Monday, December 31, 2007

Growing a Garden in 2007

I am still celebrating the holiday daughters and their husbands and the Sweet Granddaughter arrived Friday, December 28, for our family gathering. Even my son, who lives across town, has moved in for the weekend. But I'm taking a moment to check in and reflect on the past year a bit. One year ago I made several resolutions (I think they qualify as goals according to Carol!)
First, I was to do better at composting yard waste. I now have a compost bin that I layer kitchen waste and yard waste in...and it's working! And I have a holding bin for leaves so I have a supply to use for layering as I continue to add kitchen waste. I wish I had space for more bins but I have at least improved!
Secondly, I was to succeed at growing an evergreen clematis which I have hesitated to talk about for fear of jinxing myself. However, as you can see, it is still alive! Third time must be the charm!
I've kept the privets under control...partly by thinning some branches back to the main trunk. And while doing so I managed to not break my replacement pruner my brother had to buy me after a pruning session gone bad.
My last resolution/goal was to grow and eat a Brandywine tomato. This year the tomato fairies were kind enough to allow several Brandywines to set and mature and I did enjoy them! But not as much as my Costoluto Genovese. So a decision will have to be made as to whether I grow Brandywines again...and I'm thinking I might rather try something new. What's your favorite tomato? Suggestions are appreciated.
Resolutions/goals for 2008 will have to wait...the Sweet Granddaughter will be waking up from her nap soon...!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Amaryllis Baby Star and Mushrooms

Here is my first ever amaryllis...I had to rescue it from a bin in the garden department at the hardware store since it had started to grow. The first bloom appeared Dec 21 and when we returned today from an overnight stay at my daughter's house I found four blooms...and more to come on the other stalk! Then my task will be to see if I can have it survive for next year.
And here is the present I bought for my son-in-law...except I was so excited about it I had to get one for me now that I'm home I need to go set up my box...we did his yesterday at their house.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Gardening Christmas Ornaments

I found a few gardening Christmas ornaments on my tree (which is finally trimmed)! I realized I have lots (and lots) of bird ornaments, mostly cardinals, and other nature focused ornaments but just a few gardening ornaments. See if you can read the words on the cover of the book on the windowsill! The clapper on the bunny bell is a trowel...interesting that a lot of my ornaments have bunnies...maybe because I've had no negative experiences with them in my garden.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like...tomatoes?

Our dry, slow-to-get-cold fall has resulted in a major bonus...cherry tomatoes that are still s-s-s-lowly ripening. Today I see the beginnings of the end...frost damaged tips on the vines. But I've picked bunches of green tomatoes and will see what happens...if they ripen at all they'll be at least as good as any at the store! Homegrown tomatoes for Christmas???!

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day December 2007

There are still blooms in Davis...the temperature has dipped at night to freezing but hovered in the 50's during the day. Little to no rain has meant that I'm still watering on occasion, especially the citrus in pots that can handle the cold better when it isn't stressed for water. Several plants, such as the shasta daisy and Banksia rose, are blooming sparsely... surprising me...but I'm not sure if I just haven't paid attention in past years or it really is an oddity. In any case...

Most of my hollyhocks are long gone but this one seems to think it is still August. As does this shasta daisy. A few early blooms have appeared on the double banksia rose...several months sooner than the usual big burst. Have I just missed that other years? The oranges behind are in in the neighbor's yard unfortunately!
The abutilon and mallow are still blooming, making the overwintering hummingbirds happy.
Other bloomers include:
Solanum rantonneti
Solanum jasminoides
Rosa Flower Girl
Wax begonia
Pink Pandorea
Viburnum Spring Bouquet
Plumbago Royal Cape
Tulbaghia fragrans
Cyclamen (red)
Iberis sempervirens
Linaria (winter annual)
Snapdragons (pink and yellow)Indoors the Christmas cactus (that may really be a Thanksgiving cactus) has put out more blooms.

I'm looking forward to the two weeks I get off at the holidays...walking around to take photos let me know how much cleanup remains to be done in the garden! While we need rain I'm hoping for a few dry days to pull things more week to go!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Eight Things I'm Happy About

Here’s my list of eight things I’m happy about…in response to Garden Wise Guy’s meme tag.

1. Home computers…allowing us to connect with gardeners and other like-minded people all over the world…for free!
2. I transferred (many years ago…) to UC Davis and ended up planted in a place I love.
3. We have a Sweet Granddaughter.
4. We can afford to visit the Sweet Granddaughter somewhat regularly…and Southwest Airlines makes it not too difficult.
5. My husband understands the garden is my mental health activity and leaves me to it…jumping in only when assistance is requested.
6. Our kids are grown and we still do fun things together because we enjoy each other’s company.
7. I’m healthy, strong enough and have the time and resources to do the things I enjoy…gardening, reading, traveling, studying, going to the gym, cooking, and working at a job that I, for the most part, enjoy.
8. My friends know my faults and are willing to put up with them. I'm expected to choose eight bloggers to join in...and I'm trying to remember who said they don't do memes and who might have done enough to last their lifetime. I don't want to be the last straw in someone's holiday craziness. But it is a time for being grateful so maybe it wouldn't be too difficult to put a few thoughts in words...feel free to join in even if your name isn't here...

Angela Pratt at Garden Bliss
Weeder at Weeder's Garden
Annie at The Transplantable Rose
Connie at Notes From A Cottage Garden
Lisa at Millertime
Sue at The Balcony Garden
Gina at My Skinny Garden
Vonlafin at Gardening With God