Mistletoe

Took my camera with me this morning in the hopes of seeing something interesting, but all I saw was an abundance of mistletoe in the neighborhood ash trees. When the trees come into leaf, the mistletoe will be hidden, and the birds will carry the seeds from tree to tree. These parasites eventually kill the trees if left to spread. We had our trees cleared a couple of summers ago, but we will need to carefully watch them.

Who needs mistletoe to kiss your Sweetie at Christmas?

Unfortunately, Gentle Reader, even in the plant world there are some stinkers.

Old and New

Catalpa trees are beautiful when young, with pink and white blossoms that last all summer. They don’t live long, but even in old age, the bare branches form a lovely winter silhouette against the morning sky.

Yesterday, we had to say goodbye to Emerson the Dog, aged 16. I picture him romping in heaven with all the other dogs who have faithfully loved and entertained their owners. I am grateful for everything he taught me.

Emerson in his pajamas last month after a five-day stay in the doggy spa (hospital)

Two weeks ago, I planted some seeds in my studio and placed them on warming pads. Most of them have sprouted. Now, if I can only keep them alive until it’s warm enough to move them outside…

The Survivors

As I look forward to 2021, I am starting to think about new life in the garden. All of my rose geranium, mint, and sweet potato cuttings have survived the winter in my studio (so far). Outside, the rosemary and dianthus cuttings are doing well, as well as a single cutting from my neighbor’s orange jubilee bush and a tiny volunteer from her golden ball lead tree.

On the other hand, all of my efforts with salvia cuttings have failed, and only one tall sedum and two citronella cuttings have survived. Today, I cleaned out all the failures. If the survivors can only stay alive for another two months….

Although it’s too early to plant seeds, I couldn’t resist opening my seed box to admire the contents — some carefully gathered by hand last summer, others ordered by mail, and others, alas, probably too old to germinate. In any case, they all look beautiful to me.

Best Laid Plans

“Texas Tapestry” by Eric Michaels

Every two or three years, I talk my husband into a trip to the Texas Hill Country to see the Bluebonnets. This year, we planned to leave the day after Easter. I made reservations. All our plans were in order. But, of course, we had to cancel our trip.

I looked for photos from our previous trips, but they were gone. A few months ago in one of my rare photo purges, I deleted all my photos from the Hill Country.

Then I remembered the Bluebonnet seeds I bought on our last trip. After rummaging through my cupboard, I finally found them, and a few of them sprouted.

Now, a few real leaves are beginning to appear between the seed leaves. I don’t know if the plants will bloom. The weather may be too hot by the time they mature, but they give me hope. Perhaps, in a few weeks, I may enjoy that intoxicating shade of blue once more.