Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

One of the interesting things about gardening is that it doesn't really pay attention to calendars. Our gardens respond to the weather much more so than the date on the calendar. Rains bring on new growth; cold inhibits it. Warm weather fools certain plants, including bulbs, into thinking that spring is arriving early when it hasn't. Still, there's no mistaking it's winter, even in our milder coast climate. Most leaves on deciduous trees have dropped. Coleus plants have finally given up the ghost even while certain plants soldier on. And it seems that certain annuals and perennials just can't wait for it to be spring. I have a gilia capitata about to bloom, having gotten it in early, and my two phacelias are progressing towards flowering. Winter shrubs like leucospermums and camellias are budding up in preparation for a January show. Lots of South African bulbs are up and already several of my lachenalias are in bloom, including the otherworldly L. viridiflora. All encouraging signs, as the days gradually begin to lengthen, that spring isn't as far off as it might seem.

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