Friday, January 23, 2009
Tonight I went out into my front yard at 11.15pm and sat in the middle of a recently rain soaked flower/veg bed. The earth was soft underfoot and oh the smell! Rain and earth make for a happy marriage. My yard is heaving up with moisture and wriggling things. All the plants, seeds and bulbs are growing. This will be a beautiful Spring.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I have had a very robust Roma tomato hang on into the cold weather and is loaded with green fruit. I took the plunge today and removed it from my front yard because it was crowding a Salvia Clevlandii "Winifred Gilman" and a Buddleia Davidvii "Black Knight".
Now I have a gaping hole and two plants looking shellshocked, spindly and exposed. They will fill out the space within a few weeks.
Now..what to do with a dozen green tomatoes...?
"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself." -- Ruth Stout
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
On Sunday last I had the loveliest experience teaching a gardening class "Composting and the Winter Kitchen Garden" to 22 very keen gardeners in Malibu.
We convened on the beautiful wide verandah of my friend Amy Pulitzers house in front of a wood burning fire and got into the finer points of composting. Then I spoke about how to set up and maintain a winter kitchen garden, something people overlook here in Southern CA where our climate lends itself readily to growing a huge array of veg right now.
Hot cider and cookies made for a really special afternoon.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Today was one of those wonderful early January days in Southern California. Cool with just a hint of sun peeking through. Ideal real gardening day. By "real" I mean the kind of day you can break a sweat and not get dehydrated and in my case end up with a blinder of a headache that lasts 12 hours.
I planted a "Wonderful" Pomegranate tree today to honour the memory of John O' Donoghue who died one year ago today (See poem from Jan 1st). Arugula, red cabbage, and Quinault strawberries (an everbearing variety) were tucked into lovely friable earth. The soil in my yard is really superb right now. This took 2 years of endless applications of organic material.
The day ended with the construction of a huge new compost pile. Yards of horse manure mixed with about 20 huge bags of leaves I got for free from the local Park. When this pile heats up it will be a real doosey of a pile. Temp should easily reach 140 degrees.
Now..a hot bath to relax from 47 year old bones.