[gardeners] November in a Los Angeles Garden

Ron Hay (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Tue, 02 Nov 1999 19:08:44 -0800

Hello to all of my gardening friends:)

Well, it looks like out heat wave is over. No more temperatures in the
90s...at least for a while. Now that the days are shorter, our nights
are much cooler, down in the low 50s.

This weekend, we will pick our lovely Fuyu persimmon, which are
beautifully, well, persimmon colored:) This is the variety that is
non-astringent and can be eaten out of hand when right off the tree. We
only have 12 on our little tree, so I guess there will be no persimmon
baked goods in the immediate future.

The Turkish and Sardinian crocuses which we planted three weeks ago are
up, a brilliant lavender, and the most evanescent of flowers: they last
two or three days at most. I took photos of them for my dear wife, who
planted them, and who is still in Washington, D.C., and who might never
know what they look like until next year.

This weekend, our first pomegranates will be ripe, all three of them, on
the "Wonderful" tree we planted in February. Last year when we bought
some in the market to make a Middle Eastern salad, we learned a neat
trick about opening this fascinating  fruit (an iconic symbol of the
Resurrection, because overly ripe fruit burst open, like the tomb, and
scatter their seeds abroad.) Open it under water, so that you do not
stain either what you are wearing, or the curtains over the sink. Works
like a charm.

Our serrano chiles continue to amaze us. Before this current spate of
hot weather, we thought they would become quiescent. Wrong: with the
onset of 90-degree weather, even with shortened days, they cranked up
production and there are a couple of hundred fruit ripening...on 4
plants. I guess we will break out the ol' dehydrator again.

Among the non-edibles, our philodendron, which I believe is called
"monstera deliciosa," because of its edible fruit, about the size of a
large banana, is about to bloom. This plant has 4' toothed leaves, and a
flower which looks like a jack-in-the-pulpit on steroids.

Our bearclaws, acanthus var., are coming out of dormancy, and sprouting
splendid 3' new leaves. For those of you unfamiliar with this plant, it
is represented in the leaf design on the capitols of corinthian columns
in classical architecture.

Speaking of plants on steroids, you should see our calla lillies! As I
mentioned before, I fed them several times with Miracle Gro. I really
should do a commercial. The plants this year are not only the  most
vibrant green I have ever seen, but are a full foot taller than last
year. I live in fear of how many flowers they will have....and the size
of them:)

The only frustrating thing about gardening in November is that it must
be relegated to weekends, since it is now dark when we get home from

Well, friends, I hope this missive finds you all in fine fettle (has
anyone ever seen a fettle?) Be well and think of spring.

Warm greetings from Van Nuys.