In the garden: January blooms

It has been, as promised, extremely rainy. This is not, by any means, to suggest that the drought is over, because it is not — it would take many years of rain like this to recharge the state’s aquifers and smart water policy to reduce the risk that we deplete them even more quickly than they can replenish. I worry that with the weather being the way it is, people will think the crisis is over, and very serious issues in terms of California’s water policy will not get addressed — why bother, with water falling from the sky in buckets? Californians need to stay vigilant, though, and people from the rest of the country, and the world, shouldn’t think that this situation is done and dusted.

But one consequence has been the transformation of the yard from a dusty hellscape to an emerald green blanket, and the garden is also taking off. I have daffodils coming up absolutely everywhere, and some of them are very tightly clustered, reminding me that I should have separated them in the fall, something I really need to do this year if I want them to stay healthy. There are also a few surprise specimens popping up in random spots, thanks to the gophers.

After the rains.

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First of 2016.

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Other bulbs, like this anemone, are starting to shyly appear as well.

Say hello to my little friend

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And the succulents are loving the weather — this one is fairly bursting out of its pot.

Simply succulent.

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The last few months — the last year, really — have been a little difficult, and one consequence of nagging depression has been that I’ve really let the garden go. I’m trying to be vigilant about at least turning the compost monthly, but that’s about as much as I’ve been able to manage. Last weekend, though, I dedicated a few hours to cleaning things up. I cleared out all of the half-barrel planters and added clean soil to get them ready for spring planting, because they were a weedy mess, and I transplanted some strawberries into one of them, because they were struggling where they were and I want to actually get fruit from them this year. Hopefully they’ll take off — if I am attentive.

Strawberry fields forever.

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I use one of the planters as a sort of catch-all for ornamentals, and I cleaned it up as well, weeding carefully, separating out the bulbs, and replanting. I ended up with so many bulbs that I stuck some of them in planters elsewhere, this being the whole point of bulbs — it’s not just that they come back every year, but that they will keep growing in number if given room to grow and if cared for periodically.

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The bulbtastic Mr. Wine Barrel.

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I don’t like making resolutions, because they’re easily broken, but I hope I can be kinder to the garden this year.