Oh my goodness… I’ve been so very busy in the garden lately! Hard to keep up! This is mostly a photo story of the April garden. Happy #EarthDay everyone!
Other than the cold spring winds we often get this time of year, the weather has been sunny and pleasant. I hesitate to say that because I know some of you in various parts of the world had a surprise snow or two on top of your beautiful gardens. I hope your plants are recovering well!
Our challenge here remains the lack of rainfall this year. We’re looking at voluntarily water restrictions, probably to be followed by mandatory ones before long. I’ve been saving all my handwashing water and whatever other household greywater I can in buckets and using it on potted plants, and in general trying to reduce water usage. There is a chance of a little rain in the forecast and I’m dearly hoping that will come through. We have some rainwater collection barrels that are in a bit of disarray, and I plan to get those properly situated before the possible third of an inch.
Meanwhile, we continue to work on wildfire safety in prep for autumn and managed to get a whole new portion of the garden (that is within the wildfire defense zone) converted to decomposed granite. I’m really happy with it, but not sure my back is!
This area needed some attention anyway. When we first acquired the property 20 years ago, it was nearly bare. Our first focus had been to create some privacy and interest around the house and granny unit, which are close together. Over time, our focus rippled outward. In recent years, this initial planting area had become quite overgrown and haphazard. So it was time for some refresh anyway.
For the following photos, you may want to view this blog from the website for best viewing.
This morning was particularly beautiful, I have to say. There was calm bright sun, the newly arrived swallows in active discussions, the pipevine swallowtail butterflies still out in numbers, ladybugs sunning themselves, and the koi fish very hungry and ready to put on weight for the year.
The baby plants in the greenhouse are doing well so far and I talk to them with love and encouragement. Normally, I don’t grow a lot of seedlings anymore because we have a great nursery in the area and I know exactly how many summer veggies I need and often just buy them in six-packs when we’re clear of last frost. But with plants being in high demand during the pandemic gardening boom, I needed to be sure I’d have some veggies available for summer planting. A gardening friend just gave me a couple of tomato varieties that I couldn’t source. Thank you! I was happy to offer her with a couple of pipevine plants which I think will thrive at her place.
We’ve harvested a few artichokes and onions, and the only two shiitake mushrooms that fruited this week, but the garden is generally in transition. My peas got off to a slow start and they are still small. The asparagus is keeping us in greens at the moment. There is no fruit (other than lemons) this time of year — the last of the frozen blueberries from last year now finished off.
The potatoes are doing surprisingly well in their grow bags. We just added more soil around their stems. I’m surprised the cold nights haven’t set them back.
After this is posted, I’ll be back outside helping to weed some invasive thistles that we keep an eye out for and also watering a lilac with a bucket of greywater from the house. 🙂
Happy gardening everyone! Always love hearing from you in the comments!
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6 thoughts on “April Garden — California Poppies, Veggie Seedlings, Critter Habitat & Prep for Drought & Wildfire”
The garden looks beautiful and your photographs are superb. I can see all the work you have been doing in the greenhouse and doing the outside work too, must have been non-stop. I love the photograph of your bumble bee because they are so different from ours. Amelia
What a beautiful garden you have!
Sorry I missed this lovely post, your photos and garden are fabulous, those California poppies in particular are magnificent with the grasses, and what a great contrast with the blue of the lupines. I love your greenhouse too, it looks like the perfect place to sit and watch the seedlings grow. When is your last frost date in California?
Hi Sel! We sometimes get a surprise frost on the full moon of May, but that full moon is late in May this year and I’m hoping we won’t. April days are usually warm but nights are cool and soil not fully warmed yet. Nonetheless, I’m going to risk putting out the tender summer veg this week and hope we don’t get a late frost. Thanks for sweet comments! We love the poppies and lupines too; though they are native, we encourage them by scattering seeds most winters. Starting next year, I’m hoping to add more wildflowers to the mix, and start a bigger butterfly habitat section. I love reading your blog! Warmly, lisa
Likewise Lisa, love what you are doing in your garden and all your efforts to encourage wildlife! I also took a bit of a risk and put some on my tomatoes out already…fingers crossed we get away with it 😆