Sweet Lorane Community News, May 11, 2023

The Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 11, 2023
By Pat Edwards
It’s amazing how swiftly Mother Nature changes her mind as far as our seasons go—in Oregon, at least. A few weeks ago, having had freezing temps and snowflakes in April, spring seemed a long ways off. Weeds and grass had not even begun to grow much. Now, all of a sudden, lawns are being mowed weekly and the weeds in the flower beds are trying to play “catch-up.” Now, it’s my turn to play the same game. I’ve ordered bark mulch to be delivered and blown over a large area that we need covered by the house. We normally just go in to town with Jim’s pickup and have it filled with bark mulch one or two times, bring it home and spread it ourselves, but the fact that Jim no longer drives, we no longer have his pickup, and my back will no longer allow me to spread as much as I need to have done this year, we decided to bear the extra expense.
This week, the sun’s been out and I’ve been able to head outside in shirt sleeves to work in short increments to get the flower beds under control. I work for 15 or 20 minutes at a time and then sit in our yard swing for another short period to rest my back before heading out again. At the same time, I’m allowing our kitten, Gigette (yes, I know that’s not the normal spelling), to play outside in the sunshine as she has been longing to do while, at the same time, teaching her that the birds at the bird feeders are off-limits. I have the garden hose and nozzle turned on and ready whenever she ventures over to visit the birds. A quick spurt in that direction changes her mind in a hurry and she runs off to explore the bushes and shrubs around the house. When it’s time for me to go back in the house, she comes in, too.
Several years ago, I built petunia boxes for myself and a daughter. I made them out of scrap wood pallets and the construction is nothing I want to brag about… in fact, it’s fortunate that when the petunias are in full bloom, very little of the wood can be seen. Jim helped me drill 1.5″ holes all along the sides and ends of each box and each spring I plant both boxes by shoving the roots through the holes into the planting mix inside the box starting at the bottom and working my way up where I plant the whole top layer.

The petunia box when it is first planted (2016)

This year, with freezing temperatures still fairly recent, I hesitated in planting the petunias yet, but yesterday I brought three flats home and planted them last night anyway. I’m trying an experiment this time and I’m anxious to see how it turns out. Among the colors of petunias available where I shop I chose flats of red, white and dark purple. I decided to plant them in my box like an American flag… a row of red on the bottom, white above it; another row of red with three dark purple ones at the left on the third row up; a row of white and purple

Petunia box in full bloom, (2019)

above that, and continuing the pattern in a blanket on the top layer. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that Mother Nature doesn’t throw us a curve-ball in the form of a few more freezing nights as I’m anxious to see what it looks like when the small plants begin to cover the outside and top of the box.

The weather forecast is showing that the temps should get up into the 90s soon, so I’m trying to get as much done before then as I can. I’m not complaining… at least not yet. Other parts of the country have borne a much greater degree of Mother Nature’s wrath this winter… snow, ice, floods and deadly tornados. We, in the Pacific Northwest, have been fortunate and I’m glad that we live where we do.
Happy Spring, all! It really has arrived.

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