Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Treat

Waiting all summer for this special night, the pumpkin is glowing with anticipation of the gangs of trick-or-treaters!

Santa Ana winds are blowing again and the evening is a cool 82 degrees!

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Last Hurrah!

Perhaps it was the warmth of the Santa Ana winds we had a few weeks ago, but besides the gardenia and hydrangea, the zucchini is trying to create one last squash. When I saw the blossom open this morning, I decided to help pollinate. I found a male blossom which was also blooming and dusted the pollen inside. In a day or two, I will be able to tell if my job as "busy bee" was successful. Don't be confused by the yellow color...this is a zucchini plant which produces yellow squash.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Do you need to reset your biological clock?

Fall is definitely here in the OC. This morning I noticed the leaves of the sweet gum trees are starting to turn their shades of yellow and red. Some of the plants in my garden are a little confused, however. Today when I was in my garden, I noticed the hydrangea plant was having one last fling before winter. A bright pink flower cluster was in bloom. Not to be outdone, the gardenia bush by the front door gave one last shout out for the season. One final bright white bloom with its glorious fragrance made attempt to prolong the summer season.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Who's your MUMmy?

The fall is always welcome because of the long awaited blooming of the chrysanthemum--the mum! This is a plant which was a centerpiece in the autumn a few years ago. When it was finished blooming, I planted it in the ground and now enjoy its wonderful yellow blooms with a tint of orange.

The trick to a fall bloom is to pinch off flower buds during the early part of summer. Around the first week of August, stop pinching of the buds and let them set. During the month of September, the blooms will start to flouish.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Pineapple Sage and Hummingbirds

This pineapple sage plant was in my garden when we moved into the house. It is a favorite of mine as the leaves are very aromatic. A scent of ripe pineapple is given off if you brush against the plant or crush the leaves. Another feature is the stalk of red flowers. Red is a favorite color of hummingbirds, so this plant attracts the hummingbirds while in bloom.


This is one of my compost bins. This bin relies mostly on anaerobic composting (without oxygen). My other composter rotates and allows oxygen to be combined with the decomposing matter.

After my grass is cut today, I will add a layer of newly mown lawn clippings which are packed with nitrogen. They really get the composter going and will heat things up. The next layer will be leaves from the trees. A composter should be layered with 50 percent green waste and 50 percent brown waste.

I will continue adding to this composter over the winter and by spring will have beautiful crumbly, humus matter to incorporate in my garden soil.


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