Weather: Cloudy 16 C / 61 F (morning) -7 C / 19 F (evening)
“If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a minute”
Mark Twain is credited with this accurate adage about the unpredictable weather in this part of the world. The weather does fluctuate… a lot. That said, a 23 degree (C) / 42 degree (F) temperature swing in one day is very, very unusual.
After two days of record warmth and torrential rains, most of the snow that shrouded the trees, shrubs, and flowerbeds since Christmas melted away. Unfortunately as with all January thaws, the temperate weather is fleeting and arctic weather will return by nightfall. Thus, today’s warmth was a gift and I used the time to do the many chores that I neglected for weeks.
Here is my contribution to the Six on Saturday Project
ONE: Prune the Wisteria
In talking to the neighbors and assessing the condition of the plantings, I estimate that it had been several years since the wisteria was pruned. The wisteria had clearly been there for years and its vigorous growth had been thoughtfully trained up a pergola. Unfortunately, that growth continued up and beyond- high into my neighbors’ tree. Moreover, there was no evidence of flowers, just leaves. It had to be pruned and today I trimmed with abandon.
TWO: Trim overhanging branches
There is evidence of an once thriving garden in the main flower bed, including some dead azalea bushes and some rusting plant hangers attached to a fence. Given the overgrown nature of the rest of the plot, most likely the dense shade eventually overtook that area of the bed and killed everything except the vinca vines beneath. As the ladder was already out for the pruning of other greenery, I took the opportunity to cut back a particularly poorly placed branch.
THREE: Trim the Climbing Hydrangea
When we moved in, the climbing hydrangea DOMINATED the west side of the house, extending not only up, around, and into our fireplace, but also across the side of the house–damaging the wooden shingles with its aerial roots.
A few weeks back, the chimney sweep pulled down the vine to about 2.5m / 8 ft so that the fireplace could be safely used. He pulled it down in clumps, leaving ragged edges where the vine had been ripped away. Today I trimmed the edges of the shrub with the hopes that it will continue its climb up my chimney, albeit in a much more controlled manner.
FOUR: Gather the fallen branches for removal
The absence of snow allowed me to pick up all the limbs that had fallen in the previous storms. The pile is much too large for my Mini to bring to the municipal compost area, therefore I will have to call a landscaper to pick up the debris.
FIVE: Turn the compost pile
My leaf mold (L) and compost pile (R) had thawed out enough to allow for good stir! I hadn’t been able to do that for a week or so.
SIX: Assess the rhododendron
The leaves have unfurled and the buds are beginning to swell. In anticipation of a major pruning that will occur after it blooms, I took a good look at the structure to see where I should cut.
Those are my six for this Saturday! Time to locate my winter gloves and hat…it’s getting chilly again!
The Six on Saturday project is inspired by The Propagator‘s fantastic garden blog. I encourage readers to explore his site!