Butterscotch Early

I wasn’t kidding about the pile of kitties. This is what I woke up to at 4:30am:

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This handsome boy is Scrappy (with Gomez standing behind him). Look at that focus. They wanted to bite me on the nose and tell me that 4:30am is now the new breakfast time.

***

A few years ago, over one boring spring, I fell madly in love with bearded irises. I found a good local grower near Hamilton who sold them cheap. So I bought about 30 of them in one season. I color-themed specific gardens with them – yellows here, oranges and purples there, blue and white along that side.

Well, it turned out that that grower produced very nice, healthy irises… but she wasn’t all that accurate at labeling them. As they flowered, I ended up with quite a fruit salad of color. My beautiful, big Penny Lane (meant to be yellow and orange) turned out to be Art Deco (purple and white). Acrylic (maroon and yellow), well that was Butterscotch Early (above). And so on. Still, they were striking in the garden – big, frilly and showy – so many of them made the move with me to our new garden in Auckland.

They’ve largely sulked since we moved them, and I lost almost all of the labels in the move too, so I’m now back to just guessing which iris is which. None of them flowered last spring. However this year, true to its name, it is Butterscotch Early which has been the first to put up a big spike of blooms. There are some others showing signs of being not far behind, so I may be able to move them to our new garden someday soon with at least a passing notion of which one’s which.

And photographing this first iris has also reminded me that the warm and wet spring is playing havoc with the roses. Methinks I’ll need to spray to get rid of all that black spot. 😦

Fungal diseases are obviously going to be de rigueur this season. I nipped up to the new section after work, with copper oxychloride in hand, to deal to the nectarine tree I planted a couple weeks back. It seems happy in its new home, and had burst into leaf… only to then start succumbing to leaf curl. Since I had also planted some other stonefruit trees around it, I decided that I needed to treat this quickly before it spread. I removed all of the curled leaves, and gave it a copper spray (and sprayed all of the other trees too). It’s looking better without its warty leaves, but I’ll have to keep a close eye on it over the next few weeks.

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The tulips and daffodils have now largely finished their show, but the fairly wind-battered manuka shrubs that I planted in July have now decided to grace us with their tiny, pretty, papery blossoms. Manuka can be such a scrubby, spindly plant, but I’m so pleased that I picked these ones (Burgundy Queen, with red flowers on burgundy foliage) if only for the striking color and the fact they should bring me tons of bees.

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There is definitely something to be said for spring and all of the things that burst back into life. It’s such a welcome transition from what proved to be such a difficult winter.

Gives me hope for everything else.

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