Friday, January 2, 2009

Pond life - winter perspectives

Even though the frost was not so hard last night the pond is still frozen over - and trapped in the ice are zillions of leaves that have blown in from the woods. I went out to break the ice and have been trying to gather up some of the leaves through holes in the ice - stupid or what. The olive grove has been cloaked in frost which melts quickly in the morning sun and lingers as twinkling dew drops.
The planting on the terraces is still OK as far as I can tell. The biggest risk to Mediterranean plants in winter is to have water at their roots which then freezes. In nature the plants are out in the rough stony terrain of the garrigue and with perfect drainage they can resist very low temperatures. The planting plan here started at the topmost terrace - partly because it was most practical to start at the far end and work back - but also because the ground is well drained here and the plants ought to stay dry, but also in this location they also should benefit from an early start as it is where the sun will be most intense in summer. For the next phase of planting we must now wait for the arctic weather forecast - minus 6 degrees followed by a week of snowstorms - to pass by. The absolute target is to get everything planted by end of March latest but ideally well before then.

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