Friday, September 17, 2010

What season is it?

I get confused by the seasons in California.  Right now, I'm looking forward to the rain coming, in much the same way I used to anticipate spring time in Ireland.  That's because in many ways summer here is like the winter in terms of the native plants.  Many go dormant, waiting for the fall rains to spring everything back to life.  Rain has been forecast for Sunday - if it comes - and if this is the start of the rainy season, I'll be rejoicing.  I can't wait to plant my natives in the front garden.

In the meantime, I'm harvesting from the back garden.  To say it was a bumper harvest would be exaggerating. But we get enough from the garden to feed ourselves five nights out of seven.  It lightens the grocery bill a lot - though the least said about the garden center bills, the better!

However, it seems that even the plants are confused - so many of them are blossoming and fruiting at the same time.  It makes for an interesting Blooms Day post to link in with May Dreams Gardens.
Aubergines (Eggplants) have beautiful flowers, and the fruits are delicious looking too...

Okra flowers come just before the fruit - it's hard to keep up with these guys as they ripen in a matter of days.

The flower is beautiful.  Next year I'm going to plant them in the beds nearest the house - in a row - as they are very ornamental too.

The pumpkin and the melon (small yellow flower on the left-hand-side) is still flowering too.

As is  the zuchinni (courgette).  I don't even know if this is normal because I haven't grown either before.

And here are some flowers I have at the moment.

Petunias...

Lobelia...


Crepe Myrtle...
 Begonia...

Geranium...

Back to the harvest though ... I thought the beans were over, but I hadn't pulled them out.  It's good to leave the roots as they fix nitrogen in the soil when alive, and I consider them 'green' fertilizer.  This little guy surprised me the other day.  One bean pod.  We ate it!

Also, I just had to enter for the Gardening Gone Wild Picture this competition this month - the theme is harvest and this is a photo of one of the three seed heads I collected from my very poor sunflower crop!


And to finish I'll leave you with a photo of the farm... not my farm - the ants farming aphids on my okra flowers!  Prime real-estate...


Byddi Lee

8 comments:

  1. Some of us natives are confused by this year's weather as well. This has been the coldest summer I've ever experienced. It generally doesn't rain in September and we usually get a pittance in October. You can plant your natives now, but you will need to provide them some water until the rainy season really begins.

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  2. I've lived in California 26 years, and used to miss having four distinct seasons. I've become used to the two seasons now...wet, and dry :P

    It does seem a little early for rain, although last year I remember we were deluged in mid-October. I hope whenever the rainy season does arrive, that it's better behaved this year.

    Although we've ordered the seed for our natives, we'll hold off planting that until mid-late October, a little closer to when we expect the rains to arrive in earnest. However, I have already started planting out some native plant transplants (perennial shrubs like sages), I just have to keep an eye on the soil moisture while they get established. After all your hard work this year, I can see why you're eager to get planting!

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  3. Food for 5 nights out of 7 I think is pretty good Byddi............. and I can relate to those garden centre bills aswell.

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  4. @ Rachael and Curbstone Valley Farm - I get such conflicting advice...but the bottom line is to keep the baby natives moist! Its a gamble to plant this early and maybe not a good idea...I'll try to wait a week or two at least on the seeds...

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  5. I have never understood how something as lovely as aubergine can taste so nasty, although I know people say the same thing about okra, which I don't mind.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and good luck with your photo entry.

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  6. I'm new to your blog. Beautiful flowers and veggies! I'd love to plant Eggplant and Okra next season, it was too late in the Spring when I thought about it and I also ran out of room. Your Eggplant and Okra looks great. I'm from CA too, in the mountains. It's already getting cooler here and our growing season is very short. Have a great weekend! :)

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  7. Thanks for dropping by Priscilla. I went by your blog too and thinks it's great! Glad you found me...

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  8. Aphids are so good at decimating my parsley this year. I was going to bring it in for winter, but I am having second thoughts now.

    The okra flowers are splendid.
    And your pumpkin is going to be a great halloween decoration. Or a pie maybe!

    Looking good!

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