“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.”
– Georgia O'Keeffe
A few weekends ago, one of our neighbor Karl's visitors knocked over and shattered two of my flowerpots near the porch, probably stumbling into them in the dark. I don't know who it was. I am annoyed not only that someone broke the pots and spilled plants onto the asphalt, but then they just left the mess there. I spent some time the next morning sweeping up soil, terracotta and ceramic pot shards, and moving the poor miniature rosebush and oregano into replacement pots.
On Sunday, Steve and I stopped at a garden store, where I found two terracotta pots in the discount section. I also chose a ceramic one with a dark green glaze, to use for a houseplant. It cost $19, but I've wanted some prettier containers like this for a while.
This week I am moving some plants indoors: those most likely to suffer during cold temperatures. I haven't seen frost yet, but I think it's just around the corner. One of these is a tomato plant that sprung up from a seed in the middle of summer: too late for it to have enough time to produce flowers and fruit during the standard growing season. I am curious to discover what variety this one is: Steve found it as a tiny sprout with two leaves, growing in the bathroom sink drain! I didn't even know if it was a tomato or pepper at first. I'll experiment with giving it a sunny-ish spot indoors, and a grow light. My family kept cherry tomato plants inside when I was a kid in Nevada, but I don't remember if they did well over the winter.
Clicking on the cropped images below will show the full image in a new window.
My hanging petunias have powdery mildew
. In the past, I've tried to wash it off the leaves as much as possible, and then spray a fungicide that's often applied to roses, which was partly successful. I'll go back to the garden store within the next few days and see what all the organic spray options are. I think I used neem oil
There aren't an abundance of flowers around the yard these days. I do still have bougainvillea, the white dipladenia
, African daisies
, wild leeks
, one fuchsia
, a hydrangea
, a white cyclamen
, and a few camellias
in bloom. Additionally, unusual for December, a calla lily blossom has shown up in a pot it shares with geraniums.
A couple of lemons are ripe now on my little tree. There weren't as many flowers as in 2016 (the best year yet for this lemon tree) but it looks like there will be 5 or so more fruits ripening throughout winter.
I gave many container plants, and the camellia bushes and tallest fuchsia, doses of kelp fertilizer on Saturday. It worked nicely to green-up the lawn, so hopefully this nitrogen boost will enrich the soil elsewhere as well.
Since the sun has just risen as I leave the house for work on Monday through Friday, and it goes down before I get home in the evening, I'm trying to fit more gardening in on the weekend, and occasionally to wake up early during the week to check on plants and water whatever looks thirsty.
Having fewer hours of daylight also means that opportunities to take photos are scarce. In addition to images to go with blog posts, I'm now attempting shots of jewelry, artwork and potpourri sachets for my etsy site
. So much easier to get a good closeup of a flower than it is to take a sharp, balanced picture of a long necklace! But I persevere and practice, while reading about artificial lighting
, techniques and iPhone camera apps to try