Saturday, December 09, 2006

Winter is finally here!

It seems we almost had no autumn. We went from hot to cold, with only a few just right days in between. And tonight our rains started in earnest.

Since I last had time to post we finished harvesting everything. We added some lantana and mums to the bed I see from my kitchen window. I planted daffodil bulbs in all the beds. I've weeded and watered until it rained. I pulled up the tomato and cucumbers. I put down a cardboard, newspaper, and wood path through the main vegetable so I can walk from the gate to the raised beds without getting muddy feet and so there will be at least weedless access to everything in the spring. I'm hoping I'll have time to keep up with the weeds as they grow during the winter and early spring so I won't face what I did last year when the ground is accessible again.

I wish the frost had not come last week and killed my blooming sunflowers before they could finish producing their seeds. But at least I had them to look at for a season. My borage is still blooming and will probably reseed where it is. My chard plant is huge and looks like many in one. The stem is as thick as a small tree. It's the only growing thing I can still harvest and eat. I have one lone blooming lettuce I hope will reseed.

As I look back over the year I see progress. I now have a lot of color to look at from my kitchen window. Since I've added new perennials and planted bulbs, I expect to have color in both the spring and fall. Indeed, I still have calendula and coreopsis in bloom, and several herbs. I hope they will also multiply. My bed by the pump house isn't doing as well as I'd hoped and some plants died unexpectedly. But I planted daffodils and irises there, too, and look forward to spring color. Some of the perennial herbs are doing well, and I hope the rain will help my new sword fern get established. I have divided the sage and transplanted some to the other side of the hill. I have some poppies blooming on the hill now, and look forward to some of the wildflowers reseeding by spring. I still need to divide more gazanias if I have time and put them on the hill and by my kitchen window. They do a lovely job of spreading. I'm hoping that next spring I'll be ready with cool season crops to plant so the garden will get an earlier start than last year.

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