Friday, March 31, 2006


I planted this jasmine when we moved to California. It has grown dramatically. It also has a great fragrance.

Pink Indian Hawthorne

Pink Indian Hawthorne abound in my garden. Apparently the mix of rain and sun have been perfect for this ubiquitous shrub. My garden is drenched in clusters of the small pink flower. I have a row of PIH which rim the perimeter of the back garden. Beautiful.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Irises Growing Strong

This clump of irises look healthy and vibrant this year. Last year after they bloomed, I divided them (final entry after the jump). I was able to share the divided irises with friends. This is one reason why gardening can be so rewarding. You can share plants and produce with friends.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


We are not out of the rainy season. Yesterday we had a misty, rainy day. It reminded me of the spring rains we had when I lived in Virginia Water, Surrey, UK. So glad I had worked in the garden over the weekend. With the top dressing of the soil with compost and manure, nutrients definitely released to the soil below. Today, the sun is already shining. I bet if I took pictures throughout the day, I would actually see the emerging leaves on the rose bushes grow! Hmmmm. I think I will set up the camera right now to see.

You can see the stormy skies in this photo. This is a hill near my home. The legend is that the owner planned to build on the hilltop. Our community code prohibits building on the hilltops to preserve the natural beauty of the area. In retaliation, the owner planted a grouping of palm trees which are visiable from all vantage points.

I would love to invite you to leave a comment. Also, click on the photo. This is a large file and the detail you can see in a larger view is breathtaking.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hydrangeas: A Beginning

Last spring my school had a luncheon and I used some small hydrangeas as decorations. I planted these in my garden when the event was over. This spring I have some very small hydrangeas.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Orange You a Citrus Tree?

As I was working in the garden this weekend, I saw my citrus is setting buds! This citrus tree has had a long history of not producing any fruit. Last year, I actually picked 11 pieces of fruit. It looks like this will be a smaller yield this year. I am only seeing six or eight buds, and the plant hasn't even gone through fruit drop yet. Yikes!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Care of Roses

I have three rose bushes in my garden. The largest bush produces roses which are salmon in color. The two other bushes are equal in size. One produces white roses. The last one produces dark red roses.

The color is not the only feature worth noting about the roses. Two of the bushes produce roses with no scent. The red roses with their abundant velvet petals, however, produce a wonderful fragrance. The scent has a lemony component and a very deep sweet smell. Find out more about rose scents.

As mentioned in an early posting, spring has come and over the weekend it was time to care for my roses. In colder regions, roses naturally shed their leaves when temperatures drop. In Zone 23, the rose never drops all of the leaves. If you prune too early, the newly emerging leaves will be subject to various diseases which occur with wet, cold weather. I like to prune in March because the tender new growth has a better chance of staying free from rust and powdery mildew.

March is also a great time to fertilize the rose bush. This weekend I top dressed the soil with composted steer manure and humus soil from my own composter. I also will provide a granulated organic rose fertilizer. Find out more about fertilizing roses.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Garden Clean Up!

Lovely sunny days have pulled me from my cozy house to my garden. I found that things had gone terribly wrong over the past few months. Unlike gardens in snowy climates, California gardens continue to grow over the winter months. Unfortunately, not just those things which we plant grow. Weeds grow. Rose bushes continue to grow. However in the rainy and cloudy days of winter, diseases such as rust, make their home on the leaves of the rose bush. Leaves are yellow and speckled with rusty dots. Upon my arrival in my garden, things were in bad, bad shape.

I spent four hours in the garden and got a good start on taming this wilderness. As you can see, I filled up my recycling bin. I did not compost this time because I will be incorporating the material in my composter into the soild in a few more weeks when I plant my garden. Most of the material in my composter is decomposed at this time.

Casey joined me after I finished working to congratulate me on the nice work.

Casey invites you to read her blog

Thursday, March 23, 2006


The calendar tells us it is now spring. My garden knows spring is here, too. Today the sun is shining and bringing warmth and light to my California garden. Here are my sweet sugar snap peas. As the year progresses, the stegnth of the sun helps these beauties to grow.


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