December Garden 2011 – Wrap Up

Just wrapping up my 2011 garden post for December.  I took these shots, and never had the time to post them.  Here is my dormant vegetable garden waiting for spring planting:

This one  is of our dog Hiro under the grape vines.  This year will be the first year they will be allowed to fruit – yay!

And here are our lovely avocados – delicious!

I thought I would add this one.  It took me half the day to trim the pygmy date palms and New Zealand flax, and here are the results of my efforts; I can now see across the pool:

The rare color in my December garden – an ivy geranium, in my favorite color, pink!

And finally, the first crop of Mexican limes. They are tiny, but sooo juicy with a wonderful aroma and flavor:

2012: I will post about my garden, but probably not on a monthly basis.  Thanks for visiting!

November Garden 2011

I haven’t done much gardening lately – my vegetable garden is an overgrown mess! So, I will just have to share the beauty of fall foliage in the desert region of Southern California. It’s nothing compared to other parts of the country, but remarkably, we do have some :-). Not much in my front grove, but in my back yard & grove, there is a bit:

Our street:

Our front grove:

The fig tree in our back yard:

A young pomegranate tree in our back grove:

And our very yummy fuyu persimmons:

And here are a bit more colorful scenes from my neighborhood:

A neighborhood ginkgo tree – the stand out for sure:

September/October Garden 2011

Wow, I completely forgot about my monthly garden post for September.  The weather was so hot that I literally did not go out in my garden for the month of September  – out of sight, out of mind I guess.  So, I am combining the two months.  I am featuring my front grove.  The valencia oranges are ripe and ready for picking, they are very nice for juicing.  Most of our valencias are the original trees planted nearly a hundred years ago.  They are supposed to be one of the sweeter, better tasting kinds around:

And here are some Gold Nuggets that I planted – they will be ready in spring:

And, just thought I’d share, here is a photo of the Red Yucca pods.  They are one of my favorite plants in my garden.  When they are in bloom, the hummingbirds always make an appearance:

August Garden 2011

It has been hot around here, but I really cannot complain considering the triple digit temperatures the rest of the country is suffering.  My garden is flourishing without much assistance. My mode of gardening seems to be plant, water, and you’re on your own – only the hardy survive.  And the tomatoes are hardy:

I planted four different varieties.  Homegrown tomatoes are the best!

July Garden 2011

The weather has gone into Inland Empire summer mode – this is the time of year when I dream of my beach cottage getaway. I would leave in May and not come back until September, possibly October.  Despite the heat, my garden is doing great.  My melon patch has turned into a rogue squash patch.  Last year’s goose neck squash kept popping up, so I let four of the plants grow.  Well, here is the result.  I even got some strange hybrid? white squash looking things.  Not  sure I will even try to eat them:

And here is my beautiful Temple Fire Bougainvillea making a comeback after winter exposure:

June Garden 2011

So far the weather here has been great. It’s already June, yet we have not had extreme heat – thank goodness! So, this month, I am featuring some “projects” as well as my beautiful passion fruit:

I planted Kyoho, and American concord grapes last season.  It grew to the height of the trellis. This season, I am supposed to let two vines spread. Then next year I can allow multiple vines to grow and fruit – I’m half way there! As for the blueberries, I initially planted them in the ground, and they did not thrive. Last season with the advice of my neighbor, I planted them in containers.  I am actually getting fruit now – yay!  And, last but not least, my passion fruit plant.   I think it must be the hardiest plant in my garden.  It has survived a freeze in the past, and  recently survived being strangled by our ever growing banana trees.  These beautiful flowers turn into the most aromatic and delicious fruit – can’t wait!

Strawberries From My Garden

I planted two beds of strawberries in my garden last year.  They survived the winter, and actually spread.  I was probably supposed to thin them somewhere along the way…  oh well:

The strawberries even jumped the planter – I guess they are a bit invasive.  The berries are small but delicious!  Greek plain yogurt, pure maple syrup, and fresh picked strawberries from the garden – the best breakfast ever!

May Garden 2011

There are a lot going on in my garden this month.  But the two standouts would be my first and only cherry on our Minnie Royal Cherry tree, and the return of the “volunteer” hollyhocks in my front garden:

The Minnie Royal is a new low chill sweet cherry compatible with our climate/region.  I did plant another cherry tree, the Royal Lee, but it did not fruit this year.  They are both planted in my back citrus grove.

I am really glad the hollyhocks came back this season.  In my excitement and haste, I harvested all the seeds to share with people.  But, fortunately, there were some seeds that managed to spread and grow.  Now if I could only find takers for all those seeds…

Beautiful Amaryllis

I just wanted to share some photos I took of my beautiful amaryllis that my parents gave me. It is in full bloom and just gorgeous:

I will have it planted in my front garden.  I just hope it thrives in our desert heat.

And here is an amaryllis poem byThomas Campion, a Renaissance English Poet & Composer:


I care not for these ladies that must be wooed and prayed;
Give me kind Amaryllis, the wanton country maid.
Nature Art disdaineth; her beauty is her own.
Her when we court and kiss, she cries: forsooth, let go!
But when we come where comfort is, she never will say no.

If I love Amaryllis, she gives me fruit and flowers;
But if we love these ladies, we must give golden showers.
Give them gold that sell love, give me the nut-brown lass,
Who when we court and kiss, she cries: forsooth, let go!
But when we come where comfort is, she never will say no.

These ladies must have pillows and beds by strangers wrought.
Give me a bower of willows, of moss and leaves unbought,
And fresh Amaryllis with milk and honey fed,
Who when we court and kiss, she cries: forsooth, let go!
But when we come where comfort is, she never will say no.

April Garden 2011

Happy April!  Wow,  it feels like summer here already!  The garden is starting to bloom all at once.  The fragrance of orange blossoms are amazing – the family are on claritin:

  What’s blooming in your garden?

March Garden 2011

Happy March! The weather here has been a mix of sunshine and rain lately. I took some close-up photos of my garden – all the plants and trees seem to be awakening from their winter slumber.

The rain drops were so pretty on the lemon blossoms, leaves, and ornamental grass:

The Hollyhocks are back – yay!!!, and the Pride of Madeira are right on schedule:

The plum blossoms, peach blossoms, and cherry blossoms are sooo pretty – I can’t wait for the fruits!:

Oh, and the weeds have had free reign of the back grove. But, I have a soft spot in my heart for this fellow, a dandelion.  When my boys were young, this was the flower that they always picked for me  – oh, so sweet … where has the time gone?:

February Garden 2011 II: SunnysideLOCAL

I have already spoken about my garden this month, but since I missed last month, I thought I would double up. This time, I am going to introduce my neighbor, Mindy’s garden. Mindy and her friend Jane (also my friend) have started a nursery called SunnysideLOCAL.  They are a licensed nursery and certified farmers market grower located in Redlands, California.  Mindy and Jane share a similar philosophy about food:  As much as possible, eat sustainably grown food that is raised locally and tastes great.  All of their edible plants are grown from organic seeds sown in excellent organic potting mix.  Their growing fruit includes a variety of citrus, peaches (white and yellow), Nectarines (white and yellow), Black Mission figs, Wonderful pomegranates, strawberries (grown for jam stock), blueberries and melons.  Insecticides are never used and weed killing is done with an OMRI approved orange oil based herbicide.  They have a stand, stocked daily with their locally grown fruits, vegetables, and plants, as well as jams and jellies made from their own fruits. They can also be found at our local Saturday farmers market. For more on SunnysideLOCAL visit

And here are some photos from their stand and nursery: