Mediterranean Foods and Gardening
Snail Control, Seed Swap

Spring with traces of winter still

Its finally looking like spring in the gardens I keep. In my front garden, California poppies are blooming like crazy, in the back there are purple cineraria daisies; foxgloves are beginning to shoot up their elegant spires, and columbines are opening their delicate blossoms. The fava beans are over a foot tall; the peas are starting to bloom, and on Saturday, we put in bean and zucchini seeds.

The damage from March's  frost still appears in the occasional torn leaf or, in some cases, as reddish scars where the hail hit. There have been two major losses. I cut up and tossed a large potted Aeonioum hawarthii. It is a succulent covered with small rosettes on bare, branched stems. I saved some for propagation, but the plant was too ugly to keep. The other badly damaged plants are three dendrobium orchids I have had for many years. They have long canes with widespaced fleshy leaves and small flowers. None were in bloom, but the hail broke off leaves, damaged the ones left on the plants, and actually broke the canes. I am watching, but at best, will be cutting them up to make cuttings, and at worst may toss the entire plants.

We have yet to see the full effects of the storm, but so far, the cabbage butterflies, parents of the cabbage worms, are late arriving. We searched for their eggs today on the Chinese broccoli, but there are none yet. Which pests will be delayed or fewer? Which predators will be decreased by the long rains and cold? We shall see.

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