnets earlier than the Massive Freeze. The deer took two as tribute, leaving me with three, and so they got here by way of the deep freeze simply superb.

Now they’re blooming, a hopeful signal of spring!

Holding it actual, although, that is how the previous couple of weeks have seemed: bag after bag after bin of cut-back vegetation, mushy agave leaves, and dwell oak leaves, which yearly drop in mid-March and got here down a pair weeks early this 12 months because of the Massive Freeze. Fortunately, the town picks up yard clippings and turns them into compost, so it’s not going to the landfill. All of Austin’s gardens are getting a serious haircut this 12 months. Perhaps even a buzz lower.

‘Traveller’ weeping redbud is placing on a present within the again backyard. Redbuds (and Mexican plums too) are standouts this 12 months with out the competitors of Texas mountain laurels, which have been hit laborious by the freeze.

‘Traveller’ weeping redbud

We’re now a month previous the freeze, and consultants like Neil Sperry (in North Texas) are saying if a plant isn’t exhibiting indicators of life by now, it’s in all probability toast. However I’m nonetheless holding onto hope for a couple of issues, like my loropetalums (the brown leaves at left), which present inexperienced beneath the bark after I scratch it. In the event that they don’t re-leaf quickly, nevertheless, I’ll lower them down and see if I can discover replacements this fall. I’m additionally watching my Mediterranean fan palms and two bamboos, ‘Tiny Fern’ and ‘Alphonse Karr’, for indicators of life. Oh, and my large toothless sotol in my metal pipe planter is trying iffy. I already changed a smaller one in a distinct planter. One other possible casualty is an enormous blue nolina within the again backyard. I’ve been visiting nurseries each day within the Starvation Video games competitors to seek out substitute vegetation — just like the Starvation Video games competitors to discover a Covid vaccine. Success on that entrance, at the very least!

It’s loopy on the market, people. However you already know that. Time to deal with the indicators of spring and new life — just like the screech owl nesting in our owl field! I took this picture a month in the past, within the sleet part of the Massive Freeze, completely satisfied to see the owl hunkered down within the field but additionally a bit nervous for her due to how chilly it bought. I’m completely satisfied to report that she’s nonetheless there, making each day appearances within the doorway. Perhaps she’s sitting on a couple of eggs and we’ll see owlets peeking out in one other month or so. Right here’s to new beginnings!

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