Thursday, March 13, 2008

State of the garden address

Our backyard assortment of natives and edibles planted last year is looking lively now that winter is waning. The small manzanita is dangling white blossoms, the ceanothus is a froth of purple, and the hummingbird sage is showing off hot pink flowers. California poppy, monkeyflower, California fuschia, toyon, coyote brush, coast live oak, buckwheat, spicebush, mock orange, and various penstemons all made it through the winter and are shooting up and out. I am very happy that the yellow bush lupine is thriving -- I started this from seed last year; the mother plant which literally grew through cement along the City College reservoir now looks quite dead. The coyote mint is the most impressive of the natives -- it's already spread out in a three foot radius. One lemon tree was badly injured during the strong winter storm and is iffy for survival, but the other Meyer lemon is doing well, with many new buds. The buds on the apple trees are just opening up.

Three weeks ago Jack and I began working on our vegetable garden. We started carrot, beet, and lettuce seeds inside, and today planted the sprouts outside in half wine barrels. Jack is enthusiastic about our efforts, and we talk about gardening all the time. I can't wait to eat the results!

I've never grown vegetables, so this is an experiment, mostly prompted by Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Growing our own food (even a little bit of it) seems a good introduction to a host of topics for Jack, including science, cooking, gardening, and ecology. And watching his little fingers sprinkle tiny seeds onto the dirt is pure magic.

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