Gardening in the Rain

The weather forecast called for icy rain today, and the weather forecast was not too wrong (in the context of California, "icy" means "cold" not "actually frozen"). Nonetheless, I was able to plant several plants that came in the mail this week.

First we have Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, a contorted filbert, which I have been in love with since I saw a very mature one growing over a garden wall in England two years ago. Mine will grow just outside the front gate, at the top of the driveway. I love how dramatic they look at this time of year, with no leaves and just those fancy catkins.

Harry Lauder's Walking Stick

A closer look.

Detail of contorted filbert

On the contorted theme, I also ordered a contorted quince bush, kind of small and shrubby, but apparently it occasionally produces quinces that need cooking. Just to balance that out, I planted a more edibility-focused quince. (Sorry you can barely see this; it's a tiny shrub and the background is dark).

Contorted quince

The fruit quince I planted is called Aromatnaya, a variety either from Southern Russia or Turkey, along the Black Sea. The fruit will ripen enough to be eaten raw, but is still very hard. I planted this primarily because Noel likes quince jam. Also, a slice of quince is nice with cheese.

Aromatnaya quince

As a freebie, when I ordered these trees, Raintree Nursery threw in 25 strawberry sets, a variety called Shuksan. Don't know much about it except that it seems to prefer the Pacific Northwest, the poor dear. At any rate, I potted some of them up in this shiny new strawberry pot, and the rest are going to a good home.

Strawberry pot

I am well aware that one of the only things that doesn't grow well in strawberry pots is strawberries, but I followed some advice I found on the Internet (see, I am just that stupid) and made that funky drainage device you see there. We'll see how it goes. It's not as if I had lots of room in the garden to squeeze in 25 strawberries.

I was going to wash the pot off after making such a mess, but it started pouring so I left it to rinse itself and went in for a hot shower.

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posted by ayse on 02/17/06