Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes

My California Garden In December

Yes, that really is a bird of paradise and it really is the middle of December! But it’s also California–Southern California. We always seem to get a mid-December heatwave that mixes up the plants and Santa. It’s hard for out-of-town visitors to see Santa in shorts, let alone on a surfboard. But that is part of the charm of Southern California.

This is what I mean about the plants getting confused. I’ve enjoyed some of the best strawberries–in the last two weeks. I planted these in the spring and I thought they went dormant about 6 weeks ago and then…look what happened. A great treat to top my breakfast oatmeal. (Yes, I picked a couple before I took the picture).

These are the ghost peppers. As you may recall, the hottest peppers on the planet. Don’t believe me? Just ask Mike Ellena. He complained all summer that my jalapenos had no heat. He was right. I gave some of these to Susan, his wife, and she texted me at 9 pm to say he was still on fire. I’m going to dry some and grind them. We’ll see how that works out. I’ll let you know.

Here’s a volunteer tomato. I hope it’s a Pineapple Tomato. That was one of my new favorite varieties last year and this is the spot they were planted. Let’s hope it survives the winter.

Onions are always prolific. I sowed these seeds months ago. As you can see I have spacing issues. They’re pretty clumped together. 

Yes, more peppers. In case Mike needs some extra heat. These are cayenne.

This was a surprise. The very, very last of the mild green peppers.

And what are the holidays without a few decorations? These dwarf lemons on my front deck are usually decorated in Mardi Gras beads, but this year I dressed them up for Christmas.

My parsley won’t quit. I keep looking for recipes that call for it.

The same with the celery. It’s been here since summer. 

I love these white roses and am surprised to see them now. 

But these are my favorite on the deck–wildflowers. When a dear friend of mine passed away we were all given a little bag of wildflower seeds. He was the landscape architect for the Getty and I like to think he’d be happy to know he was part of my deck that he designed and my husband built from his drawing on a cocktail napkin.

What can I say….Merry Christmas! And a few lemons on the side.

The three blueberries are resting for the winter and the new lemon is taking root. 

Fennel! Why can’t I get a great round fennel bulb like at Whole Foods? Is it the climate? But at least they still taste good. 

These carrots are taking their time. Maybe by February.

Can you believe it? A tomato!! I think there are still 3 or 4 on the vine. 

The rutabaga is doing well in spite of the fact the leaves have an aphid/mold problem. That’s that advantage of ROOT veggies.

Remember the heat wave I mentioned we had last week? Well, the azaleas thought it was spring and bloomed. But I’m not complaining.

This is what amazes me most–the hydrangeas. Look at the color. It’s almost like they’re ready for Christmas.

They are “stalky” and “stemmy” at the bottom, but I love the color.

I can’t wait for the pink grapefruit to ripen!

And look–the kiwi vine. I had written them off for dead, and they both seem to be coming back. Let’s hope!

And the last stop in my garden this December is to visit the camellias. There is something so delicate about them. I love the color and I love to cut them, bring them in the house and let them float in a shallow vase with water.

Thanks for taking the tour of the garden….I’ll keep you posted how the winter treats us.

Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.