Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Are We There Yet?

With a few mild days and the rains encouraging new growth in our gardens, a lot of us are getting that urge to hurry up spring so we can get new plants in our gardens and welcome back 'old friends.' I grew up in British Columbia and when I call family in January and say I've just come in from my garden, I can "see them" shaking their heads. But gardening 12 months a year also means there's always something to attend to, temptation to plant new plants, bulbs coming up early and self seeding annuals such as California poppies, borage, gilia and love-in-a-mist already popping up. I love it but then again keeping up can become a challenge.
Keep an eye out for an article I'm doing for the SF Chronicle on creating the best fertile soil for your garden. As I note there, the three most important factors in creating a successful garden are: soil, soil and soil. Now is the time to amend your beds with compost, soil amendments such as chicken manure, worm castings or mushroom compost.
Here are a few recent photos from my garden:
Upper line -- Fuchsia in hanging basket; Lotus berthelotii
Second line -- Hebe 'James Stirling; Silver leaf cyclamen
Third line -- Blue fescue relative; Camellia 'Frank Hauser'
Fourth line -- Ranunculus; Lachenalia tricolor
Bottom line -- Leucospermum 'Veldfire'; 'Spoon' Osteospermum

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