Progress in the new garden this week. Doesn’t hurt to have temps in the seventies and clear skies when one is putting tender new plants into the ground. Everything under the pergola lights up beautifully at night, as shown above. Most of the potted plants have been connected to the drip system, and by next week the remaining ones will be done. How great not to see all those spaghetti-like tubes running along the ground and up the sides of the pots (these were inserted up from the bottom of the empty pots, which were then filled with soil so the tubing rests on top, looping helpfully around the plants.) No more hand-watering these pots:

Decided to train two jasmine plants to grow up through and around my antique iron tuteurs that we brought along from back East, so those will appear on a future post (the jasmine plants are still tied to their wood stakes and have to be wrapped around the tuteurs before they reach the photogenic stage.)

Organized a staging area in the vegetable garden; the tomato cages are lined up with obsessive neatness by size, empty terra cotta pots are stacked and ready to fill, the wheel barrow rests up-ended against the garage wall in case we get a last downpour before spring really kicks in. Hand tools now hang by hooks right outside the back door along with an assortment of ratty straw hats at the ready.

Lots of prepping to do in the vegetable garden: I hauled ten 50-pound sacks of soil amendment (Bumper Crop, if inquiring minds want to know) back there from the trunk of the car… and will I ever feel it tomorrow! So much for the benefits of my weight-lifting at the gym. Have to rake the beds, inspect the drip system tubing, add compost. Etc. Etc.

In an effort to attract bees to the garden, I planted several lavenders in the back flower bed, in among the roses and irises. Couldn’t resist a few more geum with bright orange blooms in summer, and more lady’s mantle found a home tucked in near the peach tree where it will get a bit of shade once the tree leafs out. For a large empty space under the family room window, I put a wild currant, which is a native California shrub. This one has cascades of tiny, frothy white flowers, pretty crenellated leaves, and will grow to about six feet tall. The birds will have to fight me for the currants!

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