Sunday, March 24, 2013

Garden Snapshot | It's Spring!

The big accomplishment that I've made within the past week or so is that I built a bean trellis! The little seeds have yet to pop up out of the ground and I can't wait.

Also, the manure/compost that I've been using must have had spores in it...because little mushrooms keep popping up in my strawberry plants. They're so cute.

The quince is starting to flower! It's lush pink blooms are so lovely.

A few of the nasturtiums have really taken off. They are so much bigger now. They're still my favorite "from seed" plant so far this year. 

I've been busy with work & meetings over the past week but I was glad to be able to spend a little time out in the garden today. I planted some more sedum ground cover...I just love the stuff! The spanish blue sedum that I planted in-between the stone path has almost filled together already.

It's now officially spring! Oh happy day:)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Rose-Certificate

It is quite a novel idea to get a kid a gift certificate to a heritage rose nursery.  Most kids probably wouldn't be very enthused.

I was the opposite. I absolutely loved it.

My Aunt Donna knew me well. Growing up, she was like a grandmother to me, since my actual grandmother (her and my dad's mom, Charlotte) had past away before I was born. Her and I shared many of the same passions and I was always fascinated by what she was up to.

I'm not exactly certain which birthday the rose-certificate was for but my guess would be that I was in the "tween" years of my life. I cherished the experience of going to The Antique Rose Emporium and picking out "the perfect bush".  

To this day, I am giddy anywhere that there is an overwhelming amount of visual stimuli; I linger for hours in fabric stores, nurseries, yarn shops and the like. It was no different that day. I probably made my parents stroll around for ages before deciding.

Do I remember the name or variety of the rose that I ended up choosing?  No.

What I do remember are the medium ballet pink blossoms that smelled incredibly fragrant but not saccharine sweet. The standard terra cotta pot that it was planted in--the joy of seeing it's first bloom each spring.

I will not claim any more ownership of this plant as I will of the cats that we adopted around the same time in my life. They all belong to my mother, because it is from her care and nurture that they have lived such happy lives. 

I don't have as good of a track record (for plants--my cat is a very spoiled and happy member of the family). I have an enormous interest and love for plants, but I lack the knowledge of how to properly care for them. And until recently, I haven't really cared to learn. Convinced that I had a "black thumb," I would actually just neglect the plants out of laziness and therefore they would die. **To my credit, the Texas heat did not help.**

It seems that fate has made me come back full circle and I now have a dozen or so rose bushes at our Pasadena, CA home that I must care for. They were not a choice that I made but entrusted to me since they have been around the property for many years. My gentle pruning and care of these bushes is what first re-sparked my interest and boosted my confidence in my ability to garden.  


How serendipitous then, that my last conversation with my Aunt Donna before her passing early this year was mostly spent chatting about all of my roses.

This essay was written for the Grow Write Guild, from the prompt, Write about your first plant. The roses in the image above are the first blooms from my bushes this spring. Follow me on Instagram @baileyamon.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Blame the Birds.

I do...I blame them for making my tiny baby plants their breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Not only are my seedlings their meals...the seeds are as well. After watching my new favorite show, I was inspired to sow some cut and come again baby lettuce. What did I find the next morning? All of the soil that I carefully planted had been foraged through. Oh well...I'm definitely learning my lesson and taking each one in stride. The lettuce has been re-sewn and has been covered with berry baskets.

The only true success I've had so far has been with my nasturtiums. I think they might be my forever favorite since they're my first. Do you know what they are? I didn't.


They're also edible and apparently for me, easy to grow. We'll see how they do as the season progresses. 

I've found out that the birds like them too. So as soon as a baby seedling pops out of the ground, I have to cover it with a cloche (which I use a water bottle cut in half) to keep them safe.

It's a bit trashy looking and not up to my personal garden aesthetic (in an ideal world they all be beautiful vintage glass). Alas, they work and really...that's all that matters.

I love how fast they grow! This one has only been above ground for a few days! I have some now that have 4 leaves!! I consider that quite the accomplishment for my black thumb.

It was a crazy weekend last weekend and so far a very hectic week. My parents are out in Pasadena to visit so there's been plenty to do.
I've not really made much progress in my little garden beyond continually covering seedlings as they pop up but I did acquire some new plants from the Pasadena City College Flea Market last weekend that need to be planted. I also got some nifty new (old) pots there as well (among other things for Antiquaria).


Friday, March 1, 2013

Ever-bearing Berries

I hope these little guys are truly "ever-bearing" and give us lots of little sweet red jewels through the spring & summer. They show lots of I need to figure out a way to deter all of the critters so that we can be the ones to enjoy the little treats.