January 2022 – Garden update

A friend of mine who moved to California from the east coast and Texas said this was the first year she’d understood her Californian friends’ obsession with winter. The world isn’t dormant and brown here; it’s the deep jewel-green of citrus leaves, luminescent paler green on hillsides, sparkling waterfalls, hazy blue skies, fiery sunrises after dramatic dark-sky rain. It’s beautiful.

And at least in my garden, it’s also totally chaotic. The oxalis is trying taking over. The flowers reseeding from last year’s experiments have decided to sprout exclusively in the cracks in the path. And speaking of that path, pretty much anything that involves plastic edging (why did anyone ever put plastic edging here? not only is it ugly, it’s on a hillside; it is naturally going to fall over because, you know, gravity) is slowly sliding out of place. I dug out the blackberry under the fig and cleaned up the strawberry bed (just uttering the phrase strawberry bed gives me a quick hit of delight; I love that strawberries are perennial here, and at least half the plants in the bed are babies of the ones I originally planted) but there is so much still to do!

I also got a new camera over the holidays, and I am experimenting with it for the first time in this blog post. With that, here’s a quick tour of things glowing brightly in my garden right now:

The tea tree is just starting to bud, with deep-pink velvet blooms.

Firecracker salvia needs cutting back, but it’s a lovely orange.

New olive leaves have this lovely dusky sage color.

New blooms on these flowers growing oh-so-conveniently in the path.

Jasmine is just beginning to bud.

Navel orange with deep green leaves.

The days have been short, gray, and rainy. This makes it hard to weed, prune the roses, prune the fruit trees, clear out the fallen fruit from the orchard – although I can’t bear to take down the spent pomegranates; the birds are having such a lovely time with them! – dig out the agapanthus I want to get rid of, cut back the things that need cutting back, contemplate whether to dormant-spray the peach and nectarine, see if my new seeds have come in the mail… ! Eek.

It’s beautiful anyway.

I’m posting this partly as a ‘hmm, do I want to start blogging again?’ experiment and partly in time for #SixOnSaturday, a garden meme I first encountered at The Propagator. Click through if you’d like glimpses into others’ gardens, often from all around the world.

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