The weather this winter has been downright bizarre. And it has confused the plants. Lots of things are blooming much earlier than usual, and I am a little worried about potential late-season rain. Though any rain would be good at this point.
I went out in the garden today to take some photos. I'm still trying to hire a gardener to deal with the weeds so I can spend my free hours doing the more fun parts of gardening. Oddly, I have only gotten a few responses to my inquiries, mostly offering paid consultations on design. I'm not really looking for design services right now -- I have plans for that sort of thing but we're spending this year's house money on cute light fixtures and Japanese robot toilets. I was kind of surprised by the lack of response, frankly, since the economy has been so bad for so long.
I decided to take a couple of pictures of the garden to show what it is we're trying to deal with. Maybe that will help. So now you also get to see how the plants are rapidly overtaking the pathways.
The front is looking very lush and green, but about half of that is actually weeds. They aren't looking so unattractive right now, but I would like to get them a little more under control. When the California poppies go off this year it's going to be spectacular, I think.
In the last few days the magnolia has started blooming. It's looking very attractive now that I've pruned that one weird branch out and after last summer's work to straighten it up. I'm not sure how soon we can remove the stake that is holding it in place, but I should think midsummer at the latest.
In the swath between the houses, I planted white daffodils in the fall. They've started coming up and should be opening up soon. Daffodils should theoretically naturalize in this climate, but that sort of thing is iffy on the margins of their natural range. Alameda can't quite decide if it wants to be USDA zone 8 or zone 9, and I think the warmer parts of zone 8 are pushing it for most spring bulbs.
What does seem to do well here and come back every year are crocuses. I planted them around the yard a few years ago and they come back regularly, popping up in small, glowing clumps. The purple ones, anyway; the white and striped ones have disappeared. Here they are mixing with the first sprouts of Nigella in the raspberry bed.
They do well even in the dry parts of the garden, where I don't water at all. That's a hummingbird sage runner popping up in the path in the orchard. I love coming across little pops of colour.
The big mystery of the day is this weird dead spot in the side yard. It looks as if we had something lying on the grass there, but we did not. I can't say I'm too broken up about the loss of some grass, but it is confusing. I like to know why my plants die off.
Other than that, we have blueberries (doing much better since I planted them in the ground where they get consistent water and don't get knocked over).
And the lonely pluot is blooming alone with no pollinators. It seems awfully early, but maybe this is because I pruned it so heavily when I transplanted it.
Also the Camellia finally bloomed, a month or so later than normal. What a weird year.
posted by ayse on 02/25/12