March growth in February

Spring has sprung at least a month early. The implications of why might be an existential horror show, but it does provide me with a head start on things.

Also it’s neat seeing all my deciduous plants leaf out in the clear February light.

This Pomegranate was a thoughtful gift from my boyfriend late last year. I’ve been attempting to grow one for over a decade but gave up many years ago. I’ve learned a lot since, and I’m confident I can shepherd this little stick into a lush tree one day. I pruned it into a tree form as it lost it’s leaves during the winter deluge. It looked so pitiful, just a stick in a fabric pot, but all that care was worth it to see it leafing out now.

I’m hoping to not repeat the mistakes of our apple tree in this potential tree- by pruning it well from the start.

The apple tree is not yet waking up from it’s Winter slumber, but that normal for a tree like this- it lives on it’s own schedule.

It’s good news since it gives me at least some time to contemplate pruning. It’s just too big and not shaped well- so I lose out on a lot of apples at the tippy tippy top that the birds, rats, and racoons get too before I do. Add to that the periodical bouts of what looks like light peach leaf curl, I’d like to thin the tree out by at least a fourth. But all of this could have been avoided in a 40ish year old tree if it had been shaped and pruned as it grew.

Possibly my wackiest addition to the garden but something I’m very happy to have is my dwarf fig tree. It was bought and planted too late in the season last year to give me edible figs but it did fruit, so at least the birds benefited from the under ripe bounty. But I pruned it well while dormant, and it’s growth tips are just starting to unfurl.

I’m very excited!

Not all deciduous things are strictly trees or shrubs- not sure the word deciduous is the right word for my tarragon- but it reliably grows, dies back in Winter, and springs back into lushness as soon as it’s warmer. This particular one is three years old at this point, but since tarragon can be expensive to buy and hard to find in garden centers I got another one last year.

And it’s also bouncing back into great lushness. I’ll have plenty for cooking this year. French Tarragon is funny, as it’s sterile and only propagated by cuttings. But it’s propagated by root division, and has endured as such in kitchen gardens for centuries.

Tarragon might have a deciduous habit, but it’s not a tree. But not all tree’s are deciduous, though a good many culinary ones are, especially one that bear fruits. A kitchen stalwart that stays green year round is the Bay Laurel- mine is in a pot and thriving.

It got quite bushy during the rains, but I tried to prune it in a way that will hopefully help with it’s air flow, as laurel can get thrips easily in our climate when it doesn’t have enough air flow.

Another culinary plant that can get thrips and does lose it’s leaves is my pink lemonade blueberry, which should have lost it’s leaves this year, but didn’t weirdly.

You can see that the older leaves are a darker green than the new ones, so it did grow new leaves, but for some reason did not drop the old ones in the winter.

I’m still a bit confused as to why, and I may have to strip some of the older leaves to give more room and air flow for the new growth- but it’s nearly as flower laden as my southern highbush so I’m not complaining.

The weather is getting pretty wild all over, but as a San Francisco gardener from childhood, unpredictable weather is at least something I’m used to dealing with.

It would be nice if the wind could die down, it’s interfering with my putting up the new greenhouse.

But that’s for the next post.

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