Tuesday, January 17, 2012

24 degrees

Blog post with no photo.  Sorry, Robs, but I am just not thinking enough in the middle of the night to get a shot of the temperature display on the ceiling.  : )   But last night it was cold.  24 degrees and holding most of the night.  I love weather.  Despite my frustration with relationships that do not seem to go any deeper than weather, I talk about weather every day to multiple people.  24 degrees is a big deal here.  We do not get this every winter.  In fact, it is a record low for this date.  That's all.  Just wanted to say, cool, it was cold last night!  : )

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Seed time, indoor vegetable sowing

Mid-January in the San Joaquin Valley is seed sowing time.  Many veggie and other seed packets will say sow indoors 8 weeks before last frost.  Although realistically we rarely get frosts after Valentine's Day, and very very rarely we get a frost in April, the marker day for last frost is March 15.  So what can be sown now?  Tomatoes, green beans, peppers and chilis, all those warm season veggies we would buy ready to plant in March.  These do need to be inside, with warmth and light.  But in just a couple of weeks we can sow another crop of the cool season veggies outside, radish, chard, beets, spinach, carrots and so forth. If anyone has gotten into the new fad for parsnips, they are grown like carrots.  Potato and onion starts will be out soon as well.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The time between

Christmas is over.  The daffodils have not yet appeared.  It is the time between, winter.  During the holidays there is so much extra going on the garden gets by on its own, with brief forays for flowers and greenery, or filling of birdbaths. Once the distraction passes, there is not much to do besides wait. Winter in the garden means time for pruning and really not much else.  We wait and watch for the sprouting bulbs.  My hyacinths have doubled since I took this picture a couple of years ago.  I am excited to see if I actually get 6 flower stalks.  The little things keep a garden going even in the slow times. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year in the garden

Here we are past the solstice and into the growing days of the New Year.  These corydalis stay green and bloom all year, which endear them to me.  Aren't they sweet in their fernyness? 
There are a few other plants still blooming, through the past month's cold nights,  pansies, snapdragons, alyssum, a few violets, and so forth.  A few others we can anticipate this month, hellebore and grape hyacinth among them. Soon it will be time for bareroots, and winter seeding.
But the flower that has my interest right now is the rose.  I won't post yet another picture, but I do keep thinking about how they are blooming better now, right at pruning time, than they did all summer.  Last year I pruned them hard, as is typically recommended. I am seriously thinking that this year I won't prune them, beyond the few necessary cuts needed to keep them in bounds.  Evelyn wants to grow ten feet tall and wide and does need some restraining, but I think the smaller bushes might be fine with very little pruning.  An experiment for the new year.