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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo would be fibbing if he said Spring was in the air in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor just yet, but I think it’s safe to say she’s certainly at least in the offing.

Yesterday, as the puppeh and I made our way through the woods on our walkies, I noticed that the indigenous briars are starting to sprout their first leaves.  And as I look out my library window, I see that the earliest-blooming of my maples is now showing red at its fingertips.

So yes, I think she’s definitely on her way.  Huzzay, huzzah! Fall is still Ol’ Robbo’s favorite season, but Spring comes in a very, very close second.

Of course, this means that after kicking his heals most of the past couple months and filling this space with assorted non-gardening nonsense, Ol’ Robbo suddenly has lots of things to do.  Specifically, now that late winter is  upon him, pre-season pruning becomes a priority.  The butterfly bushes in the garden need to be hacked back to their stumps; it’s now probably not too early to cut back the roses as well; and if I’m out with my clippers anyway, I probably should have a go at the wisteria too.  And, of course, I haven’t yet finished clearing out the debris from the fallen tree back of the fence.

Ayuh, nevah rains but it pours.

And speaking of late winter matters, now that the worst of the cold appears to be behind us (furtively touches wood), I am agog to see how some of my more delicate plantings fared.  I never got around to wrapping insolation around the boxwood in the urns on my patio, but they don’t seem to have suffered much.  (It got pretty damn cold here this year.  If they survived that, I’m not going to bother with the insulation going forward.)  As for the jasmine I put in last spring, it’s entirely too early to tell, but I think they’ll be okay.


** A variation on “Hurry Up and Wait”, an alleged military expression that made it into the family lexicon in Ol’ Robbo’s misspent yoot.  The Old Gentleman was legendary for demanding pinpoint punctuality from everyone else and then being late himself.  I differ from the old boy in that while I, too, demand punctuality, I don’t lag myself but usually beat everyone else to whatever the deadline might be.


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February 2019