While wintry sleet and freezing rain make it rather inhospitable for yard work-play, it does provide for more leisurely musings of the lively feathered visitors to the feeders. Scanning the yard for the possible early casualties of the week’s freezing temperatures, most everything seems settled. White sage is out of it’s typical chaparral environment, so it naturally went into decline with the inset do long bouts with of rain, after a freeze; May is the time for revealing the success of mulching its base.
And for many garden enthusiasts this is the time for inspiration; for dreaming, for pondering, for planning what their new outdoor spaces might become, or how existing spaces might be enhanced.
Some inspirational resources are listed here:
There are so many books and resources available that provide valuable information, depending on one’s tastes, preferences, and experience. However, a few of those that seem to me to offer some unique ideas, while being practical and not so overwhelming are offered as suggestions and places to explore. There are no rules against using snippets of ideas from many resources to create what you like.
Happy New Year! Enjoy exploring, dreaming, and becoming inspired to find your own style! “Simple” is a good way to start!
The typical ides of late summer, come earlier than usual, of course. While we await a much needed, hopefully-for-real, forecasted spell of precipitation in a few days, you are invited to take a short tour through the nooks of the CG, as it gets cleared of tired and/or over-browsed plants after harvesting the bounty! True, most of the yard looks great, (just a bigger water bill to keep them from dying, and grateful we don’t have water rationing); but their stress is detectable. Fortunately the lower sun angle as we drift towards fall helps keep moisture around longer. Given the soil crevasses in the beds, surrounding any soaker-hosed segments, it is always amazing how productive and resilient some plants are, with relatively small root systems, relative to their top growth!
The season of thinning out! Basil and tomatoes galore.
They’ve had enough! Hot and dry is OK for awhile, but then just the right humidity makes the mildew pop right up on those leaves. The melons are pushing the usual size limit for this ‘Margarita’ variety.
Fabulous colors of garden bounty! The lime-yellow of ‘Margarita’ melons laced with sweet red peppers! These melons are pale green inside, with a very mild flavor–the color of margaritas!
Our discriminating deer is wise–no eating hot peppers, just eat all the leaf tips!
Bound and determined bushes have eeked out a few beans from their bases; while the 4-footed browser insists on picking at whatever stems he can reach through the netting.
Bee party still going strong in the summer squash blossoms!
Aspen and Juni sensing some moisture in the air, but where is it for the ground?
House yard still holding its own; Spanish lavender is tired and resting for the season. Echinacea takes over supporting the pollinators!
Luscious grapes, still a bit tart, but almost ready for harvest!
Aspen finding the easy way to deal with heat…shade!
The July jungle is now in full swing! Evidently our watering regime is working well despite an ongoing drought, and waves of very hot days replaced by cooler, more “normal” temperatures, with heat spikes in between. We simply use soaker hoses for 10 to 15 minutes daily on everything but the tomatoes, which may be on an every other day schedule, temperature dependent.
The time when the plants just weave their bounty together; criss-crossing paths.
The bounty is coming in! Mostly summer squash and the oldest planting of bush beans, with a few extra pounds making their their way to a local food bank. The winter squash are prolific, too, just not ready! And while scouting around the squash some mini-canteloupes and margarita melons showed themselves! Always such a thrill to find the hidden gems! Thinning the prolilfic tomato vegetation is allowing the tomatoes to see the sun and a few are just blushing.
Four spaghetti squash tucked away; and yes, the powdery mildew has started. Earlier than usual this year, corresponding to the earlier maturity.
This year has seen a return of the twin (fused) yellow squash; this is the third set in 3 weeks!
The dilemma of outwitting our browsing buck continues. Almost a game in a way; one week we are “safe” from damage, and the next week he lets us know he is smarter, or more desperate, probably both! While we now have extra netting stretched over plants within the already-netted perimeter, our nemesis continues to jump in and scout around, browsing anything that might poke through the netting. Damage control is tolerable under the usual circumstances, but now he has earned the reputation of being “bad, bad, bad, really bad” by succeeding in wiping out the beans that had just recuperated from a setback 2 weeks ago. Apparently this was achieved by literally walking on the netting! Maybe I should start tally marks on an extra zucchini. Deer wins this week’s round.
Ambushed! Now the deer doesn’t mind walking on netting to reach his treats!