As we have mentioned in our recent blogs, it has been a very cold and windy spring in the East Mountains of New Mexico. Warm days followed by days of freezing cold and a late snow have nipped buds and damaged many of our plants. It has been too windy to even clean out the beds until this weekend.
We started early Saturday morning with bed cleaning and a trip to our local East Mountains nursery, Parker’s Farm Greenhouse. Because of that cold and blustery weather that typifies this elevated terrain, we can’t do our plant shopping in Albuquerque. We need plants that have had their roots started out here where it is routinely 10 to 20 degrees cooler than Albuquerque, only 30 minutes away. It’s like old home week at Parker’s, people greeting each other and owners Monica, Ricky and Andy with warm hugs. We selected good hardy plants — cat-mint, and red & yellow yarrow, — and shuttled them home for planting. The bees, hummingbirds and butterflies love these!
Clearing the beds is always a big job, between tumbleweeds & other debris that blows in during the winter, the dead stalks on the late summer blooms and the fall weeds that didn’t survive the winter (Ha, Ha). We easily fill the truck with debris from our smallest garden, the one that surrounds the portal. It is a location that is first hit by the cold southwest winds! Our Canadian lilac seems to have survived last winter’s winds and is doing pretty well this year. We did lose an established butterfly bush, several penstemons and agastaches. We’ll put some more in when the weather is even warmer and may try a Rose of Sharon. Just like clockwork, a nice warm day and our digging in the dirt seemed to have summoned our resident hummingbirds, ladybugs, bees and Lee found one of the Bull Snakes (or, maybe it found him). Yaa! Spring has finally arrived!!
This is the third house Lee and I have shared and where we have made great gardens together. We started in Houston, where the soils, the rains and constant humidity intimidated us for a couple of years. We learned to get up and gardening before the heat awoke. We had year round glorious blooming azaleas, camelias and splashing fountains. For our three years in Albuquerque, we put in place a lovely xeriscape garden with walking paths and wonderful mixtures of high desert color. Still miss the beautiful rosemary bushes that bloomed year round.
Last evening we sat in the cool of the mountain evening with my sister Patti, looking over our work, the budding plants, our fish pond, our herb gardens, the smells of fresh turned soil and feel satisfied. One garden at a time.
And Salty got his bath, his own way. Life is good.