By Southern California gardening standards, we are already half way through Spring, and as usual, the Hanbury edible landscape and ornamental garden continues to evolve. Every winter and Spring I change out things that under performed or plant new varieties of things I never tried before. For last couple of months I have kept pretty busy with chores in the garden, the kid’s activities, local plant shopping, two landscape designs for others, and with home improvement projects around the house. The chickens are laying like crazy now the days are long enough. Three out of four of them have tried to go broody, but I keep having to tell them “No chicks until July!” Life is too busy for babies right now. When the above photo was taken, Lacey, the Silver Laced Cochin, was camped out in the nest box trying.
In March, I attended the LBCC Horticulture Department sale with my good friend, K. Although I didn’t come home with too much unusual stuff this year, K picked a rare fruit tree called a Capulin Cherry. She has quite the collection of “Cherry” trees at her house across the street, including her eight year old Royal Lee and Minnie Royal cherry trees, Cherry of the Rio Grand, Surinam Cherry, and now the new Capulin Cherry. Unfortunately, her low chill Minnie Royal and Royal Lee cherries don’t look like they had as good of year this year, in comparison to how they did last Spring. By the looks of her trees, one is huge and is a standard size. The other, the Minnie Royal is much smaller and may be a dwarf, but I didn’t think they were available yet on semi dwarf or dwarf root stock when she bought these the first year they were introduced to the public. Their bloom period didn’t overlap this season to give them much pollination, even though the Royal Lee was really loaded with blossoms. K has only picked a few handfuls of cherries so far this year, and it looks like she will only pick another couple of dozen cherries in 2013.
I purchased a few natives at LBCC including a pretty orange Mimulus, Sticky Monkey Flower, and a few more surprise colored Bearded Irises, one turned out to be a pretty violet blue. Plant purchases from other places included a Parfianka Pomegranate, Issai Hardy Kiwi, Neptune Hybrid Grape, Sun Sugar Tomato, Super Marzano Tomato, and an heirloom melon. Most of the rest of the stuff for summer I just recently started from seed.
The yard has been full of color for the last month, and I would say it was probably at its peak blooming beauty last week, eventhough the plums, peaches, and nectarines bloomed more than a month ago, and the kiwis are just now starting to open their blooms. Last week we started picking the first few Bababerries of the year, however, the bulk of the crop is a ways away, especially on the new primocanes. The blackberries still have a few flowers, and they already have started to blush a bit of color a few berries. Most years, we get to pick the first ones around Mother’s Day and they go up through 4th of July. Rather than go into anymore of the boring details, I’ll post some of the photos from today instead.
Here is a video update on the Kiwi Vine, plus it shows the difference between the male fuzzy kiwi and female kiwi flowers.