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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Topiary Monsters in the Neighborhood

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Saw these cute topiary monster creatures on a walk this weekend. They look like puffy video game characters or some kind of japanese anime toy.

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Bareroot Fruit Trees

On the recommendation of Mr. Homegrown from Root Simple, I purchased two fruit trees from Bay Laurel Nursery (based out of Atascadero, California) for our budding orchard. You may recall we started with three dwarf citrus trees (orange, lemon, and lime) and I’ve been eager to add more, but wasn’t sure what to purchase or which trees would do well in our area. After reading through their online catalog of bareroot fruit trees, I chose one Anna Apple and one Royal Lee Miniature Cherry (both are semi-dwarf.) I picked apple because we eat so many them in our house and cherry because they’re fairly expensive at the grocery store. Anna Apple is recommended for our climate here in Southern California and produces sweet, crisp fruit. The Royal Lee Miniature Cherry is recommended for small gardens and container planting.
Bay Laurel Nursery begins taking orders for their bareroot trees in September and delivers them the following January. (So trees ordered in September 2013 will be delivered January of 2014.) If you are anything like me, you will place your order in September and then forget all about the trees until they show up at your doorstep like a belated Christmas present.
Both trees are doing well so far and seem to have adapted to their new soil and containers. The cherry shows very slight green growth but not too much change since it was planted. Anna Apple, on the other hand, has already begun branching and flowering. The petite white flowers were in bloom for a couple weeks and are just now beginning to die off. I’m really hoping for some apples this year!

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“whoa, that’s gross”

…was the thought going through my head after ingesting a truly terrible tasting plant this morning. I’ve only just started learning about wild plants and my sampling range is limited, however that was the first plant I’ve tried that was just awful. I thought it was chickweed and hastily grabbed a few tops and threw them in my mouth. That was a big mistake. I should’ve taken the time to get down low to the plant and really check it out before eating it. It may have been some form of inedible wild mint, but I’m not sure. It was a good reminder to be careful and sensible, even when I think I’ve correctly identified a particular plant. The incredibly bad astringent taste stayed in my mouth and throat for 45 minutes.

Another bummer was they mowed the big patch of land I’ve been roaming lately. Tons of nettles, mustards, and lupine are now all gone. The burned-yellow plants along the pathways also make me think someone came and sprayed pesticide in the last week or two. Not surprising, just sad. I saw a big truck rumbling down the main street the other day with a man in the back spraying down all the weeds growing in the center median. It’s probably something they do every Spring.

Might be time to find myself a more rural spot to spend time in & learn from for a few months. I’ve been bringing home wild weed seeds and throwing them out in the garden so maybe by next year at this time, I won’t have to travel too far. I’ll become what Kiva Rose calls a “weed wife” and visit with my little friends in my own backyard.

Spring Equinox

Happy Spring Equinox everyone! In our neck of the woods, we are spending the week planting seeds, taking pictures of wildflowers, and watching the hummingbird family that lives in our yard. I spent time yesterday weeding iceplant that invades our yard from the neighbor below, turning the compost pile, and sowing herb seeds. The garden fell into sad neglect over the winter, but with some work I’m sure we can bring it back to its former glory. I’m excited to see what Spring has in store for us!

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