Thursday morning garden

This is Calycanthus occidentalis, California spicebush. I pruned it hard last year and it didn't flower this year. Sadness....


But it has a nice shape now, so I'm not going to prune it this year.

I splurged big-time on a Giant Sea Squill bulb. It was $25. You can read more about it here. I need to find a sunnier spot for it, but for now here's the foliage starting to poke out.


Recent rains set off the poppy seeds...This is the coastal form which means the flowers will have yellowish petals with an orange center, as opposed to the familiar pure orange which is common in the Central Valley. (Yeah, take that Central Valley! You voted for Proposition 8, so I'm not going to grow your poppies!)


I'm not sure if it's a good idea to thin them out, but I'm not going to. Let them compete.

Just as prolific is Cerinthe major. These, I must thin. The plants get huge and will overwhelm their neighbors.


Usually by now I've ripped out the tomatoes, but why? The plants look fine, and the tomatoes are still ripening and taste good.


New tomato plants will be planted here by mid-March. That's just a few months away when you think about it. I'm not going to get anything else to grow here between now and then (well, maybe some radishes), so why not leave the tomatoes.

My job doesn't let me get home before the sun goes down, so the only time I get to see the garden during the week is in the morning before I leave. The grape leaf color is evolving quickly.


The gray is Eriogonum arborescens, native to islands in Southern California. It's one of my abs. favorite plants. There are two plants here, and I grew both of them from seed.


My neighbor, the English woman whose garden I work in sometimes, gave us this Mandevilla as a wedding present. Where it will go has not been determined...


Do you like my new birdhouse? This was a wedding present to ourselves, purchased from an art gallery in Big Sur where we honeymooned. It was made by an artist in Arizona, and I'll go in to more about that later.



steelystyle said...

I love the spicebush. See, everybody, California has fall color too. Plus, they smell like a wine cellar, which is a good thing (to me, at least).

Christopher C. NC said...

You'll go into more about the artist who made the evocative birdhouse or your honeymoon in Big Sur? Did it involve daffodils?

I see you can ID your seedlings that are coming up on their own right? That is a sign that you are getting experienced as a gardener.

chuck b. said...

Well, Cerinthe and poppies are easy to ID and I've seen them come up for a few years now. There are some other things I'm not too sure about...

lisa said...

I am sooo far behind in my reading and blogging that I didn't even know you got married! (I suck...sorry). But congratulations anyway! BTW, you are my seed-starting hero, and I'm promising myself to buy NO plants next year, and only work with seeds.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chuck, Christopher's comment is way too funny! HA I love the bird house too. Our house in California had a bed that filled itself with the orange poppies every year. I didn't know enough then to thin them or anything else and they did fine, making seeds that would ensure years of flowers ahead. I did sow some of the seeds of the cerinthes and they are nice size now. I hope they don't get frost bit, they did not like the summer heat at all. They have a maple leaf covering for protection.

Unknown said...

I love your wedding gifts! And I am jealous of your poppy seedlings... I have officially, after 3 years running, stopped trying to grow the damned things. *sigh* I guess there's a reason they're called "California poppies" and not "Ohio poppies," eh? :-P

Can't wait to hear the story of the artist behind the new birdhouse. It's interesting, so he/she must be, too!

Wicked Gardener said...

Ohhh - love the birdhouse.