February 7, 2020

MJ and Judy were up for a week.  We hosted a dinner for our wine club friends and garden tour on Friday , January 31.  Then back to Oakland on Saturday to hear Blomstedt lead the SF Symphony in a performance of the Brahms Third.  We finished the weekend with a disheartening second half of the Super Bowl.

I was away from the ranch for six days away, no rain and dry sunny weather.  The nights are cold – well into the thirties.  Mike tells me there was a hard freeze last Monday night,  ice on his bird feeder and Spots’ water trough.  Many plants in our garden were stressed by this perfect storm of bad weather conditions and my being away.

The South African plants, especially the better established portulaca and senecio, will likely may survive.  The hardest hit  were the geraniums and the potato shrubs. I spent the day watering the front and back gardens and cutting back damaged growth.

I also began digging the trench for the retaining wall at the downward slope of the back yard. A trench and wall 8 inches deep should be sufficient the bring the soil up to level with flagstones and hold it there. Meaning that the bed will have eight inches minimum of  fertile soil.  At this time of year the ground is easily workable.

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