Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Has Arrived!

The weather has been simply magnificent here for the past couple of weeks, and it appears the trend will continue. We've got Sugar Magnolia's blossoms bloomin', and the scent is divine. Our land is covered with California poppies (Eschscholzia californica). Our Grevillea "Red Hooks" are in bloom, and I've been watching the buds form on the wisteria in olfactory anticipation. I forget the name of the fuzzy plant in the next slide. My brother and I planted it a while ago because we admired its fuzziness, and it continues to grow fuzzier and larger. Baby lizards and skinks are out in force, sunning themselves on our walls and patios, and the frogs have been raising a ruckus in our ponds at night. Just took some shots in the greenhouse this morning: peppers, onions, tomatoes, tomatillos are all growing nicely. Inside, our seed potatoes from Ronniger's have sprouted. We're growing Austrian Crescent (fingerlings), Purple Viking, Bintje, and Red Pontiac this year. Also, there's exciting news on the sculpture front, but it's still a bit under wraps. The applications for Sierra Azul Nursery's "Sculpture Is" 2010 are due this week. Hopefully, the new piece will be accepted.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spring is Coming...

...although El Nino isn't done with us yet. We continue to be pounded by rain 2-3x/week and have passed 40" on the season. The happiest about that are the ducks, who greatly appreciate all the worms that come to the surface to escape the waterlogged soil. Our little flock of five unceremoniously passed the 500 egg mark a few days ago. More often than not, we find 5 eggs a day in the nest they've made and maintain.

Despite the rain, we have had some beautiful days and dormant buds are waking up. Our plums are in full bloom, while our persimmons have yet to break from dormancy. The grape cuttings that we took are waking at the same time as the parent plants. Our cover crop is now huge, as is the kale in the winter garden (pictured here with a rogue leek). We're still swimming in Meyer Lemons, yet the trees are getting ready to push new flowers. Tomato, pepper and onion starts are coming up in the greenhouse, although I've yet to photograph them.

Our Lauder's Walking Stick is covered with fuzzy yellow catkins, and the true smell of spring, the Narcissus, is in bloom everywhere. The final photo above is a protective grate I made for the kitchen window at the Homeless Garden Project after they were robbed for the umpteenth time on Christmas day.