Greetings, my fellow port swillers!  You can get your minds out of the gutter right now because I mean dirty as in garden dirt.

Those of you following the continuing saga of my effort to landscape the back porch at Port Swiller Manor will be pleased to know that I got the jasmine planted this morning.  I also put up all but a few small cross-pieces of the lattice on which said jasmine hopefully will climb.  Indeed, I am now so confident that Spring is really, truly, finally here that I also dragged out the patio furniture and the lawn hammock, and am going to throw caution to the wind and run out this afternoon to pick up a couple of clematis that I also plan to put on part of the lattice.

When the jasmine first appeared on my doorstep early last month, I was caught short for something in which to root them temporarily, so grabbed a handful of clay pots that I’ve had lying around forever.  Clay isn’t like plastic – if you want to get something back out, you can’t simply turn a clay pot over and squeeze and shake it a bit.  No, the only practical thing to do if you want to keep the soil and root integrity is to break the clay.  Whacking the pot on its side with the edge of a shovel works just fine.  It’s also, well, fun.

Beware the sharp edges of the shards, however.  I got my hand on one of these.  I also managed to cut my thumb again with the saw as I was shaping the last lattice panel to put up.  Split the nail this time, too.  I can’t recall a project that has involved so much spilling of my own blood as this one has.  Ah, well, it’s worth it.

In other garden news, regular friends of the decanter will be familiar with Robbo’s annual rant about the skimpiness of his forsythia blooms.  I thought I had this problem licked last year because I had positively razed the hedge down to about a foot and got a pretty decent burst of new growth (on which forsythia flowers).  Nope, it’s still the same feeble yield, maybe even feebler.  Well, as I say, I’ve tried pruning.  I’ve also tried feeding.  It was only recently that I suddenly had a flash:  Those bushes must be a good 20 or 30 years old.  Maybe they’re just…..worn out.  Plant age too, you know.

Finally, it looks like this is the year I’m going to have to bite the bullet and reseed the lawn.  Aside from the parts the construction crew tore up last summah working on the porch, the rest is getting too sparse and weed-infested even for me to ignore anymore.  I’ve never tried reseeding before and I must say that I’m not much looking forward to the prospect.

Going to be a busy spring.

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