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Friday, January 27, 2012


The camellias are in bloom here.  YAY!

Actually, the one I love the best has been blooming since Christmas. 

It's a prolific bloomer with the prettiest blossoms, in my humble opinion.

 I also love this white camellia.

Camellias like a lot of water.  This has been the best year for blossoms for these two bushes, probably because I've watered them a lot more.

The next two pictures are from the same plant, I have no idea why the one has those pretty white stripes.

We also have two more trees in the front yard, but only one of them is blooming right now.

All those dead camellia blossoms are also good for throwing.  Here in LA we may not get much snow for snow ball fights, but we can have camellia fights.  Just sayin' ... LOL!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


We went to the Huntington last week, and the brightness of these flowers caught my eye.

And if you look closely at the left flower, you'll see a busy little worker.

Later, we came across a purple version.  These were fading faster than the red ones.

To come across an unfurling flower was extra special.

So lovely.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sweet Pod Peas

I planted a winter garden last fall, and we are now enjoying the fruits of our labors.

One of the things we knew we wanted was sweet pod peas.  You know, the peas that you eat the pod and all.  Some call them snow peas.  They're often used in stir fries.   Very rarely do ours make it as far as the kitchen, except for washing them.   We usually eat them raw, right out of the garden.

We get about this many every few days.

So, late last fall, I planted a bunch of things:  lettuce and lettuce mixes, cilantro and dill, carrots, beets and parsnips, mustard and other greens, and the sweet pod peas.

Cute little seedlings

Now, they're full grown and producing peas.

Just about ready to be picked.

Another view of this bed.

Another bed of peas.  It isn't producing as much ... I think because it isn't getting quite as much sun.

But the flowers are still beautiful.  And I adore sweet peas, with the same lovely flowers, only in color!!

I planted sweet peas at the same time, and they're only a few inches tall.

That's my finger so  you can see how small the sweet peas are still.

Tonight, quite by accident, we discovered that if you leave the pods on the plant just a bit longer, so that the peas are more defined inside, they're actually sweeter, if you can imagine. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Clean Up

January is often a time for New Year's resolutions, cleaning and purging, and weeding. 

Debris and weeds

Yes, weeding, especially in the Southern California garden.  One must get on top of those pesky weeds right away, or there will be LOTS to weed come April when you are ready to entertain and really want the garden to shine. 

Winter is our rainy season, we have mild temperatures, the days are once again lengthening, and the combination creates weed heaven.   So, this year, I'm jumping on the weeds sooner than ever before.  I figure if I get just one small bed taken care of every few days, it won't be overwhelming as in the past.

Another motivation for me is that I found some flower seeds that will grow in partial shade, which describes much of our yard.  It's cooler, but I have to work hard for color, and I love cut flowers.  So, I'm even more motivated to keep the beds clear of weeds, and I've already planted some flower seeds. 

It's not always easy, this weeding business.  Sometimes it's back breaking, and it can even be dangerous.  Today I weeded an area where I know a black widow spider was seen a few weeks ago.  I wore leather gloves, although I usually weed bare-handed.  And then there's the disposal of all the weeds.  We have a compost pile way back there behind the lemon tree you can barely see in the picture.

Although I don't make New Year's resolutions per se, I do reflect on new beginnings and evaluating the year past.  Weeding is a metaphor for taking care of our lives, too.  What am I doing that I don't need to be doing. 

But even more, can I make room for some new flowers?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lemon Blossom

Hi!  Long time, no write.  I'll try to be more regular this year. 

Please note, that is NOT a New Year's Resolution.  I never keep them, so don't want to jinx this.

Today, I got out in the yard after the Benadryl worked (and before it put me to sleep) and got some work done.  I'll share pictures of the garden and all next time.

Today, I marveled once again at the lovely smell of lemon blossom on our Meyer lemon tree.

And as I was standing there, inhaling the heady scent, I became aware of the honey bees.  Lots of them, buzzing around and ....

The honey bee is on the center blossom pictured.

burrowing into the blossoms.

And here it is magnified a bit.

The bees are a good sign, and since we don't use any pesticides in our yard except for an ant powder, I hope to see many of them again this year.

The lemons aren't quite ripe yet.  They'll probably be ready in a couple of weeks, and Meyer lemons are more fragile, they ripen all at once, and I'll have lots of lemon juice to freeze and lemonade to make.