Children take to gardening like they take to play. After all what is more fun than playing in the dirt, pulling things out of the ground, breaking sticks, planting seeds, playing with the hose and picking and smelling flowers?
Over the next few blog posts I will be giving tips on gardening with kids. It is one of the most rewarding practices I have done. Even though I don’t have any children myself.
I like to visit Half Moon Bay nursery where they play opera music all day long. I heard a long time ago that opera or classical music helped plants grow. I read a book called “The Secret Life of Plants” back when I was in High School and this book told of amazing things plants could feel including music. To tell the truth, I don’t really know if it helps, what do you think?
What I do know is that it is a lit nicer shopping for flowers with music playing.
I have been asked to marry a couple (I am also a minister) this week down at the beach. If the mouth of the creek opens the party will have to move the wedding to someplace else because they won’t be able get across. In any case, more than just plants are flowering.
The smoke at the fire station got my attention today. The guys were burning off the scrub under the trees adjacent to the station. With the weather drizzly it was perfect timing for clearing. The road crew was working on branch pruning, chipping and clearing scrub. If asked I tell clients this is the perfect time of year (between showers) to do clean up, and burning. Be sure to get a permit if you need one.
Around here (Pescadero California) the rains mean the end of fire season, the opening of the marsh to the sea and planning for spring. Bulbs are in the nurseries and the winter cover plantings are coming in any time. What this means is that savvy gardeners are shopping and planting. I like to plant a few pots with semi exotic bulbs like colchicum or crocus and overplant them with primula malicoides for color until the bulbs come up. This way I get a bit of planting in with a minimum of back ache and a surprise right after the holidays when the first bulbs appear.
Howard was a Camellia person and the camellias are starting to set their buds around here. I visited Howard a year before he passed away and we walked around his garden. He had over two hundred and fifty camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas and Magnolias, all growing in about eighteen inches of fir bark. We talked about how they love good drainage a complete fertilizer and regular watering. I noticed that he had bags and bags of fertilizer. He offered to sell me one (fifty pounds), I declined. He had invented a fertilizer and had to order a thousand pounds to get the company to mix it up for him. He always had some for sale. I wish he was still around because I would buy two bags now. Howard always won a ribbon at the Camellia shows.
This is a client in the city that doesn’t do much gardening, knows that it is important and has an assistant to help him with the actual work. I referred him and her to Flora Grub Nursery over on Jerrod. I had been over there a week ago and their displays of succulent walls, Tillandia (air plants) in blown jars and many other exotic and common plantings were spectacular. The place was buzzing on a Saturday and the staff is really helpful. Here is the info.
1634 Jerrold Avenue San Francisco, CA 94124-2135
As the weather gets colder the ground does too and plants start to go dormant. What happens is that they slow down growth, circulation and flower show and finish up their spring summer push to reproduce. Now is the time to do some detail work with your pruning shears to keep them looking good until it is time for winter pruning. Dead head flowers, remove dead branches and leaves and shape a bit for show. Wait until December for the big pruning jobs
This is a good time to collect seeds. If you had a melon or tomato that you really liked, save some of the seeds and dry them for next spring
Today is my birthday and I am changing the rules. I am giving gifts from now on rather than receiving them. I have enough stuff. I have some art, some music, some clothes, some tools, some cooking, sleeping and reading materials. Now I think I will give away what I don’t need. If I am any kind of an example then that will be my gift to you. Happy my birthday.