Sow your wildflower patch in winter to enjoy the blooms in spring. Read about when I broadcast California poppy and arroyo lupine seeds and how I tend to them in my native wildflower meadow. Watch the lumbering native bumblebees collect pollen.
Tongue in cheek… just for some Halloween fun, I thought I’d see if I can spook any gardeners with some garden Goth. What might cause my gardener’s soul some sleepless nights? Night Raiders of the Orchard Ghosts would be welcome over these nocturnal haunters: mule deer, raccoons, foxes. At least ghosts can’t eat fruit orContinue reading “How to Spook Gardeners on Halloween”
The October garden is a wild thing–overgrown and intertwined–with the last of summer’s exuberance. The squash tendrils have crept like fog and pulled themselves into uncharted lands and left behind bizarre shapes in their path. Cooler nights are leaving little patches of plant cemeteries littered here and there, joining the falling leaves of the grandfatherContinue reading “October Garden–fall harvests, winter crops, tucking the worms in & sharing the abundance”
Stroll thru the summer garden with me and see some butterflies, help prune the winter squash, hand-pollinate the corn, save seeds for next year, put out some free cucumbers for neighbors, taste a ripe Asian pear, and ponder how to keep the squirrel from harvesting all the walnuts.
Monarch Butterfly Sighting Today I let slip a little scream of excitement when I spotted the first monarch butterfly here in our garden–at least the first one I can remember in the two decades we’ve been at our current location. Growing up in the Midwest many decades ago, we used to see Eastern Monarchs allContinue reading “First Monarch Butterfly Sighting, Saving Seed from California Poppies, & an Unfortunate Contaminant”
The petals are popping and the juice of spring is coursing through my veins like so many shots of espresso. The spring garden is a party not to be missed, and just to sit at my computer to post this blog, rather than be out with the surging sap and sunshine, is requiring a strongContinue reading “Petals Aplenty — six snapshots of spring from a Sonoma County garden”
Nature in the form of our garden is having a purge. First, a huge branch of a decades-old willow tree dropped, narrowly missing our most productive mulberry and blueberry patch. Next, a sizeable limb of an old red maple fell. And then one evening while knitting, I heard a splitting crack and felt the house shutter. Was it an earthquake? No, it was a pine tree up on the hill splitting at the base and hitting the ground with force. Our garden seems to be Marie Kondoing itself and has inspired us to have a thorough garden clean-up.
Something new and vibrant waved at me from across the garden this last week–a bright horizon of purple, beckoning me to come near. As I got closer, an exotic perfume wafted out to greet me and drew me in like an embrace. The new saffron crocus have popped up and burst into little violet-colored stars!Continue reading “Saffron Crocus — Exquisite In Every Way”
I thought I’d start with something cheery. Certain flowers, like daffodils or sunflowers, just brighten the moment — a garden anti-depressant — kissing your face with affectionate optimism and inducing an autonomic smile. I think I’d be going nuts by now if I didn’t have a garden and I wish I had magical powers toContinue reading “Sun & Sunflowers (and a very dry summer)”
You’ve probably read about the extreme drought here in much of the western U.S., or you are dealing with it yourself and have the biceps to show for it (carrying greywater buckets). The field grasses in our low-lying spot in Sonoma County, California, are turning brown and crackly now, and it feels like late summer,Continue reading “Dry Soil, But Delicious Cherries”