[gardeners] Quiet time in our garden.

Ron Hay (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Tue, 28 Nov 2000 08:00:20 -0800

November is the winding-down time in our Van Nuys garden. We have
already had a few light frosts (while we were away in Chicago, making
prepration to save sensitive plants impossible), which resulted in some
losses, but they were to have been expected anyway: our volunteer
late-season eggplants, pumpkin, some leaves on our coral tree, tea tree
and basil, and some rose blossoms. Nothing major, though, thank

This year we have already had 3 or 4 frosts; whereas last year we had
none. I wonder what this portends.

Our bearded irises continue to give us great pleasure, carrying the
purple note to the Mexican sage and purple butterfly bush, down the east
side of our front lawn. The contrasting note of the golden butterfly
bush is lovely, too.

The first callas have begun to bloom. Maybe we will have enough for a
Christmas bouquet this year:)

The fortnight lillies have also begun blooming, offering a lovely white
and yellow note to the irises deep, rich purple. Here, too, the
counterpoint of deep orange and yellow calendulas carry out the them of
purple and gold on our front lawn.

Then there is Mac! Our macadamia, completely undaunted by the light
frosts, he continues to grow at about a foot a month. Maybe in the
spring he will bear those gorgeous pink blossoms and produce nuts:)

The roses look a bit sad and tired by now. In another few weeks,
probably in early January, we will cut them down to about 18", so that
they will not get all leggy and out of proportion. This year was
certainly a banner year for our roses, thanks to Vigaro for Roses (not
affiliation, etc.) They grew from 18" to over 6' this past season!

In the back, I just finished raking up the leaves from the apricot and
persimmon.. When we came back from Thanksgiving in Chula Vista (near San
Diego), the ground was gilded around the base of the young apricot tree,
and a firey red around the base of the persimmon.. This was the first
year we had enough leaves to bother raking up.

The Fuyu persimmon, also a young tree, yielded about 70 lovely orange
fruit this year, a far cry from last year's 13. Some of them we have
eaten firm, ripe and luscious. Some we have nuked with our oatmeal, and
some we are going to make into chutney, syrup and jam, thanks to some
lovely recipes in Sunset's Recipe Annual for 1988.

Limes are also abundant. Today I will juice out about 3 dozen, in
preparation to turning some of our turkey into Yassa. Some of them will
also go into syrup. This will be just carrying forth a process of syrup
making we have been engaged in most of the fall, in order to keep up
with the landslide of passion fruit. It is a truly abundant vine, and
until recently, we had no good ideas as to what to do with them. Thank
goodness for Patrick Worley's _Passion Fruit Cookbook!_

Every day more mandarin oranges ripen, succulent, golden, seedless and
sweet as honey. Not far behind are the navel and blood oranges, which
are finally beginning to produce.

And the artichokes! They are currently on their 8th reincarnation this
year, not yet producing buds, but gathering up energy for their burst of
buds in February. The plants are now 8 from our original 2, last year.

It's a lovely time of year here, often with 50-degree temperature
fluctuations.There is lots to be done in the garden, but with short
days, it makes getting things accomplished a bit of a challenge. I try
to get something done in the garden every morning, before going in to
work, so that Vivian will not have to fall into a faint on the weekends,
when I am showing property.

Having been away a lot this month, both the Chicago and Chula Vista, and
having enjoyed a week-long visit from my brother and his wife from New
York, we have not spent a lot of time out in our garden. I had't
realized how much I missed it until I was sitting in a hotel room on the
19th floor of the Sheraton, in Chicago, looking out over canyons of
stone. It's good to get away, but awfully good to get home again.

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. Now we will all take a deep
breath and count to 10, before getting ready for Christmas/Hanukkah:)

Be well and cherish the sunny warm days when we have them:)