Diversions in the Season of Denial

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1056840
My honeysuckle seems to be denying the season as well. This was taken after much snow and a few nights below 0.

Thumbnail by DenverJude
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Well, I like the new thread name, very much.

I am practicing denial that my little seedlings which do seem to have survived the bitter freeze will somehow continue not to thoroughly fail of my hopes for them.

perhaps a photo tomorrow.

meanwhile here is a ghost mountain:

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

LUV the title DJ!!! Congrats Mulch on the progress! Today I went to the chocolate factory. The chocolate factory offers free samples while you are gathering chocolate. I luv the chocolate factory. Customsdudes and postal dudes also luv the chocolate factory. Not to be profound but maybe so, I do believe from experience that chocolate is universably acceptable for postalling and customing with no problemos. I do believe that if you write 'chocolate' in every blank space on every form not only will you postal and/or custom you might also be asked to be an ambassador. This is just from my experience. Also I am on chocolate at the moment so it could also be that.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

It could be that.

also, you could simply bribe them all with chocolate, that might well work.

hmm chocolate as the Universal Solvent.

Mulch, not to neglect your news, hooray! I know how good it feels to feel good after feeling rotten for a while....... euphoria.

Euphoria and chocolate together can turn the season of denial into a season of delight, if carefully applied.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

But, alas, this is all that remains of the last chocolate in the house.

except for a tiny smear on the screen from trying to take the picture better. ;-)

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Kylaluaz - if your seeding babies are struggling in the cold, cover them with a milk or juice jug (or 2 liter pop bottle). Cut off the bottom and leave the cap off and just press into the soil around the bay. It's like a mini greenhouse and will protect them from the bad frosts. Just remember to pull them off it the temps get above 50 or so.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Here's an even better picture of Denial of the Season. ;-p

Thumbnail by DenverJude
Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

It's supposed to be 50 today (already 49), and near that tomorrow, so if the rest of the snow melts away, I might clean up some of these flower beds a bit and then put jugs over a few things that have been struggling (like this pineapple mint).

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

It is the Season of Denial, so I must dance tango.

Some say tango is vertical [three-letter word]. I say not. It is more like chocolate. My appetite for chocolate increases as I get older. I want it in its purest forms.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Wow, DenverJude... 50 degrees?!!!! We are under another winter storm warning... hope it doesn't snow too much as we are having our winter party tomorrow! It would have been a winter solstice party next weekend, but too many of our friends are away next weekend. So it's poker and pool and pot luck... if the weather is okay we will probably have a very full house!

On another topic, does anyone else LOVE the goofy, sappy holiday movies on Hallmark channel and others as much as me? Watched Kelsey Grammar in Mr. St. Nicholas (or something like that) last night, it was very corny and fun. Tonight, I think we have the perennial classic, White Christmas. Hooray!!!!

Santa Fe, NM

We've been painting like crazy and are finally done. It looks better. We were amazed at how much brighter the room looked until we realized that we hadn't put the shade on the ceiling light back on! Well, it does look much cleaner, anyway. Now our old carpet and furniture really look tacky! Have you ever noticed how that works? Mulch, we need to use your sauna! Glad you are feeling better!

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

50 for now. It was -5 just a couple of days ago.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

It is now Dec. 13, though just a few minutes from you last post, Jude. It is really cold tonight and has been all day. The weather bureau thermometer says it is only 37 but nothing is melting anywhere around here! I find it very,very cold. We had a about a foot of snow on Monday, or thereabouts. Very little of that snow has melted. Now it appears more snow is predicted. I know denver usually gets a lot more snow than we get so I don't know what happened up there.
Hang in there Jude. I may have to come up and visit you in order to partake of 50 degrees which I haven't seen in some time!

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Roybird, Yeah I know what you mean. We need to use the sauna too. We assembled it yesterday and turned it on... NOTHING.

We ran all the trouble shooting procedures in the manual and think it has bad heaters. Two of the ceramic rods look chipped on top. This sometimes happens in shipping apparently. The dealer is not open until tomorrow. My opinion of all this is difficult to translate into family friendly descriptions.

So I took my temper tantrum out on painting. Walls, not canvases. I repainted that section of the basement and a shelving unit. I will probably do the stairwell today. That part of the basement looks better, but it is not doing my already very sore muscles any good. I suspect by spring in addition to finishing our pretend move I will have scrubbed or painted nearly every surface in the house. Fresh paint definitely perks the place up and is a good way to have a major temper tantrum.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

paj -
We don't usually get much snow at all. It tends to be really dry here in the winter. We have temperature fluctuations like crazy (see example in pic), but not much precip. The mountains get dumped on (usually), but we're in the 'rain shadow'. The few times per winter we get an 'upslope' snowstorm and get dumped on, it warms up, gets windy and disappears a few days later.
I think we've got mild chinook winds today. It's warm again, it's gusty windy, the humidity is low and dropping lower, and the snow is evaporating (not melting, evaporating).

I think the temperature fluctuations confuse a lot of plants. I've had stuff try to grow and even bloom in early February (I've had tulips pop up last week of January one year), only to be frost killed or at least damaged when it gets cold again (I've seen some very interesting things in the foliage of my shrubs because of this). Spring blooming stuff rarely blooms as a result and you can never count on getting fruit from a spring blooming tree or shrub (cough - cherry trees - cough).

Thumbnail by DenverJude
Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Snowy and 22 degrees here... hoping the snow doesn't spoil my party this afternoon!

Santa Fe, NM

I hope you have a great party, Brenda! In fact, I would bet on it. Who doesn't like poker and pool? Don't know what the temp is right now but I can tell you I have not been wearing my silk long underwear yesterday or today and I have not been cold at all. So, it must be at least 40 here. I walked home from my meditation group on the east side of town, maybe 2 miles, and not cold. Feeling better now that the painting is done. Mulch, I can understand the fits of wall painting ever so well! How aggravating that the sauna isn't working! That would have me going. Our t.v. wouldn't work when D.H. hooked it back up after the painting here but he eventually re-programmed it and I guess it works now. I still have plenty of re-organizing and cleaning to do here but I took my time coming home and stopped at a craft show and a flea market on the way. Had coffee and bought several videos for about a dollar a piece at the flea market! And they might be good ones, if they work. I think I will wrap them individually, leaving the $1 price tags on, for D.H. for Christmas. Ha! It will look like I got him a whole bunch of stuff and he will be annoyed about it.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

LOL, Roybird, that sounds very thoughtful and budgetful!

Well, it was blizzard conditions at the appointed start time of our party and for about an hour after that... some very brave and dedicated partiers made their way through, a few more showed up later. We had fun, probably about a third of the folks that were planning on coming actually got here... but definitely very fun!

p.s. I love freshly painted rooms!

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Ooooh, Mulch. Owie. Sometimes family friendly descriptions are worse than an annoyance, if one is limited to them in the wrong circumstances. I imagine you painted the air blue whilst painting the surfaces with paint...... Hope you get satisfaction with your sauna! and get it to work!

Roybird, LOL, yup, annoying dear ones is a delightful expression of the season! Sometimes quite perfect, in fact.

Brenda, glad your party worked out, I bet the ones who didn't make it would have been no fun anyway.

Paj and Jude, we had all the snow melt entirely and I think it may have gotten above 40 -- and forecast warmer tomorrow. I enjoyed the warm day, as snow that stays around too long is no fun. Feeling climate blessed, I am.

Christmas, I am being rebellious this year, sending one or two gifts and only non-Christmasy cards to only a select few folk. Feels right. Still have to figure out for my sis, she has a new boyfriend who is going to try to help her grow vegetables, so I am thinking a gift certificate which I have always thought was cheating but this year, I am l*a*z*y!

I too love freshly painted rooms, esp. when they have been painted by another.

Santa Fe, NM

I'm sorry you had blizzard conditions but glad some could make it and it was fun. Weather is so unpredictable most of the time.

Santa Fe, NM

Hi Kyla, we crossed posts. I'm still tired from painting. Not sure what to think about Christmas. I'm feeling kind of blue. Talked to my middle brother on the phone for a long time tonight and just really miss him. If all goes well I'll be in Florida with him and the rest of my family in the spring. I guess I am lucky to actually like my siblings as much as I do! I'm trying to get my niece from Florida to come out here and visit me for awhile. She is a licensed massage therapist so it is always good to have her around!

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Roybird, I lost my favorite big brother a couple of years ago (the younger of my two big brothers). He was awesome and he remains one of my heroes. I am very fortunate to have a great family... I have learned so much respect for my Mother (The Matriarch) over the years. We didn't always get along, in fact I was your typical rebellious teenager in the late 70's. But keeping family together, and LOVING, and forgiving, and enjoying whatever traditions you choose, keeps the family close, no matter what, come hell or high water, even if you choose to live 2000 miles away. Anywhooooo... don't be blue, you still have a brother to see.

And p.s., I've started many new traditions to share with my son. And apparently, I'll continue to create new traditions, as this year we will probably be 'skyping' with our (grown) kids on Christmas this year!

p.s.s. my favorite Christmas tradition when my son was growing up was making Christmas cookies with him.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

RE Denverjude & confused plants: I'm trying an experiment . I went out and bought straw bales and set them on the SOUTH side of my Fruit trees to keep them Cold instead of Warm. I'm stacking 2 bales South of the worst offender, a Japanese Plum that blooms before everything else including its pollinator. The Apricots I have seen with fruit were on the winter shade on the North sides of buildings, I thought it was worth a try.

I noticed my not-quite-hardy-here Zone 6 plants were making it through the winter then dying in the Spring. This past year I had some luck with mulching Zone 6 plants in early spring to keep them from getting tender growth too early.










Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

^ Good tip! I would not have thought to keep things _cold_! It makes perfect sense.
Do you just stack the bales at the base of the tree trunk?
I'm having a hard time envisioning how to protect a tree or shrub from warmth. My yard is tight and tiny, so whole bales of hay are out of the question unless I want to crush my other plants or block the sidewalk.
My little plants just get the top 2/3 of a milk jug over them if they start to sprout early (gives them a nice head start on the growing season to live in their own little greenhouse).

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I happened to have straw (not hay) bales and plenty of room, so I just plunked the bales down on the south side near the tree. I need to tweak them around a little more to the SSW. One isn't supposed to put mulch against a fruit tree because it encourages rodents to gnaw on them. However, my problem is rabbits, not voles - so I use a hard tree guard and mulch right up to them.

The idea of keeping things cold is to keep the sap from running. You could use insulating wrap (with a hard guard over it if you need one) - but you want your outside layer light-colored or reflective, not black. You can leave the hard guard on year round to protect from mechanical damage, but the insulating wrap must come off in the spring. Protecting the trunk from temperature changes plus a good layer of mulch over the Frozen root area should do almost the same thing (it is what I usually do) but it won't get quite as cold on the North side as with the one-sided straw bale insulation. There is a possible flaw in my theory - insulating a tree from temperature changes might cause a fruit tree to reach its required winter "chill hours" sooner. Buying a tree with a higher chill requirement might be a better idea, and if this doesn't work I may have to do that.

Also, it is important to taper off water in the fall to encourage the tree to "harden-off" and go dormant - again, the idea is to keep the sap from running - this helps prevent "frost crack" of the trunk. This is a lesson I learned the hard way by over-watering new trees their first winter. It is also a real problem with trees planted in lawns, I've seen a lot with winter damage on the South side (tree trunk warms up, ground is too moist, sap runs, tree freezes, inner bark bursts to pieces). This is less of a problem with older trees that have thick corky bark. Do water in the winter during during dry spells, just don't over-water in the fall.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

WAHOO! We're finally getting a dump. About 7" on the ground and still falling. It's -10F, so this stuff is cold smoke. [Goes and talks to skis rattling in their closet: "Hush, little babies. Want some polar wax?"]
Wowzer, it's +20F up on the pass. That's only a 20-minute drive away. (MacDonald Pass is on the divide.)

Mulch, I don't know how anyone can paint when it's too cold to open the windows. We have a designated painting season. It's when the temps are just right to have the windows open 24 hours a day! Even then, we sleep outside the first night. An that's with low VOC paint!

I hope the sauna heater problem gets resolved quickly!

Brenda, isn't it fun to realize how wise and wonderful your mother is? I'm still very awed by mine. She's kind and patient, beautiful, and can paint gorgeous landscapes. And is a fantastic cook. She generally has her nose in a book.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

My skis have been speaking to me as well. The "accidentally" fell on me the other day in my closet - "Take us out. We can smell the snow out there" they said. "Soon" I replied. "There is not enough snow to cover the rocks yet and you know how you don't like rocks on your glide surfaces."

Santa Fe, NM

The cherry trees on the north side of our house stay cold longer and generally do better than our other fruit trees. Brenda, I also have two brothers but they are younger. If anything happened to either of them I really don't know how I would get through it. When the youngest, Mr. B., had a bad motor cycle accident in his 20's he asked that nobody tell me about it ! Creep. Our Mom has been dead for awhile and I am the Matriarch! Which is quite a hoot. I think I should have people to carry me around in a hammock waving palm fronds and chanting but so far this isn't happening. Maybe when I go to Florida. Picante, I nearly killed myself painting indoors recently even with low voc paint. It clears out fairly quickly, though, and our bedroom is on the other end of the house. Plus, our house is quite drafty! Even so, no more winter painting. We still need to do more but it can wait 'til summer. Meanwhile, it does look one heck of a lot better!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I believe this is a quandry for gardeners. If its warm enough to leave the house open its warm enough to be in the garden. Painting can wait until ...

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

I agree that all major home improvement work should be done during the open window seasons but Dave has a point. I can't concentrate on indoor tasks when the garden is calling and if I do the gardening first to get it out of my system, then I'm too tired for the indoor work.

My skis and snowshoes have each had a lovely outing during the past week. We have about 9" on the ground now except where it's been shoveled. The original fluffy stuff was compacted by the white concrete that fell the past three days. DH hasn't been riding his bike because the lumpy, crusty stuff that the plows and cars make on the road is too hard to negotiate. He is a little cranky about it but the snowshoeing helps.

Santa Fe, NM

Dave and Katlian, I'm glad you explained it! Seriously, I was wondering why I hadn't got on to the painting before. It was truly needful. Now, I understand. I just don't look around indoors until it's too cold to go out. Now, I am looking at my roses and some other plants that need to be cut Way Back and wishing I could do it now but knowing it would be best to hold off 'til April.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I only paint indoors in the time of the cold and the dark for the same reasons. I did however get a quite zonkled from fumes once when I was sticking my head inside builtin shelves downstairs to paint them.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I have an air filter I picked up that I use for painting. Its worth wearing to keep the head clear when painting indoors.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Is that a respirator, DwiD? My carpenter DH has one.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Yes, its a respirator. I don't enjoy getting dizzy from the fumes and think even less of the health effects.

Santa Fe, NM

I even have a respirator but didn't think to wear it! I did wear mask type things and goggles last year when I did the cupboard door sanding project but that was outside. And I still ended up with a sinus infection. As a wild young artist, back in the day, I was pretty much covered in acrylic paint from head to toe all the time. I have also worked with dyes; but I was old enough to read labels and use safety procedures with them. Thank God I didn't get in to photography until digital. OOh, those are some nasty chemicals.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Roybird, I'd really love to see a picture of the wild young artist. If you have one.

Santa Fe, NM

I would have to have a scanner, wouldn't I? Or take a picture of a picture. We'll see what I can find.

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Wow, everyone must be really busy or out having fun. I hope it's the latter.

I went to a Christmas party at the home of my DH's coworker and we found it odd that there were no living plants in the house. Huge house with lots of windows and not a single live plant. Very weird.

Santa Fe, NM

It has been very quiet, hasn't it? I was busy painting and cleaning up, various visitors in and out, holiday parties starting to kick in to gear. I have often wished I didn't have any house plants! Our house is cold and they really aren't happy. The big ones in the garage have to have a heater on at night when it is really cold and it is a hassle and probably dangerous. It is weird, tho, not to have any. They must be very disciplined in an odd way. Do they have books? I also seem to accumulate books. I've been in houses without books and I always wonder if they can remember all the ones they've read.

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