Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Chores

I always enjoy quiet slow winter weekends where I can leisurely clean the leaves from azaleas and put down a nice mulch of pine straw.  The pine straw holds the leaves in place to decompose, adds to the acidic PH that azaleas need, and I look forwarded to raking it up and spreading it.   I use the same pitch fork that I used on my dads farm in my youth.  It just feels right when I lift a fork full of pine straw--brings back memories of stacking hay, feeding cattle, and cleaning out barns.  I use a pickup instead of the hay rack to haul it home.
When I look at the calendar I know that were on the down side of winter so I'm always looking for signs of spring.  I looked close at the crabapple but no swelling, just dried fruits that the birds haven't gotten yet.
Next I checked to see if there was any winter damage to the hen and chicks.  They look like their tired of winter too.
As I was spreading the pine straw, I was cleaning the leaves from a Nikko Blue Hydrangea and there it was, the sign I'd been looking for--green sprouts.  This hydrangea was given to me by a friend about 10 years ago when my Mother passed.  So it's special and gets a little extra care. There really is green growth but you may have to double click on the picture to blow it up to see it.


  1. Looks good Gene, I think the Hens and Chicks look pretty good considering the amount of snow you all have had. A ten year old Hydrangea will be a sight to behold come summer.
    That is an amazing truck load of pine straw...I know a certain person in Yorktown who would love to know your source!

  2. Janet, I get the pine straw from a church yard only two miles from my house. A couple of others harvest from there too but it is pretty heavy and usually only takes about 30-40 minutes to get big load. I usually get 4-5 pickup loads.