Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hello Summer

It's difficult to get excited about gardening when the hundred degree heat is ON and the Spring that I was loving has so quickly disappeared. The weed patch went from good to bad in a hurry, and I can't figure out exactly what to do with it. My 'hands off' approach didn't last long, since some of the dried up flowers needed to be removed and a grass that I haven't identified yet began to seriously take over. The heat and lack of rain haven't allowed new surprises to pop up, so it's looking a little barren. The sunflower continues to be a prolific bloomer, but I must admit that the plant itself does not strike my fancy. The size of the plant (it's taller than me and has enormous 'branches') does not make it a good specimen for a backyard. The amazing cut flowers make it easier to cope with the obnoxiousness of the plant.

While the sun is baking outside, I've started plotting my plans for the Fall. Hopefully, by the time Summer rolls around next year, I'll have a few more hardy plants in the ground that will be providing color and a bit of cheeriness that the landscape is currently lacking.

I picked my first bell pepper yesterday! It's a quite a bit smaller compared to the peppers that I buy at the store (not enough fertilizer? not as many chemicals?), but it's a gorgeous lime green color that I've never seen before. The plant has two other peppers that are almost ready to be picked. The golden Swiss chard is still producing, and the color is so vibrant that I'm sad when it's time to cut it down.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let it grow

My little piece of earth that I affectionately refer to as the weed patch has been a joy to watch these last few months. It seems like everyday there is something new (and unexpected) popping up. An added bonus is the wildlife that the weed patch attracts. We've seen butterflies, birds, bugs and today I spotted a rabbit. The control freak in me wants to make the space neater, more conventional. I want it to conform to the beautifully manicured gardens in my dreams. However, by giving up my desires to prune and purge, I've allowed the space to grow without interference and constantly surprise me. After all, I almost pulled up the big stalky (yes, weedy) thing that turned out to be a huge sunflower plant. I'm not very good at plant identification, so everything looks like a potential weed when it first begins to grow.

The pictures below are are a few of the flowers that I have been able to identify. I'll be sure to post more as I figure it out.

Mealy blue sage (and Lena)

My giant sunflower

Another poppy pic--I just can't help myself!


Monday, April 27, 2009

My big backyard

Here's a brief rundown of my backyard --

Weed patch - when we moved in last year, there was a giant shed in the backyard and absolutely nothing else. We removed the shed and Tim built a much smaller one in the corner. There was a big empty space with no grass where the old shed had been, so we planted a Monterrey Oak in the space. I also scattered tons of wildflower seeds in the soil. I now refer to this space as my weed patch since that's what it looks like. The messiness of the space is definitely not for everyone, but it's so much fun to see what will be blooming next.

Veggie garden - Tim also created a 4 X 4 raised bed for me to plant vegetables. Right now it contains swiss chard and several pepper (sweet and jalapeno) plants.

Peach tree - We planted a dwarf peach tree in one corner of the backyard. Last month, it was full of beautiful pink blooms. I also planted some small ground cover perennials behind the tree.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Welcome to my garden!

Welcome to my gardening blog! Until I get up and running, I thought I'd post a few recent pics from my garden. Enjoy.