Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How does your garden grow?

 Well, here in California, the garden isn't doing so well.  I'd like to think it is because of the drought, but I know that it is partly because I'm not that good of a gardener.
Found this guy while watering today.  Nice to know the garden is being protected!
 You can see our golden hills in the background.  Coming home from Colorado where everything is so green, we flew into Sacramento and everything is brown and dry.  I'm attempting to grow things in the front yard, but it isn't looking very nice.  Maybe if I give it more attention, I can get it looking like the neighbor down the street.  I wonder if he would mind if I took some pictures of his yard to show you?  Maybe if I do a sneak attack and drive by really slowly :)
 So, the rose bushes bloom without much thought and there are a couple of geraniums that are trying to get established, but not much else is doing anything here.  The irises did nothing for me this year.  These ones are the common purple ones and they usually put on a good show.  This year I didn't get one bloom.
 I got a few blooms from these and I know I need to cut them back.  I usually wait until the neighbor with the nice yard cuts his back.  I follow his lead.  Happens in August some time.  He probably thinks I'm a creeper, watching and then copying what he does.  But of course, my yard looks like a weed patch and his looks like a botanical garden.
 I have 6 redwood trees that the former owner of the house planted and so I know the soil is very acidic.  I'm sure that does't help things so yesterday I went out and got a 50 pound bag of lime.  You should have seen me trying to spread it out in 40 mile an hour winds.  I could have waited until the winds died down, but they rarely get below 30 miles an hour around here, so it really wouldn't have made much of a difference.  Of course on the days where the wind does slow down it is 300 degrees.  So, take your pick.  Get lime blown all over the neighborhood or cook in the heat :)  It kind of looks like snow on the ground and makes you feel cooler if you let your imagination go wild.  Well, sort of if you've never seen snow before.
 My poor geranium plants really haven't done much since I planted them.  Probably not enough water.  They get sun for about 8 hours a day and you can see all the leaves from the redwood around them.  Hopefully the lime will help with the soil.  Or, I just killed them.
 Here I have canna plants.  They are so pretty in Hawaii and in other people's yards.  We have a Weinerschnitzel's that has some gorgeous ones, so I know they can be grown in my city, but for me they grow 7 inches and never bloom.  Again, probably not enough water and the wrong kind of soil.
 My poor day lily plants.  The first few years they did well and bloomed nicely.  Now they look like they want me to put them out of their misery.  The last two years they have looked like this.  I think I got one bloom out of the three plants.
 Even the grapevine on the fence didn't produce grapes this year.  Last year I had a bumper crop and this year not one grape.
California Gold.  That's what they are calling our front lawns here.  You can pay a company to come out and spray paint them green for you.  At least they don't need mowing very often.  Only the weeds seem to like no water and will grow up 3 feet tall overnight.  Then you have to drag out the mower or pull them up.  I'm lucky that my neighbor has a riding lawn mower and will mow his, mine and the guy next to his lawn all at the same time.  Of course, he does it about once a month because nothing is growing.

If what the scientists predict is true and we have an El Nino year coming, things will be changing.  Will we be ready for all the rain?  Probably not.  I'm sure we will find something else to complain about!

This morning I watered everything with some Miracle Grow plant food.  I know you aren't supposed to test more than one variable at a time and yesterday it was the lime and today it is plant food, but I'm an impatient gardener.  I need to see results.  Hopefully with a little more attention and some extra plant food and water, I may get a couple of flowers.  Of course I could always go out and pull a weed or two, that's hard and I'm on vacation :)

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