Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Snow

About five inches of snow covered the Prairie on the second day of Spring.

Above are the newly planted Yucca pallida that replace two Agave americana that were damaged by the winter weather.

Here is an interesting snow drift caused by the strong winds blowing around a spineless prickly pear. I do not know the variety. It was sold as "Wimpy Prickly Pear". I relocated this cactus after removing an agave. The brown specks on the snow are chaff from surrounding oaks leafing out.

The flower of a four nerve daisy pokes through the snow. Looks like the rabbits nibbled on a few petals.

The backyard Prairie. The drifts along the fence were over three feet high.

A junco seeks shelter in the Flowering Senna, Senna corymbosa. This senna may have succumbed to the cold or at least died to the roots. It is a native of Argentina and is considered to be somewhat sensitive to cold weather.

Temperatures are expected to be in the 60s tomorrow, so the snow should be gone by the time I get home from work. Maybe Spring will begin in earnest now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Cleaning

This is the time to trim back last year’s growth on grasses and perennials and prepare for new growth. Normally, I do my pruning in mid-February, but I did not get around to it this year until now. The low temperatures this winter damaged some of the plants on the Prairie. I will not know the full extent of the damage for another month or two, but some of the damage is obvious now.

Caution: Some of the following images may not be suitable for the faint of heart.

The agave in the photo above is supposed to be a cross between Agave americana and Agave scabra. It turned to mush. Have you ever smelled agave mush? It stinks. I found a few live pups underground as I was digging out the mush, but I decided not to save them. Only the strong survive in my Prairie.

This dismembered Agave parryi v. Truncata is history too. This variety is supposed to be pretty cold hardy. It’s possible that my clay soil holds too much moisture in the winter for agaves.

Another victim is this prickly pear. It probably would have survived the freeze damage and rot, but it did not survive me. It poked me one too many times.

While I was removing agaves, I took out this one too. Only Agave neomexicana survived the wrath of the cold weather and me.

Hedge trimmers are great for cutting down grasses, if you don't mind the bending and crawling around on your knees.

After a couple of hours, the Prairie ready for Spring. Ready, Set, Grow!