Tuesday, January 6, 2009


It was warmer today, above 50 degrees in the afternoon. So I opened the doors, allowing the kitties to play on their patio, and headed out to sweep up more leaves. Most years, there's a storm in December that knocks most of the leaves off the deciduous trees. We didn't have that storm this year, and with warmish weather well into November, the leaves are dropping very sloooowly. So I've had to sweep up leaves, and pluck them from the plant pots, several times this year. And just as I finished up, the wind came up and more oak leaves headed groundward.

Those of you who live in colder climes (I know that some of you were thinking, 50 degrees, that's shorts weather in the winter) don't realize that we can plant almost year round. If it's not too wet, and as long as we're not having a rare snow in the Valley, we can plant all but tender plants anytime. So, on our way to friend P's 50th birthday party, J permitted me to stop at Berkeley Hort. I purchased only a few plants, as I have to wait to see what survived the winter before purchasing a lot of new plants. But I did find some erigeron for the front border, as well as this really cool geranium. Also bought a Vernonica (Waterperry), but as I'm on my fourth one, it may be that I should quit trying to grow it. And Berkeley Hort has a little mixed six-pack of lettuces--six different lettuces, so that J can pluck a bunch of different greens for our salads. The lettuce is only allowed outside during the day, as it's too cold for them at night. Lettuce here is a spring and fall crop--summer is too hot and the lettuce bolts--so I'm always trying to push the season along.

Some of the plants have suffered in the cold this year. The begonias are toast, and that's my fault for not bringing them inside. I'm leaving some of the plants alone, hoping that they will revive as the weather warms. I've finally learned that coreopsis often goes dormant during the winter; I used to toss them in December. One of them is already putting out new growth! But I have these fancy violas that are not doing well--and I liked them so much that I bought four of them. There's hope, though, for at least a couple of months.

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