Overcast and Cool: So Cal Gardening Weather

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Temperatures in the 60s, completely overcast, and a forecast of rain. A storm is approaching and will be here this evening or tomorrow bringing high winds and rain. I love southern California winters! This kind of weather just makes me want to play in the dirt.

I have to face it, I am not a lazy gardener. In fact, I really can’t keep myself from pinching, pruning, weeding and getting dirt embedded under my finger nails. Earlier this week I rebuilt the mini-veggie garden, extending the rock walls and adding soil and compost. Yesterday I bought 6 packs of Romaine and Nevada lettuce, arugula, and sugar snaps. Today I planted them. So much fun!


I also planted more of the monkeyflowers (Mimulus spp. and cultivars) that I had in pots for the wedding. Still have one last pot of cuttings to go. Unfortunately the name of the cultivar that I carefully printed on a used, wooden chopstick has disappeared so I don’t know what it is. Maybe I will be able to tell when they bloom.

The area where I put the monkeyflowers (backyard, east garden) was dominated by a large Eleanor monkeyflower (Mimulus ‘Eleanor’). I planted it in spring of 2005. You can see it is quite woody now, but a monkeyflower that is over five years old and that has performed beautifully each year is nothing to sneeze at (weird expression – sneeze at?). (The light gray-green plants on either side of Eleanor are succulents that fell out of a pot. They are too happy to remove.) Anyway, I cut it back and am now planting some other monkeyflowers around it. To the left of it is a young Davis Gold toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia ‘Davis Gold’) that is growing well. It was planted in December 2007 after spending a couple of years in a pot. The skinny sticks are to remind me of where the smaller cuttings are – and to keep Milo from walking on them – he’ll probably pee on them anyway and that will be that.


Here’s a closeup of Eleanor on the left and a non-cultivar monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus) on the right. (Note: M. aurantiacus is so variable that you never know what it will be unless you get a cultivar.)


And now I am off to roast some serrano peppers before putting them into the freezer for future use. (See comments from yesterday’s post.)

3 thoughts on “Overcast and Cool: So Cal Gardening Weather

  1. Yes! We&#39;re finally getting some rain! After sitting at .43 for this seasons, things are starting to improve. I&#39;ve already put a few things in, and can&#39;t wait for a few dry days next week. <br /><br />(Yes, I&#39;d better take my Mimulus out as well. A timely reminder.)

  2. http://en.allexperts.com/q/Etymology-Meaning-Words-1474/original-meaning-etymology-Nothing.htm<br /><br />has a reasonable-sounding explanation of &quot;nothing to sneeze at&quot;.<br /><br />Looks like your garden is going great. I sowed some lettuce seeds the other week hoping they would get enough heat to germinate but it might have been smarter to buy the nursery starts like you.

  3. Brent – awesome explanation of the value of things that are sneezed at – or not. Also I plan to sow some mizuna seeds when it gets a bit warmer. But it is chilly here!!<br /><br />TM – I think all of us CA gardeners are having fun right now. By the way, your post about why garden with natives is really good. Thanks for stepping back and addressing this.

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