I've been wanting to write about the many things waiting to be done, but I've just been too busy out in the garden. That's right, we have no snow, it's wet and pleasant for the weeds, so we'd better roll up our sleeves.
One of the fun -- if a little scary -- tasks is pruning the fruit trees. I have a triple plum, two peach trees, a nectarine, and two baby apple trees. I'm trying to keep them at a manageable size, so I prune in winter for shape and in summer to reduce vigor. It's an interesting challenge, especially with the plum. The multigraft trees never look like the tree in the pruning book.
A fun but smelly task is the lime-sulfur spraying of the fruit trees. This needs to happen on a day without rain, and without rain forecast, and I must have a stretch of time for it. The challenging job is to hook up the contraption to the garden hose, spraying doesn't take that long because the trees are small. I use these nasty chemicals because it's really the only way to avoid peach leaf curl. And as long as I'm spraying before the tree buds out, the fruit is still considered organic. How does it smell? Like rotten eggs.
I also spent some time anchoring to the fence what's supposed to be anchored. That includes the espalier of the Toyon, and tying vines to their trellises. The Aristolochia out front badly needed to be pruned, and I caught it just before it started setting buds. And that's one danger here in our mild climate. Sometimes the leaves haven't fallen yet and the plant already buds out again.
And finally, there are the weeds. Above, the spurge, looking pretty and very harmless amongst the poppies. But if you miss just one plant, and it flowers, you'll have thousands of little spurges to look forward to in the next rainy season. I still don't know where I missed one last year, but there surely are a lot of seeds in the back. Interestingly, this is actually a pleasant weed to pull, it comes out easily and with all its roots. Much better than the dreaded Oxalis pes-caprae poor Country Mouse is battling. The only problem is that the days are short and the winter garden tasks are many.