May 29, 2011

Winter is past and spring is now well advanced. This is our favorite time of the year, when all the summer growers come out of dormancy and spring to verdant life. This season has been a little wierd: overall cooler than normal, but also with wide variations in daytime temperatures. It will go from sunny in the mid-80s one day to overcast in the low 60s the next. This has confused many plants; they don't seem to know whether it's time to leaf and/or blossom out or not. Fortunately our big cyphostemma was not among the confused. It made its commitment early and strong and we are now enjoying the spectacle of its annual spring display.

It's been almost two months since our last post and, although a lot of this period was taken up with organizational work relating to the tour, we have also made steady progress on more permanent improvements. Follows an update on what's been going on.

With the tour behind her, Petra has finally been able to turn her attention back to the day-to-day chores of running a nursery. Here she enjoys a balmy spring day in Rainbow.

There have been many small improvements around the patio, including a retaining wall and drainage spillway to deal with the runoff from the patio roof. Now we're waiting for those hot summer evenings when lounging out here is a real pleasure.

The inventory in the kinderhaus is beginning to thin out, as Petra sells off some of her baby's. This vacancy won't last long, as summer seed is going down now and, beginning in a month of two, she'll have a whole new crop of babies to make room for.

The tables on the south and east side of the kinderhaus are practically finished and Petra has started moving some of her personal collection over, largely to separate it from the sales plants.

More of Petra's plants are now housed on the east side. We've also started putting in some new ground beds, which will eventually extend 53' down all of the way to the south end of the corridor.

The shade area at the north end of the kinderhaus is starting to take shape. At this point we're waiting to dismantle a structure at home, so that we can use the racking to set up more tables here. This area will eventually serve as a convenient place to pot and re-pot up the baby plants growing inside.

Paul poses in his favorite role as supervisor, watching over the labors of his two teenage workers. Our faithful guard dog Rusty lays at his side, ever vigilant against the possibility of attack from rabbits or cats. Below, the terracing is complete as far as we're going to build it at this point. We'll have to wait a while for more free lumber to complete the courses, but the 240' that's now available should be enough to meet Petra's needs for the near term. She plans to devote this space to growing-on a number of species to landscaping size.

Aloes and fleas.