Sunday, February 27, 2011


Spring is palpable here in Tampa.....the shift in sunlight, the budding of citrus and azalea and my beloved Old Roses, the chickens laying more and more often, the emergence of amaryllis foliage, tabebuia trees clothed in those huge, stunningly fragrant yellow blooms as the very few maples boast bright green new leaves...those and many other cues are giving me a luscious case of spring fever after this VERY chilly winter. Perhaps I am being swept up by that enthusiasm, but I am starting small pots of summer crops JUST to see if I can get away with this early of a start sans a greenhouse.....Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, Quail Grass and as soon as I get seeds from a fresh fruit, OODLES of papayas as the last two years I've had 100% mortality in winter and green papaya is normally a staple in my diet. Yesterday I began attempting to layer root branches of "Gray Street Grape" (Conquistador?) in 1 gallon pots atop the old quail pen to hopefully later sever and grow out and sell as whatEVER it is it is hypervigorous and makes OODLES of deep purple, flavorful Concord-type grapes in a state where true Concords are considered impossible. I will today set up a roses nursery for young plants plus try rooting cuttings in various tubs and fish tanks now that temps are up a bit. A very busy time of year but I love feeling "manic" like this, knowing I am making steady progress making and burying vast numbers of 4, 5 and 7 gallon Water Wise Container Gardens to allow me to grow Old Roses and food crops in abundance in defiance of perennial drought and high water bills.

One of these days I will be "done" and just sit back and get altered and survey the splendor...yeah, right!  John

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