I noticed it 2:30. We had the usual crisp morning for this time of year, but by mid-afternoon the air was just a smidge warmer and I noticed the light felt different too. Seasonal changes come subtly here, and I am very sensitive to them.
Too frequently heard remarks from out-of-staters about how California has "no seasons" annoy me. I invariably imagine these people are rather self-absorbed and can't be bothered to pay attention to the natural world around them unless it dumps a pile of snow on their heads or lays them out with 90% humidity. Okay, that's enough of that.
I went to the hardware store this morning to buy shop lights for seedlings, and then I went to the nursery and bought a second half-barrel for my summer vegetable garden. Container planting adds a nice vertical element to the garden (always good in a small space), and I can plant herbs and flowers between and around the barrels.
You can get half-barrels for $10 up in the wine country, but they cost $25 in the City. The wood is redolent of wine and the scent hangs lightly in the air for a few weeks. I lifted up some small piece of flagstone and the remnants of last years raised beds to do this work today, and I'm really impressed by how much the quality of my soil has improved in the last two years. Gone is the horrid sticky clay, and now I have a nice crumbly loam. Yay, me!
On deck for this year: cherry tomatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, artichoke, onion, garlic, and beets. It's basically an ornamental vegetable garden. Artichoke, pumpkin, beet greens all considerable visual interest to the garden. I'm going to tuck a few of Amaranthus tricolor 'Joseph's Coat' seeds in there too. I'll have some extra. Do you want some?
I might try growing a melon or two down here too, but I'm mostly thinking melons go on the roof.
Did you see the yucca on the back of the new Fine Gardening (latest issue reviewed here)? I had to buy this when I saw it at the nursery this morning.
The one on the back of Fine Gardening doesn't have the pinkish variegation, but I thought this looked fetching. I like how the leave margins peel off in threads. I'm not sure where it's going to go.