Monday, October 8, 2007

The Next Section

On Saturday J announced that we should begin clearing the ivy from the next section of the front yard, in preparation for planting something more interesting. We'd gone to the plant sale at the UC Davis Arboretum and picked up several plants for which we had no other use. (We'd also stopped at Robert Hamm's plant sale at the Gifted Gardener too, but I only bought three plants there.) J spent most of Sunday and much of today digging up what is now a large pile of ivy and ivy root, breaking up clods of nasty clay soil and dumping in two bags of compost. This week I'll lay out the plant possibilities and we'll put them in next week. Then I'll have to hope that we get the warm, wet winter that I have predicted. Otherwise I will spend much of my time recreating a wet winter with the garden hose.

(I do not, of course, deserve J, who has put up with me for so long. Were he to write the story of our marriage, it would be titled Twenty-six Years of Exasperation.)

I spend a lot of time here thinking about the weather. In Oakland I never paid any attention to the weather. Winter temps ranged from 50 to 65 degrees; in summer the range was from 55 to 75 degrees. It didn't rain much, but we did have the fog that cleared to the coast most days by noon. In Sacramento the weather ranges from egregious to appalling. In winter we have freezes that can kill tender plants. In summer the daytime temperature is almost always above 90 degrees and can be above 100 degrees for days at a time. Just keeping the plants alive soaks up huge amounts of time and energy. And that means that I scan the weather report in the newspaper every day. In Oakland I only checked it sporadically, and then mostly to see how many different ways "morning fog, clearing to the coast by midday" could be reported.

That said, I must report that, as I predicted, we're having a long fall this year. It was miserably hot just before and just after Labor Day, but the daytime temperatures have mostly been in the low 80s--and sometimes in the 70s--for a month now. I am happy. The cats are happy. The plants are happy. In fact, some of them having taken up blooming again (the plants, not the cats or me).

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