Took the heater out of the garden pond today. I am sure we will get more freezes, but I can break the ice with the shovel from now on. Fish did not come through the winter well at all, probably because we had to dump the ones from the watering trough in with the garden pond fish because we had trouble with the spring which feeds the former. Put in some pond cure today and set up the filter and fountain. It is way too early temperature-wise to be circulating water and wrecking the temperature zones, but those poor fish need triage. Looks like the sunfish and the minnows came through in fine shape though.
Raked the straw mulch off the herbs. Most of the thymes made it this far, with one varegated lemon thyme, which was rather exposed, looking like a casualty. Looks like the lemon balm kicked it again too, although it is early to be sure. It is so weird. I grew it down in town, just a mile from here, but lower in elevation and right near the river. Down there it wintered over and was an invasive pest, which I ripped out by the bushel. Up here I cannot winter it over no matter where I plant it. You wouldn't think such a little change would make such a big difference. My mystery flower is still alive too. The origninal was given to me years ago by the mother of one of Alan's friends . She didn't know what it was either as it came with her house. I lost mine when we moved up here, however, I had given some to my folks and got some from them last summer. I just love it. It is a fuzzy grey-leaved thing, with the leaves taking the form of a basal whorl. The flowers grow on a fuzzy grey stalk and are brilliant, dark magenta, really startling against the foliage. Wish I had a better name for it. We just call it after the kind lady who gave it to us.
Alan took the Christmas tree down from where it sheltered the bird feeders through the second half of winter. It was getting pretty brown and ugly so it went into the woodstove this morning. There isn't really much to be done outdoors yet, but what a joy to wander around the flower beds, wondering what bulbs and perennials will pop up over the next few weeks and itching to get planting. I sure love spring.
Spring storm coming
2 hours ago