Saturday, February 14, 2015

While the earth remains...

I know many of my friends are still in the deep of winter, but here in California, we don't consider winter very long. I wish we did! We could use another ten or so storms since the drought situation is not any better than it was last year. This means we will have a lot of dead things in the yard this year, but for now, I have an optimistic view of the backyard and I plant like things are normal. I will have to creatively water, but it can be done. Sometimes, a girl has to have some color.

Today was color day. I added a bit of it to my yard:

This is a just-beginning-to-open ranuncula. It promises to be a pretty spectacular flower and they are one of my favorites. I bought three different colors and this is the best and brightest one. Yellow makes me happy.

This is my gorgeous peach tree in full bloom at only half-way through February. It did a similar thing last year because our "winter" has been so warm. It was 75 yesterday! 

Last year, we had peaches months before anyone else did because the weather was so warm so early. It felt so good to clean out the area underneath the peach tree. The EarthBoxes there in the foreground are the only big thing I have left to do and our garden is ready to rock.

This is my #1 garden helper - she loves to plant, dig, harvest, and just generally be outside. I can't say I blame her! She is measuring the area we will be hanging a net to catch the morning glories I planted in the EarthBox at the bottom. I decided I wanted more color in the yard this year, especially when we were sitting outside and enjoying the pergola. Sacrificing one EB seemed worth it to me.

I also have high hopes (said in a mildly sarcastic way) for the hollyhocks, poppies, and sweet peas I planted from seed. I have a love/hate relationship with seeds. Sometimes they are the best - like last year's zinna box. They were amazing! Other times, the seeds seem to laugh at me and taunt me with their colorful covers.

I fell "in love" with flowers many moons ago as a floral designer, and even more deeply when I lived in England and their gardens were more spectacular (even in winter!) than I believed they could be. Then I moved to one of the hottest places in our state and chose a home where Bermuda grass rules the day. Patience is an ever-learning thing in my gardening endeavors! So, I try, every year, something new. I try, over and over, some of the same things in a different way, and hope they come out right this time. So this year I will try some flowers and water sparingly and carefully, and hope for the best. 

I can't complain though because some things are tried and true and they work every year. These are my salad tables and they produce herbs, lettuce, arugula, and green onions each year. My daughter and I have planted all five open areas with these plus radish, kale, green beans, and snow peas. They are done and now we impatiently wait.

And the one plant that does flower, every year, without fail and with very little love, attention, or water from me is this camellia. It has to be the most patient and giving plant in the world. It is as red as it looks - no filter here. We will enjoy it for as long as it blooms.

The seasons begin and then end. Drought and the abundance of rain come and go. There is a real peace found in working whatever land you have around you. The sun and the soil, the seeds, and the harvest. 

Joy. Peace. Gratefulness.


Melanie Reynolds said...

Kate! How amazing! We are months (read: mid-May) from our garden. As a matter of fact we have 6" of snow on the ground at this very moment....with more coming down!

I, too, love the ranunculus family. I've never tried to grow them though! Maybe that should be a goal for this summer. I usually just enjoy them at Whole Foods.

Thank you for reminding me what I have to look forward to in a couple of months! :)

Charlotte said...

Loved this! And I feel the same. I have high hopes, but we will see what actually grows. :)