Wishing the garden clock would stop

Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)February 9, 2013

I am having one of those "I need time to stop moving forward so I can get my garden punch list done" times.

First, my son and his fiance of 5 years ran off and got married and announced a baby for the summer-so now we want to dress up or make more usable a couple of places for a wedding celebration party and baby shower. Then, I got a cold that lasted 10 days, of course while I was in the middle of pruning and moving a couple of roses. And now I am knee deep in rehabing rentals

And the fruit trees want to start blooming, the roses are pushing new growth, the paver patio is torn up, I need to paint fresh wood, the green house needs moving....and I need it to still be January!

And how is your SoCal winter to do list coming?

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Ha! I am dying for time to pass so that spring will be here!

I should fly out there and help with your projects. I bet we would make some serious headway on your projects and it would probably STILL be winter by the time I got back to Philadelphia!

I do know that soon enough I will be feeling like you, though, thinking "Where does the time go?"!

Good luck with everything, sounds like lots to do but also lots to look forward to!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:06PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I think you are still a little ahead of me. Too much to do. Better I quit wasting time on the internet and get back out there.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:11PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I always have to much to do in the garden and house, lol! On the bright side, that's why I don't fret about some roses and plants that can take over a year to get going; chances are that year will fly by :D

My new nut and fruit trees are trying to bloom. Aack! I'm totally new to them and have to look up when I'm supposed to prune almonds (there is a bit of canker). I can't believe such a pretty flower is trying to bloom in early Feb here! It's awesome, but eventually I'm going to want to eat the results, too ;)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I think I am feeling more behind after listening to a very interesting talk by Tom Spellman of Dave Wilson Nurseries. I need to deal with the fruit trees....and I am not done with the roses.

And then he had some good ideas on fruit trees that my neighbor and I were inspired by. So, I think tomorrow we will also talk about putting in a citrus tree hedge where we have jasmine growing on scrap chainlink fencing. A new fence of garden fencing will keep pets in and be easy to train the citrus trees across. Of course this means I need to get my other projects finished up!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:18PM
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meridith, I think almond blossoms are so wonderful. I like to go into CA central valley where they grow acres of them by the roadside and enjoy the fragrance. I was looking into growing an almond tree but was put off by a nurseryman who said the birds always got the nuts before they were ripe enough to pick. I might just get one for the fragrance anyway. I saw a little grey squirrel today eating the heps from my rambler.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:28PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I'm with merlcat, can't wait for it to be spring here!

Don't worry, Kippy, it will actually all get done somehow. When push comes to shove we find a way.

Hope you feel better soon and congrats on the new additions to your family!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 8:51PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

kitty, I'd love to see that! The only time I've ever even seen an almond tree in bloom before this was in Budapest :)

Actually getting almonds to eat might be way more difficult, yeah. But they are just so gorgeous and fragrant! I'd love them even if they didn't bear.

I got other fruit trees, too, and now have a teeny orchard of semi-dwarfs. It's so exciting! But I really have to read up on the maintenance schedules if I ever want fruit as well as the beauty :)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:52AM
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I don't know what's wrong with me. I have so much to do with the plants I have in the ground, and I just keep buying more. So on weekends, I end up planting instead of mulching which is the task I desperately need to do now, and takes me forever.

This weekend, waiting to plant are: a Washington Navel Orange tree; three outrageously gorgeous camellia japonicas - Taylor's Perfection, Nuccio's Gem, and a mismarked as Debutante that I think is Pink Perfection (I'm going haywire over camellias right now), a small handful of annuals, and then I have two bags of 50 Gladiolous bulbs, and about 20 Hollyhock bulbs. I bought the bagged bulbs in early January, but have been too busy on weekends planting - well, other things I just happened to have picked up at Lowes or HD or Armstrong or Navlets which I neurotically frequent for new spring additions. I did finally find and plant my very first Hellebores last week, and I'm very excited to add them to the shade garden. I'm getting tired just writing this...

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:44AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

LOL Harmony "neurotically frequent" That SOOOO describes me!

I am sitting here, waiting for 10 when Costco opens to buy the clippers I have been waiting on, then over to HD. What I really WANT to do is go buy plants. I decided a couple of the $5 Camillias are something I "need". But, I have to get the big project done.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:37PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

You California guys have it sooo rough about now. There's nothing like a backyard of crusty, dirty snow that's half melted, and large patches of ice to slip on. It keeps you sitting in front of the computer while you rapidly turn into a lard bucket. My favorite activity this time of year is attacking the ice in the birdbath with one of those pointy weeders (it make a great ice pick), followed by slipping and sliding out to the bird feeder, spilling seed all the way. Well, back to playing on the internet. Diane

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:26PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

Hollyhock bulbs??? I've grown hocks from seed since the year one, and have never heard of hollyhock bulbs. They pretty much reseed themselves, anyway, so once they are started, hocks are pretty hassle free. Diane

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:30PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I actually planted some things today (some small weigelias)! I'm excited because it's been too cold for that to be comfortable. It was so fun to sit on the ground and play in the dirt again after being cooped up for winter :D

It'll get too cold again before spring, absolutely. But I'll take any warm days I can at this point!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:36PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I feel like a slug compared to you with all the things many of you have planned or are doing. I've pruned the few roses that need it and deleafed the roses that have blackspot this year (for the first time). Other than that I've been mulching with the leaves that have fallen off my trees and planted my new bands (actually my husband plants and then I water and mulch them). My garden is rather low-maintenance at this time of the year, but later the endless hand-watering begins. I'm rather glad there isn't more to do since that leaves time to look and enjoy everything that's happening in the garden.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:53PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I did not get to the Liquid Copper spraying of the fruit trees or finish making a "pad" for the wood chips I want at the lower gate. Once that is done I can call my tree company friends and have them dump me a couple of loads of tree grindings for mulching. But first I need to lower the area so the chips don't end up wanting to get in the street.

I did get another 1/5 of the patio raised and sort of leveled so that makes it about 2/5ths done. Unfortunately, I have used up the easy to move dirt for the most part. So I will be pushing it up the hill from the pad project to finish the next 1/5th. I think the last 1/5 I can do by stealing dirt closer by.

And then the green house has to come down and get moved.....

Oh, and I still need to finish pruning and moving roses.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Debutante and Pink Perfection are both so sweet. Nuccio's nursery has a very old pink perfection that is a beautiful tree under a huge picturesque old oak. I went and stood under it today and looked up at all the little pink perfect flowers. I wished I can live to see my camellias become magnificent trees like that. Come down and see it sometime because it is only 15 or 20 minutes from the Huntington and maybe 30 minutes from Descanso.

I have big piles of rose and pomegranate trimmings and a big mound of sword fern and calla lily that I finally went after. Also there is a large load of mulch taking up space where the wheelbarrows and recycle items go. Pots are piled up in the side yard and bags of cottonseed meal and organic feeds are taking up room in the shed. I want to get some horse manure to put down before I mulch. I remember the 2 weekends it took when I only had 25 roses. They make me so happy all year long so I don't mind the extra work but it does look crazy out there right now.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:52AM
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Yeah Nannadoll, my first Hollyhocks are from seed too. I have no idea what I just bought in a little package (hahaha, probably seeds in dirt!) - at Lowes for some black red Hollyhocks that interested me. But you're right, I'm sure there is no bulb involved!

Kitty, I must get down to see Huntington and Nuccio's. I'm definitely setting a goal to get to the Sac. Cemetary in April - I'm just not missing that again. I have no excuse - it's only a 1 1/2 hr drive.

Well - this weekend I planted my Pink Perfection, but not Nuccio's Gem or Taylor's Perfection. I got the Pansies and Hyacinths in the ground, but not the Orange Tree (that should really take priority!) But I did trim some horse feet (which I'm getting behind on again). I think I'm resigning myself to mulch when I fertilize in March cause I don't see that I'm going to have time before then. Then the manure piles are getting huge again waiting for me to spread them. Weekend gone, back to work today. But HURRAH - next weekend is a 3 day weekend!!!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:48AM
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Kittymoonbeam, sounds like you're not too far from me. Have you located a place to buy manure, a horse source, as it were? I've seen some composted bagged manure on ebay, but I'm thinking there must be someplace nearby where I can just go pick it up.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:55AM
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Huntington Beach equestrian center gives away free composted horse manure. On weekdays, they have someone on a tractor to load it into your truck or trailer. On weekends, you have to do it yourself. There are a few places in Chino that put up a free manure listing on craigslist from time to time.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Harmony, what you are buying are the roots. At one time, all perennials were dug from the ground during dormancy and sent out in early winter. Many vigorous perennials (such as your hollyhocks) are still sold that way in those boxes from home supply stores and the like. You will probably come across phlox, some hardu geraniums, hostas, rudbeckias and so on. It is a good idea to shake off the powdery compost and give the roots a brief soak in cool water, before planting them.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:00AM
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I'm wishing for more hours in the day. I work 6days a week and it's hard to find time to get out there and do what I need to do. Over 1600 roses to deadhead, feed and weed around. The new season's blooms are already popping out despite the cold temps, and the ugly deadheads surrounding them look awful! I just have no time. And what do I do? Order more roses online, buy more bagged bareroots and peat-potted bareroots. Where the heck am I going to put them, or find the time to take care of them? I dunno!! I just potted up some tulip bulbs I bought at work last month, and hope they weren't too far gone to grow. Yikes. Here I am wasting time on the computer and I need to get ready for work.....

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 12:43PM
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Campanula UK Z8

This is the really tough aspect of great climates - hardly any downtime. I can still waft about ordering more seeds, do a bit of gentle sowing and spend heaps of time thinking about what to do....without having to do very much at all, just yet. Course, it is a countdown when I go from complete idleness to full-on mania - there's no getting around it, the frantic spring rush is in the post. I figure I still have 2 more weeks of vague bumbling. Nothing to do to get ahead as it is always a question of timing. Once the treadmill starts......... by autumn, I have had enough of the frantic continual watering (I have literally 100s of pots), the worry, the harvesting, jamming and preserving, endless weeding - god, i hate it all.

So, on balance, there is a lot to be said about our long, wet winters, our cool summers, vivid spring and lush autumn.....because we have a winter of idle dreaming, lazy reading, cake eating hibernation when absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder and the sap run freely.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:44PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Camps, I think our down time is in the middle of summer when the veggies start frying, of course that is when the canning starts for all the fruit trees. I would love a couple of off months, but I would also hate the time spent prepping for snow, so I guess I like our seasons.

I have about 3/5s of the patio leveling first phase done. just have to finish the last section, move and level where the green house was, raise the Hoe House, move the fencing inward, build the benches, add the retaining wall (not in that order) build an arbor covered bench, plant, paint....YIKES

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:41PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Three weeks later....

The fruit trees did not get sprayed (yet) either about to rain or roast.

The retaining wall is mostly in.

Just a couple more loads of dirt needed

A bunch of more stepping stones needed too

Half the fence is moved-just one small gate needed and then the actual building part.

All the painting and then the built in benches etc.

But, a ton of dirt has been shoved up the hill and the Hoe House is in a new elevation.

And I am taking a break (oh ya and 3 of the rentals are done too)

The section of the fence to the left of the hoe house is where my SldM cl is going to have a small arbor/bench built. The two citrus trees will replace the jasmine as a hedge between us and the neighbors and the Mr Lincoln...well in there some where I think!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:49PM
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