Sunday, May 15, 2011

New blog updates

I wanted to let regular (or occasional) visitors to this site know that I'll be making a more concerted effort to post more regularly. In that light, I'll be sharing more spontaneous thoughts on the varied world of gardening, including relevant experiences in my role as a nurseryman. This will include brief 'bios' on plants that I don't choose to write about in my SF Chronicle Pick of the Week column; experiences in my own garden; ideas for improving one's experience of gardening as well as what needs to be done in the ever changing seasons. Some of the entries may be short -- working full time, having a large garden to tend to and writing for Chronicle takes up a lot of my time -- but hopefully the increased frequency of blog entries will mean there's always something new on the site when you come to take a look. Feel free to write me with your suggestions.
What's on my mind on this unusually cool, rainy Oakland morning is that climate change doesn't only affect the macro world of global weather patterns, it also affects the micro worlds of our gardens. More than anything, plants respond to the specifics of daily weather. We've had an unusually cool and wet spring and that has meant two things for our gardens: many of our flowers (or veggies) are behind schedule, coming into bloom (or in the case of deciduous perennials popping above ground) much later than normal. Not only that but it will be sunny and warm for a few days, encouraging an explosion of growth, then cool again, confusing the plants and leading to uneven performance. The second consequence of this cool, wet spring is disease problems. We've had more people than usual come into Grand Lake Ace asking how to treat a myriad of problems with their plants. A good month of dry warmer weather will solve many of these problems.
But you can't stop Nature. Despite the less than ideal conditions, our gardens are bursting into bloom, offering a cornucopia of wonderful sights & smells. This year my exuberant marmalade bush is smothered in vibrant orange & peach colored blooms, making for a spectacular show that people out for walks in my neighborhood get to enjoy. And that's one of the wonderful benefits of gardening, isn't it, sharing our gardens with others.

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