Wild blackberries, oh joy! (not) You can come over and clear out the 20 foot long runners that have blanketed the lower slope of my veggie patch.....they have covered all the mulch under the tomato cages, though you don't really notice them until you step on them.....no more barefoot hippie mama picking herbs around here! The worst part is, even if they do bear fruit occasionally, the birds and squirrels get them first. I swear we need to enclose the garden inside a wire mesh fence that only the small, insectivorous birds can get thru. On the other hand, I wish the armadillo could get in under the fence in the off-season and dig in some of the compost. There is a giant one that keeps the forest well stirred. But I have to do the work of the armadillo inside my fence, especially now, when all the "spring wildflowers" are coming up like weeds (the famous Texas wildflowers are mostly winter annuals, that germinate in the cold rains and are finished by summer drought). How many daisies can you cram into a square foot? One, if you want nice flowers, but Mother Nature plants 27 just to watch them fight it out for space.
Hoe hoe hoe, time to sharpen up the tools and play Live or Die. I'm wearing orthopedic support straps when I work, so my hips and shoulders and ankles don't get so sore and worn out.
I bought a nice little diamond head hoe, also called a scuffle hoe, that makes "mopping" the lawn and garden a fairly easy chore. The trick is to keep the hoe sharp, with a grinder or a file, so the blade does the work, not your shoulders. My husband freaked out when I sharpened his small mortar hoe, but the big holes that let the dirt thru are wonderful for making soil mixes. But it will poke holes in the bottom of the mason's wheelbarrow, so get your own hoe. Fiberglas handles are a fabulous invention, but beware of garden tools which are constructed too flimsy, so they break or bend. Lots of crummy workmanship out there now, be careful. I endorse the tools at John Dromgoole's "Natural Gardener" on Old Bee Caves Road in Austin, he won't sell you any junk. Who's got the best tools in Blanco? Perhaps I should to a Consumer Report this spring?
This is also seed catalog season........a dangerous time for gardeners! My own talents do not include raising babies from seed, I do much better with the transplants from the Blanco Garden Nursery or the Arnosky's. Everything they start is already adapted to our climate, so you don't have to worry about shock. Most of happy gardening is about good soil, of course, but there is no point wasting your resources on plants that are not well suited for your place. Every place is different, we have three diverse ecosystems on a mere 2 acres, up here on the Divide. Is that why they call it The Divide? We stand on the crack between the worlds up here!
Hope your holidays are as merry as ours have been this year. Peace and Love to everyone.