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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winter Diary, 2-28-2012

This weekend was a ruse of spring delight in weather. I confess that I was very delighted being able to work outside in a sunny 50 degree day. The bare wind landscape is brown and disorderly looking but some promise of spring displays in the trees and ground around. This has a wonderful boost of pleasure.  I worked in the herb garden to clear last years growth now brown and dry but new growth of Rue (ruta graveolens) is starting to grow. It is great to have some herbs that take care of themselves but the tend to crowd out the less vigorous. So today I went out to take some of the ones that are taking over other places such as the strawberry patch. This Butterfly Garden is around 12 by 18 feet.

 I got the plan from Adelma Simmons book "Herb Gardening in Five Seasons". She begins with a Winter Diary with a day very much like the one I am experiencing. The brainchild of  Caprilands Gardens now called Caprilands Institue. She left her entire estate to the nonprofit educational institute.  There is confusion if this site is available for visits.  The website is down but I have found they have a facebook site with an update done yesterday and they have reported to the IRS. So it appears they are still in open and have times posted. If seems you can view the garden but they do not have the high teas and lunches as they did years ago.  I do hope they organize some programs and events to prevent the place falling into total disarray. 

I found it very interesting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. They put my area into another zone 6A from 5B. Climate oscillation is a on going occurrence and if you look into history you will find interesting evidence of change. Maybe the polar bears with be hit hard because of this climate change just as the wild horses and three-quarters of the large mammals in North America did at the end of the Pleistocene. Should we do restoration ecology and bring back the cheetahs, camels,  elephants and other mega fauna to North America? Heck, maybe an ecological history park , say in Manhattan, Kansas area, would bring in huge eco-tourism benefits.

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