"How-To Night" Next Wednesday
The Transplant of the Scarlet Runner Beans

April Showers and Flowers (and Hail!)

April was so rainy that many people around here thought we were having an unusually wet winter, but I suspected it was about average for San Francisco, and it turned out I was right. After a few years of drought, average felt really wet! And, as is typical in March or April, we had hail, which is hard on the plants. This time the hailstones were only B-B sized. A few year's back we had hail the size of cooked chick peas, and that really shredded the plants.

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This is what last month's hail looked like. March 2010 009 copy 
Everything was left pretty much intact, but there were hail scars on the nasturtium leaves and on some succulents.

I ran out to move my potted tree peony out of the hail, but though it looks delicate, it is made of sturdy stuff. Here are three more images, showing the bloom opening and beginning to lose its petals.

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And that's all untul next year. Only one flower this year, but what a flower!

The potatoes are progressing too. Here are three shots. In the first, plants are emerging in their trenches. In the second, I've filled in the trenches, pushing soil up against the plants, which will encourate more tubers to form. In the third, I've mulched with straw, to keep down weeds and make sure the tubers don't get exposed to light.

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Finally, the apple tree bloomed. There are lots of flowers, and it has rained less since they opened, which is good news for fruit set and health. More bees will find the tree in sunny weather, and the tree is less likely to suffer from apple scab disease. The bloom is the first step toward our much appreciated crop of fresh, sweet, crisp fresh apples in October.

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I've got to get to San Fran one day. My wife keeps telling me that it is on the top of our destination list so I guest we're coming soon.

I love Peonies but have not tried a tree peony. I added it to my gardening list.

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