Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring has sprung

Los Angeles, obviously, doesn't get nearly as cold as other parts of the country, but we had a pretty chilly winter. I awoke one morning last month to find my birdbath frozen over and knew it was going to be a little while before I could start my spring planting. Well, the last week has been gorgeous and my gardening efforts are in full swing. I looked around my awakening garden this morning and was pleased with all the colors I saw. Still, I think the garden looks best in close-up, so here are a few shots of what's happening in early spring.

Culinary sage. I love to water this when the sun is shining on it, because it's so fragrant.

Red salvia. They're a couple of years old and a little rangy. I should probably yank them and put in some smaller, bushier plants, but god love 'em, they keep blooming.

Parsley. Anybody want some parsley? I have a ton of it.

Wisteria. This smells loveliest after dark -- it makes the whole neighborhood smell like spring.

Nasturtiums. They're growing in a pot with a little caper bush that doesn't appear to have made it through the winter. Bummer.

Lantana. I love this stuff, particularly its robust aroma, and have it growing throughout the yard. It reminds me of a hillside in our yard when I was a little kid, one that was covered by a wide swath of purple lantana; I used to pick the flowers and try to make them into little chains. I think this variety is called "Confetti."

Rosemary in full bloom on the left. The bees love it and completely ignore the French lavender, upper center, while it's blossoming. Lower center is a variety of oxalis that the previous owners of our house planted throughout the yard; it's an annual that reseeds itself and grows back every winter. It's a low-growing ground cover with pink and white flowers, and IT IS MY MORTAL ENEMY. I spend hours every spring yanking it out, trying to destroy its creeping stranglehold on my garden.

A camellia. We have a big camellia bush outside our living room window that doesn't bloom very often, but it appreciated all the rain this winter and is giving us a nice show right now. The pale pink and fuschia-striped flowers remind me not only of peppermint candy but of my grandmother, who was in the habit of picking camellias blooms and floating them in a bowl of water.

Bamboo. I have a little stand of this highly-invasive plant growing at the edge of our property, and I keep it under control by never, ever watering it. I sometimes chop down the stalks and use them to make trellises and bean teepees in the garden.

On to the front yard! This is a blueberry bush covered in unripe blueberries. I just planted it this morning. I'm worried it won't get enough sun but all I can do is wait and see what happens. I threw a bunch of coffee grounds into the hole before I planted it to help acidify the soil.

Cape honeysuckle. The hummingbirds love this stuff.

Red cabbage. I'm on the lookout for aphids, but so far, so good.

Lion's mane, center. Another favorite of the hummingbirds. On the left is some boring variety of geranium that's growing over the fence from next door, and in the background you can see Mexican sage and some more lantana. At the bottom center of the picture is one of 11 boysenberry bushes I planted this spring. A few of them are blossoming and I'm hoping I'll get a few berries this first year.

Pasadena is going to be under a water lockdown or some such thing next week -- due to repairs on a major water line to the city, no one can do any outdoor watering for several days. I'm hoping to get my potatoes (4 varieties!), pumpkins, cucumbers, peas, beans, and herbs into the ground and thoroughly saturated before the imposed drought.

1 comment:

Mr Maskrado said...

If I still had guinea pigs, I'd totally take you up on the parsley.