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The crocus are up, and the tulips are not far behind

Oh joy! Oh happiness! My yellow crocus on the balcony are bound to open this afternoon when the sun gets around to the west.

There are also tulips poking through the soil, but no sign of the mini-daffodils yet. However, the miniature oranges on my small tree inside are now turning yellow and will soon be ready to pick. I’ll put them in a bag in the freezer until they all ripen, and then make some marmalade.

I left the only shrub I brought with me to Fifth Street, too close to the edge of the balcony, and found to my horror that rain had filled the planter with no drainage hole, and my poor cotoneaster, sitting in a six-inch pot inside, was up to its neck in water and may have drowned. It still has berries but has lost most of its small leaves. I’ll hang on to it and see if it will recover this spring. The poor thing looks pretty straggly and miserable right now, but all gardeners live on hope, and maybe it will recover.

There are two African violets blooming enthusiastically in the west window, alongside that wonderful hibiscus, which has no blooms on it right now, but several buds still to come. Both of these violets are off-sets of Margaret’s large plant, and strangely, one has dark blue flowers, but the other has dark blue flowers with a white border. There always seem to be strange and miraculous things going on in a garden.

When a dahlia with strange markings showed up amongst himself’s dahlia plants he used to look mysterious and say, “There is obviously some hanky-panky going on in that dahlia bed.”

I have a hint for those of you who intend to start growing things in four-inch pots. Put a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot before adding the earth. This keeps the soil inside long enough for roots to grow large enough to hold it all together while still allowing drainage.

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