Several weeks ago I was feeling very strange while driving the back roads in Glenn County. This was a particularly beautiful day in mid March. A recent storm had sprinkled snow on the Coast Range mountains and yellow wildflowers were standing tall. New leaves were on the almond trees and I was surprised by a crop duster zooming across a deep green alfalfa field.
My point of stopping the car was to take photos of agricultural wells for an article I was writing. Yet, most of the images I captured were of the land waking up.
Why did I feel strange? Why was it that every once in a while my vision turned to a blur? Tears seeped out as if my eyes were incontinent?
This trek across Glenn County was before my mom’s boyfriend had died, so there was no reason to get teary for no reason. Was this some seldom-mentioned symptom of middle age?
After a bit more contemplation, I realized I was experiencing joy.
Once I let this thought soak in, the rest of the drive was magical — just me and my camera, more tears, more wildflowers and that crazy cropduster.
MORE TO EXPLORE
IF YOU HAVE SQUANDERED YOUR SPRING WEEKENDS CLEANING OUT THE GARAGE, TREAT YOURSELF TO SOME TIME OUTDOORS BEFORE SUMMER ARRIVES.
WITHIN AN HOUR AND A HALF YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR HOUSE, DRIVE TO UPPER PARK, CLIMB MONKEY FACE AND RETURN TO YOUR BORING HOUSE. IF YOU HAVE ANOTHER FEW HOURS, CHECK OUT TABLE MOUNTAIN, HTTP://TINYURL.COM/ZZXLQY9. THE WILDFLOWERS WERE AT THEIR PEAK LAST WEEKEND, BUT SHOULD REMAIN WOW-WORTHY FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKENDS.
YES, PARKING IS A BIG DEAL, BUT ONCE YOU BECOME A PEDESTRIAN THERE IS PLENTY OF ROOM TO ROAM. I FOUND A QUIET PLACE WHERE I HEARD LITTLE ELSE BUT THE BUZZING OF BEES.
All of this home-town tourism resulted in neglect of my plants at home.
Suddenly we had warm weather, and suddenly my plants looked like I cared very little.
Wednesday evening we had a big panic when we noticed some of the long-pampered potted plants were at a critical stage.
We rushed around with the hose, but the verdict is still out on the gardenia. The leaves are shriveled like a victim of peach leaf curl. My Handsome Woodsman sagely said we should wait for the plant to recover before trying to move it to a larger container.
Clearly, my drought-time experiments with container plants has reached a logical end. If plants are too large for the pots, they either need to go into the ground or into very large pots.
The butterfly bush, for example, wants to be a big bush. If I’m cruising around shedding tears of joy, I don’t have time to water a big pot twice a day.
I forgot that when plants are contained, they drain more and leach out nutrients.
Information found on the website of University of Georgia Cooperative Extension states that potted soil can lose its good stuff after 2-3 weeks. We can add rich compost to the pots, or slow-release fertilizer like Osmocote. The article also reminds folks that potting soil is made specifically so that it drains well. This is better for roots of contained plants, but also means the soil dries quickly.
The frequent watering causes the soil to lose nutrients, and the cycle continues.
The more I read about this, the more I realized those larger plants really will be better off in the ground. Then I can use those large containers to plant tomatoes.
Contact reporter Heather Hacking at 896-7758.