Sunday, December 31, 2006
Resolved...to do a better job composting yard trimmings
...to manage to keep an evergreen clematis alive
...to keep the privets under control
...not to break the new pruner my brother gave me for Christmas that replaces the last one he gave me that I broke:(
...to take more time to smell the basil (roses are overrated)
...to grow and eat a Brandywine tomato
That ought to do it! I wish everyone a new year with lush plants, minimal garden pests (animal or vegetable type), and the peace and happiness that comes from time in the garden.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
In Davis January is a good time to start making plans for garden projects and for beginning to gather supplies. We never really know if it will rain all month or if we will be blessed with some of those perfect days where the (hard clay) soil is soft from rain and therefore easily dug for paths or other projects. It is best to leave the planting beds alone...they're too wet to dig. But I have plans to redo my front path and I'm making plans to get the stone I need and when the right day arrives I'll be ready to go. Several years ago I looked around and all my front lawn had disappeared. I don't much like grass and I'm not good at growing it...somehow this led to my expanding the flower beds until they took over. In a way it was a relief to know that people could stop asking if I was eventually going to take out all the grass...I really didn't think I would or could...I thought that lawn was sort of "normal". Now I'm not sure if I think lawn is normal...but I really don't care since it's my yard and I'm not in this for normal...
Anyway! I did leave a path that I felt provided the open space I wanted...a wider path from the sidewalk to the house and a smaller one around the edge of the yard that I thought kids would like since the taller bushes provided some cover and made it seem like a secret path. I put stepping stones up the middle of both paths and attempted to plant green carpet (Herniaria) in the open areas which never did very well. Eventually I decided I didn't want the green there anyway so I mulched with mini redwood chips. This is the second winter that I've had to rake leaves off the path (there is a big ornamental pear in the middle of all this) and it just isn't working. The chips get raked up and while I try to pile it all up to compost it still leaves bare dirt which gets washed out when it rains. So the plan is to add more stepping stones to fill in more of the path...we'll see how that works!
After several days of rain and clouds the wind has come up and cleared the skies. Taking a break from cleaning up Christmas seemed like a good idea so I took a ramble through the yard to see what might be new. Under the heading of not-so-good are my ferns. I've been so happy with the way they have filled in the back fence border...in an area that is under the privets and partly shady I've mostly had cranesbill, allysum and often annuals filling in between smaller shrubs. The ferns were 4 inch sword ferns and have spread well (which also means not in an invasive way!) The frost we had over the last few weeks browned a lot of the fronds...so now I'll get to look at that until March or so when it will be safe to cut the dead parts and see what happens.
On to better things...the tulbaghia fragrans (related to society garlic, which I also like and have, but prettier and much earlier blooming) is starting to bloom. I'm always pleasantly surprised to see it blooming this time of year...a mid-winter reminder of spring to come.
And over near the zapped ferns the summer snowflakes are putting on good growth and the buds on the camellia are becoming quite plump. My Variegated Pink lemon is holding its own. The snails really enjoyed the leaves last year. Taking a hint from someone's blog (thank you whoever you are!) I got a copper scrub pad, pulled it apart and surrounded the trunk. It seems to be doing the trick keeping the little guys at bay for now. It is also the only citrus I have in the ground...my Meyer lemon and Bearss lime (mojito anyone??) are in pots and I've strung Christmas lights on trellises to help them withstand the dips below freezing. The Variegated Pink has come through so far just fine...keeping it watered when the temperature dips below freezing is probably also helping. Too bad Blogger won't let me upload the rotated photo!