“I've been a dweller on the plains,
have sighed when summer days were gone;
No more I'll sigh; for winter here
Hath gladsome gardens of his own.”
– Dorothy Wordsworth, Peaceful Our Valley, Fair and Green
It's been quite cold out, which has the benefit of my cat wanting to stay inside more, being warm and cuddly, but we both miss spending a good stretch of time in the yard. Saturday was very windy; I tucked some container plants further under the hedges to shelter them. The wind also knocks around the hanging plants, and one of the fuchsias has to move to accomodate the strings of Christmas lights every December, so I took down each hanging pot and pruned, weeded and fertilized the plants. It warmed up a bit on Sunday afternoon, so Steve climbed up on the roof to decorate with the lights. I asked him to take photos of the yard while up there. Believe it or not, I have over 60 potted plants lined up along the pathways, clustered around the porches, and hanging from the eaves. They are barely visible from above!
Clicking on the cropped images below will show the full image in a new window.
In the brief hours spent outdoors over the past few days, another task I started on was cleaning up weeds from the driveway and trimming back fountain grass (Pennisetum spp.)
that's decided to grow there. This is a drought-tolerant plant, often used in landscaping in California. I like the fluffy texture and purplish colors of the seedheads. The grass blades are sharp, so I wear gloves to keep from getting small cuts on my hands.
In addition to this tidying, I gathered fuchsia flowers and geranium petals that were knocked off by the wind. I also finally got close enough to a camellia bloom to take a picture.
I'd set aside some of the cayenne peppers I've been collecting over summer and fall to make hot sauce. On Sunday afternoon, I looked at all the recipes I'd bookmarked, and then chopped and boiled the peppers with a bit of roasted garlic, fresh garden oregano, powdered cumin, Hawaiian sea salt, vinegar and water. It's ridiculously spicy, but I love it. I'm still deciding whether to puree it further, leave the seeds in or not, and whether I will keep it all or give some away!