Home Garden: January - June, 2007

I broke my foot on November 1, 2006, having moved into the house on October 3. Getting going on the garden took a while. It's been a thousand and one experiments.

    January 6

  1. Early January: "winter color"

  2. Hey, I had a broken foot. Plus no idea what to start with. I just put in some pansies and violas to the left, and red and white cyclamen to the right. The 5 or so pansies and 2 or 3 violas all turned into veritable bushes. The cyclamen just sat there. I decided I'm not into cyclamen. I eventually dug up and threw out the tubers.

    January 27

  3. I put the coreopsis from Common Ground in the ground. It twice got eaten to the base by snails and slugs. It came back.

    February 2

  4. Flowering bush in front of house

    February 28

  5. Peas are up

  6. Grape hyacinth and purple scilla - I'm calling Virginia the purple lady since everything came up purple, including an iris out back

  7. Magnolia in bloom, in back of the house. Note charming old fence, somewhat moss-covered.

  8. A rotting wooden deck used to cover this spot of earth, now destined to be the butterfly garden. I put in a silly border of pansies, bok choy, cilantro and chard. Also stuck a lavendar plant in the left front corner. Then, sowed "winter cover crop" (fava, rye, grasses) and "wildflower seed" from Wegman's. No idea what sort of wildflowers they are supposed to be. I doubt they are natives.

    March 11

  9. Quite a lot of grape hyancinth and scilla appeared

  10. We have germination (butterfly garden)

  11. Magnolia blossoms and the beginning of an idea of a rustic overgrown part-shade part-sun backyard cottage garden

  12. Magnolia

  13. The old barn and the old fence, long since torn down by the Bartons who are apparently not into old, quaint, falling-down stuff.

    Early April - Early May

  14. While the fence is down - barn, fig, wisteria, oak

  15. Basil, tomato and peppers from Spring Garden Market (Master Gardener's) - so this picture is sometime after April 15

  16. My own leggy seedlings on the heating pad by the window (not good light) - eggplant on left, and tomatoes right. These were seeded on March 3.

  17. Basil seedlings (Italian pesto basil)

  18. New 7' redwood fence in back of lemon tree (many bees and hummingbirds would visit)

  19. "Winter color" is filling in a bit on the left ... peas in middle ... lettuce going to town on the right

  20. I had thought I'd eat the peas, but they turned out to be have ornamental dark purple pods, and weren't really meant for the table. Sweet blossoms, anyway.

  21. Linaria from Common Ground - I called it my Dalai Lama flower, for the maroon and gold. It bloomed from early April to early June.

  22. Butterfly garden, April 4. Seeded February 28, germinated March 11. (Actually germinatd earlier - by March 11, we had a tender green carpet.)

  23. Peas in bloom.

  24. Seedlings - April 13 - up-potted a while back to 4" pots. My seedlings are in back; SGM starts are in front. Hey, the MGs use ozmycote, plus grow the seedlings in a proper greenhouse with proper lighting.

  25. Haven't up-potted the eggplant seedlings yet. They were slowest to germinate and slowest to develop true leaves (after cotyledons did their thing)

  26. April 23 ... I'm about to head out for the Asilomar workshop ... by now I've acquired more starts from SGM sources, up-potted some vigorous SGM starts, up-potted the eggplants, and am counting the days until mid-May when I'll put stuff in the ground. Now I'm taking the seedlings out during the days and bringing them in at night.

  27. Earthbox with 4 peppers and 4 basil. This is a minimal-work set-up. All you do, after you set it up, (potting soil and fertilizer - I used composted chicken manure) is fill the bottom tray with water once a day. It's a self-watering system. Impossible to over- or under-water as once the tray is full, it overflows onto the ground. The soil just draws water up, as needed.

  28. Kind of a pain to put the basil into the strawberry pot, but I thought it might look cute. It's now May 6. I also put the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and one cucumber from Common Ground into the ground about a week earlier.

  29. One of the three rose blooms that appeared. My rose bushes are in most-shade. I think they get about one hour of filtered sun around 10 a.m.

  30. This is about as tall as the peas got. They are vigorously putting out purple pods.

  31. Earthbox found a welcoming home in the butterfly garden. I think the wildflowers etc growing up around the earthbox looks terribly charming. Actually, all that's tall and showy right now is the winter cover crop. The wildflowers are up, but they're short and foliage-only and not visible.

  32. I brought home a slender, bare willow branch and stuck it in the ground, in mid-January. Now it's May and the thing has leafed out and I decided to stake it to an old iron shelf that had been nailed to the old fence, and that I salvaged when they tore down the old fence. The shelf isn't functioning as a shelf here ... I just stuck it in the ground.

    Early June - up through June 13

  33. Four figs, all cuttings from a soil mate in the MG training class. One I put in the ground straightaway (it's the furthest to the right, just in back of the handle of the trowel, unfortunately hard to see in the bright sunlight) and the other three rooted in water. Just recently stuck those in the ground. I intend to let at least three up them grow up, and as they grow, I'll prune them so that they don't get taller than 5' and they stay bushy. This should maximize the number of figs I produce on my plot of land!

  34. Virginia's succulents (Virginia was the previous owner)

  35. Wildflowers (and yarrow still in their nursery pots ... ah shame on the gardener ...) grew up around the earthbox, which itself shows vigorous signs of progress

  36. A serendipitous succulent found a place to get settled (serendipitous since it was the long branch on an indoor succulent that was accidentally broken off during some potluck). I stuck the poor severed succulent in cactus&succulent mix and put it inside the wildflowers and asked them to cheer up the new guy on the block.

  37. I have no idea what wildflowers were in the mix. I bought a couple handfulls from a barrel at Wegman's marked "wildflowers". I will ask them next time I go in. The rye and oat and fava bean and other grasses are from the "winter cover crop" mix at Wegman's.

  38. I am not sure if this is a good way to grow basil, if you intend to harvest it, but it is certainly charming. These are mostly from the seeds I started.

  39. It's a very photogenic earthbox

  40. Mystery wildflowers. I like the blue one particularly.

  41. These come in three shades: light pink, dark pink, white

  42. The promise of morning glory in front of the chimney. The peas had to give way.

  43. Near front door, left to right: orlaya grandiflora from seed (rare German wildflower, looks like Queen Anne's lace, about to bloom); chamomile that turned into a bush I have to cut back, about to bloom, looks like little daisies; 4' tall tomato next to 4" tall tomato and cute purple basil. The Johnny Jump-up violas in front came from a little plant I dug up from a pathway at PADG and brought home to use as a border.

  44. Orlaya grandiflora just before it bursts into bloom

  45. Groundcovers under roses - I just put in the white-green one and the "black" dark purple one that's on the right

  46. The other tomato that's taken off (I have success on 2 out of 10 plants; this is a factor of what sun they get, I think). This one is out back, planted with an aji pepper and asian eggplant and near my burgeoning kitchen herb collection.

  47. My little side patio. I can take my laptop outside and work with the electric cord running out the office window. A neighbor gave me the umbrella for free (I had the base, inherited from Virginia, an incredibly heavy cement thing).

  48. Coreopsis (the other Dalai Lama annual) and an heirloom marigold (in front). Coreopsis is on its way out. Got to put in something in front of it quick pronto.

  49. Canna tropicana (from a PADG start) - when the leaves open up, they're dark red with green stripes and then they turn greenish with red tones.

  50. California poppies have appeared in the butterfly garden. I am immensely happy since I have been trying to coax these poppies to grow wherever I have lived in the past gazillion years, and until now, no success, despite the fact they are practically weeds around here.

Marianne Mueller, mrm@sonic.net
Last modified: Wed Jun 13 09:58:51 PDT 2007