Everything is bolting: lettuce, kale, turnips, cabbage, and the broccoli. In years past these plants would have already been removed from my garden before they got to this stage, but the tomatoes were slow to start this year, so I let them be to do their thing. There is something reassuring about watching these vegetables each make their effort to produce seed, like they would be fine without me. I contemplated leaving in a single broccoli plant and collecting its seeds. All of my Brassicas bloomed at different times, so there was no fear of cross-pollination. But, I could see the aphids taking over and discovered I would need a few more months for mature seeds, and decided it was time to pluck out the winter crops and replace them with warm season delights.
I have a funny relationship with celery. I really do not care for it in its raw state, but absolutely love the way it smells in its raw state, especially the scent it leaves behind on my hands after I harvest, touch, or chop it up. There is something so pure, earthy, crisp about it. Now, I completely love and appreciate celery as a flavoring in soups, turkey stuffing, stir fry. These things would not be the same without a couple of ribs.
Fifty two degrees can mean so many different things. I will start off by saying that for us here in Southern California, fifty-two degrees for a daytime high feels like the arctic (I am guessing). To us it was freezing, but many others around the country were pointing their fingers and laughing at our whining. How we experience temperature, on a very surface level, seems to be very relative. I lived in the Pacific Northwest for eight years and I know that fifty degrees can feel warm. But, after several days of these chilly daytime temps, I simply could not be outside for long periods of time. I was tired of the cold.
Trees and volunteer boxwood hedges grow faster than you think. This year’s winter garden in the fifth in our backyard. In those five years the random hedge volunteers that sprouted up in our neighbors backyard, right long the fence that divides our properties, have grown into these massive, unsightly things that not only block our view of the mountains, but also block a lot of the sun that my garden used to get early in the day. In those same five years the oak tree that sits at the southern edge of our property has gained at least 6 feet in height. My once sunny-ish winter backyard has become a pretty shady one.
Things are growing very…slowly….
I am worried the garlic may not survive.
If one was trapped in a windowless room with a connection to the gardening blogosphere as their only outlet to the world outside, they would know that fall (and spring) is just around the corner. Gardening bloggers around the northern hemisphere are dropping hints that the weather is about to change abruptly: cooler nights, harvesting things just in time, savoring the last of the summer bounty.
Here, in Southern California, I straddle two mind sets. The mother and social parts of me have to prepare for at least another month of very warm temperatures and the possibility of another heat wave. No matter what the calendars say, it is still really summer, even after September 21. The gardener part of me, though, is keenly aware that fall is upon us. Continue reading