It is very, very wet in the nursery…

I am a long time resident in my northern California area and we haven’t had consistent spring rains like this in some while. It is hard to complain about the rain, but I am getting to a point where I could. Its not just that its hard to work the nursery in the rain – what with the mud and the constant moisture (even on a “dry” day we can get a soaking from the heavily dewed meadow grass) – I think its the waiting. Waiting for that warm weather that is going to put everything over the top. Oh, mind you, later I will probably complain about the hot and really dry weather that will be beating down on us.
So, you might wonder what how we fill in those rainy days? Well, there is no lack of work around here. But, first of all…
~our seed Grosso Romanesco artichoke are outrageously Jurassic – they like the wet!
~our potted trees in the holding yard are also very happy – they are ready for growth but welcome the moderate spring temperature as they leaf out – the Japanese maples are absolutely blazing.

~I ought to mention our oak woods as well. They are very enchanting this time of year – moss and fern covered beauties. Someday I have got to catalog all the plants that live with and on the local oaks.
Anyway, what with the rain, we try to work indoors if we can. This spring we have been getting our young fig and our white oak babies rooted as well as propagating hydrangea and succulents. Our bottom-heated misting beds have helped here.
The succulents are serious fun. The bulbous kinds are very easy to propagate – just stick ’em in the dirt really. The kind that make a rosette of “petals” tend to make daughter plants, especially when you crowd them. Be patient and in a short while they will establish themselves. We don’t water them more than once a week and once they set we reduce the water even further. A well-watered succulent is usually a dead succulent.
The afternoon sky outside my window is clear and crisp; the clouds are dirty grey lined with startingly white edges. Right now, the rain has backed off to reveal the summer I want, if only the spring clouds would move on.

They will.

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