Postcards from my second year of gardening in California…

I took the photos below just a few short weeks ago because I wanted to share what was going on in my small corner of the garden (a corner I reclaimed from the overgrowth last Spring at the start of lockdown). Since then everything has changed – the lemons have been picked to be used in salads and new ones are ripening on the tree. The sunflowers have bloomed, faded and were, finally, eaten by a squirrel. The tomatoes are ripening in such abundance that we’re struggling to keep up. I may have to take some round to my neighbor even though I know full well she grows her own tomatoes and has no need of mine.

My ‘cut flower bed’ never quite lived up to my vision – in fact for the price of the plants, watering, compost and the hours I have spent on them I could have most likely bought myself a beautiful bouquet from the florist every week. I don’t mind though – it’s the tending to them that I like the most anyway. The cosmos and poppies pictured above, now dead and gone, have long been relegated to the shade because once the dahlias hit their stride they took all of my attention, as well as the light. Soon I will give some thought as to what could replace these wilted blooms this Autumn but for now, I’m enjoying the Dahlia’s final blooms before they tip over the edge any day now.

Looking through my camera roll I am surprised that I didn’t take more photos of the dahlia’s while they were in their prime. If you follow me on insta stories you might have been following their progress but if not, here is a video I made which I hope captures some of the joy I felt growing them for the first time.

I’m still getting used to the climate in California – the slow build up of Summer heat hitting full force just before school starts up again and lingering on and on into fall makes it easy to kid myself that Summer is endless. As I type this though we have just had our first cloudy day in what feels like forever and the stores are full of Halloween decor so even I can’t deny that Autumn is in the air. I’m looking forward to cultivating coziness inside the house whilst also perhaps not neglecting the garden as much over Winter this year. As always you can follow me on Instagram for more of my day to day and TikTok for my gardening and other crafts.

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