September garden update

It has indeed been a while. The days here are still hot, but the angle of the light has shifted to fall. I haven’t been writing much on this blog, in part because… I’ve been writing elsewhere! Specifically, on a vintage typewriter, as a way to a) focus and b) combat the impact of spending so much time on a screen for work. TBD what the results of that will turn into. I have some thoughts, but they’re early-stage.

But. I miss writing about gardening, and I miss reading other people’s blogs about gardening! So here I am with a six-on-Saturday update (for other gardeners’ Six posts, head over to The Propagator’s blog).

Meanwhile, here’s how things are in my garden! With a focus on things that seem particularly relevant to September.

The ceanothus is making it through! Thanks to some good advice from Barbara Eisenstein over at Weeding Wild Suburbia, I’ve been giving it just a bit of summer water, specifically early in the morning on cooler days, and not too often. It is looking much less struggly than it was a couple of months ago.

The mandarin orange, on the other hand… I don’t know what to do for this mandarin orange. Clearly it needs water, but I’m not sure if the drip system quantity and timing are just insufficient, or if it’s got root-rot. In one case, I should give it more. In the other, less. There’s also the complicating factor that the pomegranates are on the same line, so if I increase the time here, I’m increasing the time on them too, and the fruit might split… Aargh. I’m planning to poke around it a bit today and kind of see what I can figure out.

More citrus! The navel orange, in contrast to the mandarin, is looking ridiculously happy. Just look at all those nice green oranges. Should be great in maybe January or so.

A couple of weeks back, I planted my fall vegetable bed. I was determined to give it the best start I could, so I leveled the ground, redid the sprinkler system (switching from drip lines to misters), and dug in a couple of bags of fertilizer / compost / general-soil-improving-type-stuff. So far this is looking good! I’m going to thin & weed later this afternoon.

Malabar spinach. An experiment. So far, delicious, pretty, and with any luck a perennial that keeps on giving. I’m increasingly aiming for edibles that do not need re-planting every year.…

These flowers, part of a ‘beneficial bugs’ mix that I enthusiastically sprinkled around my vegetable gardens, were a total win. Love the colors. My idea of planting them in the vegetable beds, maybe not so much. Live and learn.

That’s my garden these days! Happy September to you.


And … it feels wrong to post this on September 11 without mentioning something about September 11. Twenty years. I don’t know what to say, but just… September 11.

Gardening in June

It’s June – mid-June, at that. The weather has been strange so far this year. March was unseasonably hot, but since then it’s been cooler than usual. As I’m writing this, I realize I have natural disasters on my mind: California is apparently facing the worst drought in some unnerving number of decades, and the local news is full of dire predictions about fire season.


At the same time, there was mist over the hills this morning, and although my recent months’ success with vegetables is nothing like last year’s beginner’s luck (gophers ate at least half of what I planted, tiny birds munched on seedlings, and some things simply didn’t grow – why?!), the flowers that have been coming up around the garden are amazing.

1. Dwarf jacaranda. We planted 3 small trees recently; I hadn’t expected blooms this year but here they are.

2. Sweet peas in the orchard. Love these.

3. This valiant tiny rose is growing from, I think, the rootstock of one that died out above it. Isn’t it pretty?

4. My favorite color of full-size rose.

5. These white flowers self-seeded from a single plant we bought two years ago. I’ve forgotten what it’s called, but it’s native to Greece. I love the way it’s interspersing with these pale purple alliums.

6. And for something edible after all – blossoms on the volunteer blackberry bush! One of these days I probably really should cut it back from the fig tree (is it strangling it? Is that a thing?) but I can’t bring myself to while it’s showing such promise of deliciousness to come.

Later today I’m aiming to weed one of the unplanted vegetable beds, weed-whack the orchard, and trench-compost everything that isn’t likely to seed or resprout. Then in another half-empty bed, I’m going to re-plant the leafy greens I’ve been missing: kale and arugula and maybe some summer-proof spinach. Fingers crossed!

And for views onto other gardeners’ gardens, head over to The Propagator’s blog!