Category Archives: My Garden

My garden update

I always loved gardening but prior to 2020 we rented and moved often -every 1-4 years. So after several attempts early on I gave up on gardening. But since moving into our forever home I felt confident to try again. While I love the tomatoes and seasonal veggies, I want to have long term, semi permanent plants. So over the last year and a half I planted fruit trees and berries. Not pictured are some CA natives that I’m trying to add into the mix. The backyard will house my edible plants while the front yard will have non edibles but also hopefully pollinator attracting plants.

blueberries ready to be planted. These are not all mine. I happened to be a my fave local nursery – Sego in NoHo – and they had a lot of varieties. So I bought some for friends as well. Only 2 pictured will stay with me.
red roger grapes (going off memory so might be wrong)
Oregon Grapes – ca native (i believe despite the name)
blue elderberry- Ca Native
Garlic
My strawberry tower! I just added 6 new plants to replace dead ones that didn’t make it over winter.
Strawberries in grow bags from last year. These are doing really well but I want to transplant them to my strawberry patch.
strawberry patch. This is located below my fruit tree containers and I want them to take over the yard. Or at least that side of it.
more strawberries!
new blackberry plant… it’s not dead, it was a bare root.
I have 4 fruit trees planted in these containers. The one at the end is a mango tree, then a calamansi tree, not pictured is atis tree (which is not English and I have no idea what the English word is. I googled and it is Sugar Apple) and a pomegranate.
Here’s the pomegranate and a sneak at the atis on the left.

Behind each fruit tree are 30 gallon grow bags with blueberries. 3 are a year old while the 4th is new this year. In SoCal we have to be careful and get varieties that have low chill hours so that we can have a successful harvest. Mine are still new but I have high hopes!

Don’t mind the mess but these are pineapples and I need to transplant them into bigger pots. Last summer the family and I got into buying a pineapple every week for several weeks. After eating them we planted the tops. This picture shows 4. We have one more elsewhere. We started with 6 so only lost 1 in all. I hope we can get pineapples next year and this summer we will again buy, eat, and plant!
Here’s the sad state of my veggie garden right now and Tomatomania starts this weekend. I will be getting double the tomato plants from last year as well as jalapeño, cucumbers and zucchini’s.

Happy gardening.

Melanie

Persimmons and Plumerias

I love persimmons. But I won’t buy them. My mom has a persimmon tree and I try to make it up north (a 6- 8 hour drive) during persimmon season but I don’t always make it. Some years she ships me as many as can fit in a priority mail large box. Last fall my parents came to visit during a brief spell when California loosened up a bit of the stay at home policies. And they brought me some. My mom’s persimmons rarely (if ever) have seeds in them. Probably because we eat them before the seeds form.

Later in the season, my daughter’s friend brought over a huge bag of persimmons that I shared with some of my friends. Her persimmons were much smaller than my moms. They were still very good. And they had a lot of seeds. Each one. So the first couple of persimmons I ate, I saved the seeds, wrapped it in wet paper towel and put it in a plastic bag. The date was 12/19/2020 and put it away. I forgot about it.

The other day, my hubby found a plastic bag and was about to throw it away when he noticed the seeds sprouted. And when I opened it up, I had 5 seeds germinated.

Persimmon trees

This was the urgent planting I had to do over the weekend during the brief bit of sunshine instead of quilting staycation.

Since I was out I cleaned up a bit in the garden and poked around at my plants. To my amazement, one of my plumeria stalks had this…

plumeria 1/31/2021

I’m not a well versed gardener and I just dabble taking the easy way whenever something comes up. Anyway, my friend Rosemary, has a lot of plumerias as well as orchids. Last summer, she gave me 5 stalks of plumeria and I planted them in containers because we were planning on moving. Anyway, 3 survived and this is one of them. I had no idea what this thing was so I sent this picture to Rosemary who said it’s a flower head! OMG. I’m so excited. Hopefully it continues growing. We’ve had a lot of rain and cold temperatures lately. Nothing like what is experienced elsewhere in the US but in my part of California, colder and rainier than what I’m used to.

I love having a little garden and planting in my life again. My family has gifted me numerous fruit trees and plants. I have a java banana tree, meyer lemon tree, mexican mango, calamansi, cherimoya, brazilian guava, and atis (sugar apple). Most of these were grown from seed by one of my aunts and I will not see fruit for a long time. But it’s a fun thing to have. I want to get blueberries and strawberries planted soon. 🙂

Always,

Melanie

Stay at home Saturday!

Today is a quiet Saturday at home.  We had pancakes for breakfast because I had the urge for homemade pancakes made from scratch.  They turned out exceptionally well this morning.  It has been awhile since I’ve had this urge.  I think its because we’re finally settling in.  Just a thought. We do not have plans for the day.  The kids will be with their aunt at the mall and just spending some QT together before she goes back to Italy.  The hubby will be doing his thing and is planning something for later this evening.  I’m not yet sure if its just a guy thing or if the wives are going too.  I’m sure I’ll find out once plans are settled.

On the quilty front, I’ve got some news – I got the backing for my secret project!  I was pleasantly surprised to receive it last night instead of next week.  I bought more of the fabric that I couldn’t use for the secret project but thought it would be a great backing.  Because of my last experience I purchased the fabric from Amazon, instead of fabric.com.  Apparently, the fabric still came from fabric.com.  I’m not sure if it said that anywhere (I wasn’t paying attention) but that’s where it came from!  And it only took 4 days to get to me!  I ordered it on Monday, the 16th and received if Friday, the 20th!  Amazing, I guess ordering from Amazon provides you with a better experience than ordering directly from fabric.com.  I even got a nice letter hoping that I had a good experience with this order.  Kind of made me think they read my not so nice review last week.  I don’t think so – but it was very coincidental.  Because it’s a secret, I can’t post a picture of it. 😦

I joined a local guild!  I went to the first meeting a couple of weeks ago.  I hope they have a lot of sew-ins and mini retreats like my guild in Fremont.  There were a lot of people so I’m excited about the possibilities.  I also want to join the LA Modern Quilt Guild.  I don’t consider myself a modern quilter.  But it will be nice to not be the youngest person in the room!  The problem is that their meetings are all the way in the Pico area the first Monday evening of each month.  That means a good 1 hour(++) in traffic for those of you not familiar with LA traffic.  It’s not technically far (probably 15-20 miles from me).  And once you get past the traffic, I’m concerned about parking.  There are a lot of concerns so as much as I want to join, I haven’t been able to move past those two items to get me to a meeting.  Maybe next month. 🙂

Since I do not have pictures of actually made things or pretty fabric.  I’ll post pictures of my fruit trees in our backyard.  I’ve been seeing so many pictures online of snow covered outdoor furniture and icy mailboxes… here’s how we fare in Sunny Southern Cali today.  Not to make you all jealous or anything – but to give you hope that spring is on its way for y’all.

 

Grapefruit 2/21/15

Grapefruit
2/21/15

First up, is our grapefruit tree.  It’s laden with ripe/ripening fruit and is ready to be picked.

Lemon Tree 2/21/15

Lemon Tree
2/21/15

Next is the lemon tree.  We’ve been enjoying the citrus smell of the flowers from this tree for the past few weeks.  The great thing about a lemon tree in Southern California is that we get lemons pretty much all year long.  But there are some times in the year where there are a lot more than usual.  That will probably be the case in a few months and I will need to make something with it.  I actually already picked all of the ripe lemons within reach last week so the picture doesn’t really do it justice.  But there are a lot more ripe ones higher up and I will need a ladder or a fruit picker to retrieve them.

Orange Tree 2/21/15

Orange Tree
2/21/15

Similar to the lemon tree, our orange tree has had really delicious smelling flowers the last few weeks.  The flowers are now mostly gone and we are starting to see the little green oranges coming out.  There are a few early oranges that are on the tree and I’ll be picking them soon to try them out.  I love fresh squeezed orange juice.  At our old house we had a Valencia orange tree and it ripened in January.  So every Saturday in January/February I would juice a bucket-full of them for the week.  It was SO good.  These are not Valencia oranges and I’m not sure when they will ripen.  I’ll just have to periodically pick one to try it out.  ;0

Fig Tree 2/21/15

Fig Tree
2/21/15

The fig tree is still bare. But the green is starting to come out.  I’m not sure if it’s the leaves or buds or flowers.  This is my first fig tree and I’m not sure how it’s cycle goes.  This one will be ripe around August/September.

This is how they will look when they ripen…

Figs from Fig Tree August 2014

  Figs from Fig Tree
August 2014

Ripening Figs in Fig Tree July/August 2014

Ripening Figs in Fig Tree
July/August 2014

I never knew how sticky figs are just by picking them from the tree.  And a milky substance comes out when you do so.  That substance looks milky but is VERY sticky. ;0

Mystery Tree 2/21/15

Mystery Tree
2/21/15

I’m not sure what this tree is.  When the leaves were on I thought it was a plum tree because it looked very similar to the plum tree at my parents’ home.  But there hasn’t been any fruit during the entire time we’ve been here. Granted, it’s only been since July of last year but that is enough time for a fruit tree to have produced something.  Unless its a fruit tree that produces early in the year like apricot which is April, May, June.  Anyway, I didn’t think that it was a fruit tree and could possibly be just a big tree.  However…

flower on mystery tree 2/21/15

flower on mystery tree
2/21/15

I found this flower.  I think it’s a fruit tree… only time will tell what kind of fruit tree it is.

We’ve got a guava and an apple tree too but I couldn’t get good pictures.  Maybe next time.

Happy Saturday, it was a bit overcast this morning but the sun is out now and I may spend some time outdoors.

🙂
Melanie