Once again, we have been shut in for the weekend in April due to freezing wind, just as soon as spring fever hit and we wanted to turn on our irrigation and get our gardens ready. We are all tired of the winter and the teasing Santa Fe spring at this point We are in that gap between spring clean up and the growing season because it is still too clod to turn on irrigation systems. The answer to this is hand watering, mulching, and planting perennials. Some greenhouse and cold frame perennials may still get nipped by the frosts at night, but rest assured, they will bounce back fine with some warm weather.
My daylillies in my own garden got excited and grew about six inches of soft green foliage, but it has all been frozen and turned white. Poor things. I have faith though, that they will still be as great as ever this summer.
The peach and apricot trees may not be so lucky. If you drive around town you will notice some white fruit tree blossoms tinted with brown. Unfortunately, this happens in Santa Fe every few years, and it usually means that the trees will not set fruit, poor things. Most of the apple trees and some of the cherries and such seem to have held off opening their flowers, so at this point they will probably wait until it is safe. Mostly around town we are just seeing the flowering tree buds starting to swell, and we know that it will be beautiful by Easter. I am watching my weeping flowering crabapple every day, and not yet, but soon.
Plant of the week will have to be the plain pansy. The only annual to survive spring frosts, you can pick out many different colors to spruce up your yard or pots immediately. They often get a little scraggly in the mid summer heat, but some good deadheading and fertilizing will bring them back in the cooler fall weather. My favorites are the solid dark purples, mixed with the solid oranges and solid yellows. This little purple and white clump survived all winter though, so I had to give it credit.