Waiting for spring

Someone said on Twitter that 2021 really came in with that “hold my beer” energy and they were not wrong.

I don’t think I need to tell anyone reading this how crazy things have been.

People have developed all kinds of coping mechanisms and hobbies during the pandemic. For me, when the outside world gets too much, I garden.

I don’t claim to be good at it – or even marginally skilled. I just like to do it and even small successes bring a lot of joy: herbs for the kitchen, flowers to decorate the table, fruits and vegetables my kids will eat.

Last year’s peaches in sunnier times.

This week in Georgia was rainy and cold. There was not much good news. But I transplanted four fruit trees (two peach, two apple) from the back yard to a sunnier spot beside the house.

Two of my winter-hardy banana trees (Musa basjoo), grew too much and were shading out my fruit. My whole back yard is pretty shady at this point. (I mean, in more ways that one.) So I decided to move all of my fruit and veg to the front which gets Sahara levels of sunshine.

But I’m nervous for two reasons. One, we had an unseasonably warm week the week before and I can see the little buds of this year’s leaves and fruit starting to form. You’re supposed to move the trees when they are dormant. Of course, procrastination is my middle name, so …

Two, I had the two peach trees growing in half wine barrels (because Walter Reeves said I could!). And when I tried to move them, I discovered that two large roots had grown through the drainage holes into the ground. Not good. I had to cut the roots to get the trees out of the barrels.

Now that I think about it, the roots weren’t girdled. So I probably could have left them in the pots to keep growing into the ground — except for the pesky issue of my aggressive banana trees that apparently have no problem whatsoever with clay soil, despite the nursery’s warning to the contrary.

I’m not as worried about the apples. They were newly planted from bare root saplings last spring. They leafed out beautifully but, like the peaches, ended up getting too much shade. I think they should do fine in the new home. I just hope I haven’t killed my two peaches.

But in gardening, as in life, you have to move forward and make the best decisions you can. Once the pot has to be moved, it has to go. If you stay in a bad situation because you’re scared to make the wrong decision. Yes, you may make a wrong decision and screw something up. If that happens, you try to clean up and start over again.

Most of us are hoping to see some semblance of a new existence come spring. Either what we miss about our old lives or a new life that is better than what we see right now.

What we get depends on the decisions we make now. And in the spring, we will see.

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