Life and work in the January garden.


This looks like a ball of moss growing on a broken brick, but I think that the moss is growing all over something small and lumpish. I don’t know what. Maybe I will find out in the summertime. But it was a pretty thing I saw in the garden this afternoon.


After I finally got outdoors — the second time, after I came back inside for a hat and scarf — I found lots to see and do. I have resisted even going near the plum trees because I knew they wanted me to prune them and I didn’t feel ready, somehow.

garden-p1060549First I had to hunt around in stacks of papers to find the directions and pictures that helped me last year. I did that yesterday. When I took the instructions out there this afternoon I still lacked courage, so I came back in a second time to watch some YouTube videos on pruning. I liked hearing nice men tell me I would not kill the tree so just go ahead. Some men threatened that I might actually damage the tree, but I didn’t listen to them.

I’m only showing you the before picture of one plum tree, because I would rather no one sees my trees now until the blossoms beautify them. I saved the straight pieces of prunings for – something. They might come in handy.



A couple of weeks ago I spread a too-huge tarp over my little lemon tree to protect it against the frost, and when the danger was past I took it off so the tree could get light and rain. Of course I just left the tarp crumpled on the path. Today I decided to fold it up. It was too huge for me to wrestle by myself, but with the help of the patio table to spread it on I finally pinned it down. Unfortunately, it is wet. I’ll have to air it out on the driveway after the next spell of rain, but for now it’s tidied up. p1060566



We weren’t allowed to burn wood today, but a storm is coming in tonight, and while it is raining the air quality is almost always good, and we can have wood fires. I’m expecting to be enjoying the woodstove for the next few days. My firewood is under tarps outside, to keep it somewhat dry, so I uncovered it enough to bring wood into the garage to stock the rack there. Right now I have oak, almond, and eucalyptus for fuel.

The cold and dark greenhouse is keeping some plants alive. I have been leaving the door open so that it doesn’t get too damp. The tarragon is little sprouts in a pot.


And the Christmas cactus is almost ready to bloom…


When it does, maybe that will be a sign for me to take down my Christmas tree!

9 thoughts on “Life and work in the January garden.

  1. What a lovely day. I especially like the bright green in the first photo. I don’t know how cold it gets there, but does your tarp have a cloth lining? They tell us here to avoid letting anything plastic touch the plants. Using a tarp is fine, but they suggest using a frost cloth or a sheet to keep a cold tarp from touching the plant. Conditions there may be different.

    In any event, your lemons look wonderful. I like everything about lemons: taste, color, scent. They’re a real gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With whatever covering I have rigged, I have been careful not to let even cloth touch the plant. I’m glad to know that it’s okay if it is cloth. I have put tall stakes in the ground around the tree and then draped the cloth or tarp over that.

      Most of the time the temperature doesn’t stay low long enough to damage the lemon tree, but I still would like to figure out some lightweight protection that would be easy to take on and off.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh! Everything looks so nice! I wonder if the different woods emit the smell that I could identify as almond or eucalyptus? I can taste pecan, or oak, or mesquite wood in our Texas BBQ. It seems like the wood odor would subtly scent the area near the fire.
    The lemons are especially inspirational!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You were brave to prune your trees. It’s a scary thing, and I would need the fortitude of advisers from youtube as well. I’m amazed that you burn eucalyptus wood. Is it plentiful there? Here it is a pretty rare tree to have, and it’s almost too cold for it here, but I planted one anyway. Like your lemon tree, my eucalyptus needed covering last winter. This year, I let it hold its own with the cold. Aren’t we eager for spring and growing things?


    1. Mary Kathryn, which species of eucalyptus do you have? There are at least 600 species, but primarily two of those were planted by the millions in California, including the blue gum, which grows to 150-200 ft. tall. In the early 1900’s there were many companies growing the trees as a forestry crop. The wood never did make good lumber here, but by the time that was discovered, the trees had been planted. They are controversial, and I have my own eucalyptus story… maybe a blog post is coming. 🙂


  4. Oh, that brilliant bundle of green is so lovely!

    I had a roomie years ago who didn’t have a Christmas tree, but enjoyed her Christmas cacti instead since it bloomed for most of December. Hoping yours will do beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

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