Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Well, Spring is finally getting her act together in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor.
Late last evening, ol’ Robbo found himself loitering around the parking lot of the St. Albans School waiting around for Middle Gel to come out of the school play she’d gone to see. (A steampunk version of The Tempest, in case you’re interested. With this particular play, given its majickal character, I’d argue that one can get away with this sort of thing so long as it doesn’t swamp the rest of the production values.) The school is sited on a hill (Mount St. Albans, in fact) that affords a fine view southeast across downtown Dee Cee. As I sat there, I got to watch lightning for the first time this year – a small storm way off on the horizon. Very pretty. (As a boy, I was terrified of thunderstorms. Now I love them.)
A few weeks ago, perhaps a bit prematurely, I posted here about some of the signs of spring in the Port Swiller garden. Well, I’m afraid I have to revise my earlier optimism just a bit: The knockout rose on the porch stairs did not, in fact, make it, but appears to be dead, dead, dead. Oh, well. If we get another, we’ll bring it inside for the winters from now on.
In addition, I am now about 85% sure that my poor jasmine didn’t survive. (One has what might be a single new stem coming up from the roots. The others, nothing.) So much for AlGore’s Globull Warminj. I’m going to give them a couple more weeks to produce new shoots, then fall back to Plan B and replace them with wisteria which, once established, is practically indestructible.
Now for some genuine good news: Long time friends of the decanter will know that ol’ Robbo has been griping about the poor flowering of his forsythias for years and years now. Well, last spring, after an especially anemic showing, I went out and razed those baddies to a height of no more than twelve to fifteen inches. This spring? A pleasantly respectable flowering! The one mistake I made was not doing a secondary cut in August or September to even out some of the longer and stringier branches, but I will remember to do that this summah.
And if you’ve read this far, you may be amused to know that last year I also put in a couple of new clematis by the patio. (A variety with lovely indigo leaves and a golden center.) Unfortunately, they’re very near the bird feeder, and in their bottom-feeding activities, the damned squirrels exposed the roots of both plants. I thought they were gonners, but each one has got new growth on it this spring. (Tough plant, the clem.) I’ve since put chicken wire around each one, so hopefully the tree-rat problem has been solved. (You might wonder why I don’t just move the feeder. Well, it is just where I can watch it from my library comfy chair.)