March 6, 2020

Mornings at the ranch are a quiet time.  I think I have heard the call of mourning doves in the still opening of the day.  My first task each morning is to trim cuttings from the Saint Francis rockrose as a snack for Spots.

I spent two hours this morning weeding the circle garden up at the barn and applying Preen mulch.  The Preen component may not be effective because of already growing weeds.  Partially effective mulch is better than nothing.  All the intentional plants are now covered for the summer.  I left a ring of clover, wild grass and other natural growth around the oak tree.  It should burn off when the rainy season ends.

The germander is growing slowly but the promise is there.  The delicate blue flowers against the silver foliage foreshadow to be a marker of early spring each year.

The daffodils in the front border along the house are making their annual appearance.  Still waiting for blooms.

I added the leftover Preen mulch to the newly planted huechera and Mexican daisy in the large back yard planter box.  While I was in that section of the yard, I dug out Bermuda grass around the large crape myrtle and supplemented the box with the last of the Preen mulch.

While the ground was still workable, I set the plastic border further down beside the flagstones.  I started turning over the soil and hauling in new topsoil to fill up the new border garden to the retaining wall.  The ground still slopes significantly down to the  wall.  The return of plants in the spring is a never-ending source of surprise and delight to me.  Myrtle of the Far East has new growth.  Laying the retaining wall over and beside her roots seems to resulted in no significant harm, but not moving her at the start of her budding season was wise.

I made the Lowe’s trip for replacement sprinkler heads, Rain Bird adjustables in shorter or longer heights – either replacing the sprinkler heads buried in the lawn or setting new sprinkler heads for the bare patches at the far edge of the lawn.  Flag drippers with calculated 2 or 4 gallon capacity looked interesting, and I added them to the irrigation lines leading to the white lantana and the new mimulus.   Mike suggested two new area sprinklers on spikes for the broad aptenia area.  Looking ahead to the summer season.

Rain is due tomorrow, the first rain in six weeks.

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