I took photos of the yard yesterday and then I came in and compared them to the photos I took last January. Wow. What a big difference.
The things that I learn from comparing the garden year to year:
- Stuff grows–It’s especially cool to see a plant in a one gallon pot one year and a full grown plant the next! (Thank you, artemesia!)
- Weather makes a difference (we had very low temps last year–lots of plant death)
- You need more plants than you think you do.
- Plant trees. (That’s not true for everyone but there seems to be a shortage of landscape trees where I live.)
You never know what will grow in the garden. Sometimes, you *think* you know and then you realize that you don’t know.
Take my dwarf lime tree, for example. it was a four-inch pot when I got it–now it’s a four foot tree. It set fruit for the first time this year and I was pretty excited because my friend’s dwarf lime tree also se fruit and it was delicious.
In early December, the fruit looked a little discolored. We had seriously wacky weather in December and I was chalking it up to that (not really having much first hand knowledge of citrus growing).
Well, the fruit turned yellowish and then well, orange. And then I had to face the fact that I do not have a dwarf lime tree after all.
So the burning question–what is it?? It’s probably a calamondin orange–you can read more about this variety here: Pretty sure we have a calamondin orange tree: www.guide-to-houseplants.com/calamondin.html.
We cut one open yesterday. I would describe it as a cross between a lemon and a kumquat–or an orange flavored lemon. It was great sliced up in a glass of water. I think it will be great for cooking, too.
Now I am off in search of that elusive lime tree…
Okay, this is something you really don’t NEED. If you mix greens and browns and add water+time, you will get compost. However, if you compost a lot, you might get impatient with the speed of your bin(s). I bought some compost maker which I am trying, but I am little concerned by lack of knowledge about the ingredients. In my quest for organic fertilizer suggestions, I stumbled upon alfalfa meal as a suggested compost stimulator. Will give it a try once I locate a local source!
I received a catalog in the mail from Annie’s Annuals. Most plant and seed catalogs are a disappointment for desert gardeners (High Country Gardens being a notable exception). So I was happy to see the words drought tolerant and low water throughout the catalog. Annie’s is based in the San Francisco Bay area and their plants are grown outdoors not in a greenhouse. They have some great plants and the shipping to Arizona (and Nevada) is quite reasonable if you order eight plants.
Go to the site and check out “Mr Happy.” Gardeners have a sense of humor. :-)