Valley Gardening: Why evergreens turned brown

Well….spring has certainly arrived! Now we have the wind to complain about, right?

Last week we learned about Ruth Heide and her battle against pancreatic cancer. I think it collectively took all our breaths away…which, in turn, started the wind. Breathe, people, breathe.

When Peyton Sanchez got back from California and came by the store, I was anxious to tell him about the proposed animal shelter. I asked him if he thought we should raise money for it. He didn’t hesitate with his response. In his quiet way, he said “raise….money….for….Ruth”! (When I told this to Ruth, she cried and then I cried). And raising money is just what we are going to do tomorrow, March 30th at the Senior Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m! Ruth Heide, you are so special to so many people.

The Colorado Potato Committee and Rockey Farms donated enough potatoes to feed a small army.  Jamie Dominguez (Ef’s) is providing the green chili and cheese. The hospital donated potato bowls and utensils. Atencio’s Market is providing beans for me to make some red chili (if anyone else wants to make a batch, please give me a call at 580-7838). The Senior Center donated the use of their space AND Jeff and Nadine (Senior Citizen staff) volunteered to bake the potatoes—I’m thinking they knew I couldn’t do it—LOL. Deb Sowards-Cerny is making a pot of vegetarian chili. Society Hall donated water. The list goes on and on with more to be named next week. Hoping we see all, or most of you, tomorrow.  Donations and cards are also being accepted at the Valley Courier and the Green Spot. They can be sent to Ruth Heide, c/o Valley Courier 2205 State Avenue Alamosa, CO  81101. 

I forgot to mention that many of you are bringing desserts to share with all of us! Thank you.

As for Peyton…his parents are weighing all options, after seeing the specialists in San Diego.  Nothing is simple. I feel so honored to be a tiny part of their lives. I got to help Peyton make some of his braille sayings earlier this week. It is absolutely amazing to watch him use his braille machine. I am in awe at his perseverance, his drive, his giving. A complete joy (except when he’s being a 12 year old kid). It’s so easy to forget that he’s only 12, going on 80 with the depth of his giving soul.

Before I forget, there is a Tree Pruning Workshop April 2nd at the San Luis Costilla County Conservancy District. The cost is $20 and class size is limited to 20 people so call 719-587-0915 as soon as you can.  P.S. As I drive around town and look at some of the trees that have been butchered, I can only wish that this class had been attended by the tree trimmers! 

The question I have been asked a lot this week is why evergreens have browned up this year. What usually happens is: when it snows (like it did this year), and then the sun shines down so intensely, the reflection off the snow is deadly to evergreens. This is evident when looking at the newly planted trees at the hospital—just to give you a visual, although those were planted pretty late in the year, which may have hurt. Only time can determine if your tree will bounce back or not. Sometimes it will take 2-3 years before you have a nice looking tree again. Most folks aren’t that patient. Next year, you might remember to spray with products like Wilt-pruf, or make shade on the southwest side of your tree.  Sometimes it’s as easy as attaching some burlap to your tree with a 16 penny nail. Newly planted trees especially appreciate this protection. Do not think that watering and watering your tree will bring it back faster, because it may do more damage. It just takes time.

I’m pretty thrilled to have my drip irrigation supplies in already. For 2-3 years I have tried to be proactive regarding drip, and have failed pretty miserably. But not this year. Come on in and I will share my knowledge with you.

Almost forgot…Geri Morrison, Susanne Kanen and Pam Williams have all donated art work that will be for sale at the Ruth Heide Potato Bar Celebration of Life—let’s just call it that. Let’s rejoice. Let’s hug.  Let’s cry. Let’s light a candle or two. Let’s live each day, as if it were our last. Let’s make a difference! If you are a prayer, PRAY. I will light candles.