[gardeners] Roller coaster weather

Ron Hay (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Thu, 04 Jan 2001 07:37:46 -0800

Good morning, friends, and a happy new  year to you all....and welcome
back, Penny from N.S. We have missed you. And welcome, Alan Zelhart;
it's nice to have you actively participating.

We, here, in L.A., fresh back from the delightful press of the holidays,
need to tend to our gardens, especially at this time of unusually high
temperatures: the weather service has predicted a high for downtown
L.A., which is usually cooler than we are, here in the San Fernando
Valley, of 84 degrees.

While that may sound truly delightful...and it certainly does help with
the winter heating bills....it confuses the heck out of plants. Our
neighbor's newly-planted bare-root apple tree is blooming (!), which
does not bode well, in the event that we have another series of frosts.

You in AZ know about how desert plants run rampant this time of  year. I
need to trim back my various membrysanthums and mint along the east side
of our hose, as they threaten to engulf the garden path. I already
whacked off a good three feet of the regal geraniums that were
overpowering the path farther towards the back of the house. I potted a
fair number of them, about 15, but ran out of time to pot up some more
as gifts, and have them reposing with their feet in water in my kitchen,
until the weekend. Hmmmmm. I hope I can get to it then, as Vivian's
brother and his family are returning from a 3-week holiday visiting
friends in Brisbane, down in Oz.

Next on the trimming list are the two Double Delight bushes in the back
of our yard, and the Mexican Sage, which has grown unbelievably leggy,
as it struggles to reach light over the top of our south garden wall.
The fellow at our local nursery was flabbergasted when I told him those
plants had grown to 7' this year.

It will be whole new world for the artichokes, once we trim back Double
Delight and move them to the front yard. We had absolutely no idea how
those artichokes would multiply and take over that corner of the yard,
which is a Good Thing, in view of how costly store-bought artichokes
are; and it looks like we will expect our first crop this  year sometime
in late February-early March.

I am still ambivalent about taking up the tomatoes. They are so lush and
green, but with the days so short and nights so cold (low 40s), they are
not terribly happy campers. I will have to give that some more thought.

The more I think about things, the more I realize how much work needs to
be done...including planting our new cinnamon tree. That tree will be a
learning experience, as I don't have much of a background in caring for
trees in the laurel family. Any ideas?

Well, my friends, I just wanted to check in to say hi, and look forward
to our lively interchange during this coming year.


Van Nuys, CA