What happened in the garden.

When I returned to California from the Rocky Mountains at the end of the year, I was surprised at the changes in the garden. Shrubs that had barely begun to take on fall colors before Christmas, suddenly were bare and brown. Though we’d had plenty of frosts in the fall, the zinnas under a covered walkway continued to hang on — until the solstice, apparently…. They heard it was officially winter, and they knew in their deepest parts that winter is not for them. They lost their will to live.

The lemons are all bigger and brighter. This tree is so leggy, it needs a good pruning, but I don’t know quite how to proceed at this point… and I especially am puzzled about when to do the job, because it seems always to be bearing. Maybe Alejandro will know what to do.

My spider plant, though it was healthy and green through last winter and this frosty fall, seems to be dead. But cyclamen are popping up, no doubt loving the heavy rains that have thoroughly soaked the ground. Yesterday I found several containers in the yard that had collected a foot of water in the last ten days.

The fountain that I’d turned off before leaving is filled to the brim from that rain, and while I was gone Alejandro pruned the plum and fig trees, and the wisteria. The pomegranates left on those dwarf bushes turned pale from cold and old age. I’ll pluck them soon and put them out of their misery, and prune those bushes, which have grown slightly out of bounds.

With so much of the landscape at its most drab, I was surprised to see bright calendula faces. Dear, hardy little garden friends! God bless you, and all your companions as well, the many who are having a brief rest while you keep watch, and shine brighter than the January sun.

14 thoughts on “What happened in the garden.

  1. Hello and thank you for visiting my blog recently. Nice to meet you. Hope the atmospheric rains aren’t doing any damage where you live. A very Happy New Year to you and yours!

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  2. It’s amazing how a garden can change in a couple of weeks. Your lemon tree must be very happy. It sure has a good crop of lemons. And the Calendula blooming now!! This past summer I had no volunteers like I normally have and I didn’t think to sow any. I surely will this year.

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  3. It looks as though your garden’s about to get even more rain. I hope you don’t have to deal with flooding, or destructive winds. I just saw that Sonoma County has issued an evacuation warning for areas along the Russian River, including Guerneville, Monte Rio, Rio Nido and downstream of Healdsburg.Stay safe!

    I’m in awe of that lemon tree. Is it a Meyer? I do enjoy that variety, and the Cara Cara oranges. Cara Caras haven’t shown up in our stores yet, but we can purchase Meyer lemons for only $14.95 for six!

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    1. Yikes! I wish I could bring you a few lemons. Mine are Eureka lemons. I do have a little Meyer sapling that a friend gave me; they are less frost tender than true lemons… but you remind me that I probably should have put it somewhere protected from frosts even so .

      Most of the northern part of the state seems to be getting this “severe weather.” I’m trying to avoid driving in it as much as is possible.

      My immediate neighborhood doesn’t usually have a problem with flooding.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! I was going to guess it was 4-5 years old. Is it a dwarf sized lemon tree? We planted a few apple and pear trees in our yard in Ohio, and they got SO tall. Too tall to pick them without a ladder. If we get apple trees here in. New York, we’ll look for a dwarf variety. There are 2 on the property from the previous owners, which is nice, but they are old and mossy and have a few larger limbs that broke. We’d like more.

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