Hello everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such stellar posts as “Guarding The Fort” and “A Winter Wonderland”, among so many, many others.
He bought some more plastic on the way home. You might wonder why he needs so much plastic, and it’s because he has this weird plan. Remember that he put an Arizona cypress in its own personal greenhouse, well, he made another one this afternoon. The cypress is almost totally dry, though you might not be able to see it in this picture. You can see one dry, broken twig, from him touching it, on the left. The branches are still alive, though. It was a fairly big tree grown in a fairly small pot, and even though he knows better, he forgot to loosen the roots before he planted the cypress and so it never drew up enough water to make the “cryoprotective soluble sugars” which it needs in order to make it through the winter. This doesn’t just happen; water is necessary to make the solution. The sugar solution lowers the freezing temperature of the water between the cells and keeps the plant from exploding when it gets really cold.
Well, he says, if there isn’t enough water in the tree before it can make the sugars, then the parts that have no sugars just dry out. Normally it’s the tips of everything which dry out first, because they’re furthest from the roots. So he dug up the cypress and looked at the roots, and not a single root had left the root ball and grown into the surrounding soil, making it difficult for the tree to take up water. (He’s been digging up plants to look at the roots since about 1958, so I guess it’s harmless enough.)
He loosened the roots and replanted the cypress, higher than before, and in a different location, with a lot of mulch added. His idea, with the personal greenhouse, is that keeping the cypress from getting too cold will extend the growing season so that maybe it can grow back a lot of what it lost before it experienced this winter we’re having. But really, this looks pretty weird.Almost scary, even. It’s fairly close to the other personal greenhouse, and then there will be another one directly behind this one in a few days. I’m not sure what the neighbors are going to think, and I don’t want to be out there if anyone walks by.
Here’s a picture from the exceptionally dirty upstairs bedroom window. Those lights you see in the distance are cars on the highway. And the new personal greenhouse. You can kind of see the other one, too, to the right of it. It’s pretty noticeable, isn’t it? I hope that when we go out there at Tinkle Time I don’t get scared by it, but if I do, maybe I’ll get an extra biscuit before bedtime. Which sounds good, like it might make up for being scared by a huge plastic thing in the back yard.
Until next time, then.