Jacaranda Season


It’s jacaranda season in Southern California right now. I saw this street in morning sun a few days ago, thought “I should take a picture” and drove on by. Kicking myself now. I have always loved jacaranda trees, although I understand why some people don’t. I especially love it when the trees are covered in delirious purple blossoms. They were widely used in landscapes for a while, until people figured out that all those purple blossoms fall off. I still love seeing them, The big purple crowns of the trees dotted across the landscape. Let’s me know it’s spring.

The Difference a Little Rain Makes

20170401 LongView

It is amazing the difference between this year and the previous years of drought. The whole garden is just putting on more growth than I’ve seen in a long time. I’d practically forgotten what it’s like. I spent half of the weekend dividing and planting and potting. The other half I sat and looked at the flowers and listened to the birds. There was a huge monarch flitting about and I’ve already seen evidence of her progeny, holes nibbled in the leaves of the milkweed.

The hummingbird was doing his courting dance, doing a big, swooping dive in front of his girlfriend. I can only see them every once in a while, but I sure do hear him, the hummingbird Doppler effect. Zooooom, swoop to the right, zooooom, swoop to the left. I don’t know if his ladyfriend is impressed, but I am.

20170401 Trees

The tree on the right in this photo is much less full than the one on the left. Last year I thought that it might be some condition of placement or nutrients available. This year I think it’s the squirrel. A couple of weeks as the tree was just starting to leaf out, the squirrel spent hours grazing on the new growth. I have no problem thinking that one determined squirrel can remove most of the new leaves on a tree that size. I haven’t seen the squirrel in the last week or so. Wonder if there are baby squirrels?

2/20 Weekend Activities

Mom and I made a simple and surprisingly tasty lunch on Sunday. Roasted tomato and bread toss. Roasted cherry tomatoes and bread with olive oil, salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar. We do have some things we would to to improve the recipe for us. Cut any larger tomatoes in half. If you use only cherry tomatoes, that wouldn’t be a problem, but I picked some heirloom types and their sizes were more variable. They naturally took longer to cook.

We started making lunch together a couple of weeks ago and I really like it. It gives us something to do together and gives her something to think about during the week. She picks out the recipe for the next week and on the day of assembles the pots and pans, etc. We both enjoy it. It’s a lot more interesting than fast food, and it’s got to be better for us, mostly.

In outdoor news, the garden is smelling wonderful these days. My sweet olive is in bloom. I put it in a pot near my chair on the patio and I enjoy the scent every time I go out there.

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The first time I saw one was at the LA Arboretum. I didn’t actually see it right away. I smelled it and it took me a while to track down what was producing the scent. It was hard to believe that flowers that small can produce that much aroma. I wanted to find one for years, keeping an eye out for it at nurseries, etc. Finally the internet came along and made searching for unusual plants much easier.

My freesia’s are popping out all over, too.

201602 Freesia

I think it’s interesting that the different colors smell different. Red freesias smell fruity. White freesias smell peppery. I love smelling them as I work around the garden.

A couple of weeks ago I was impatient for things to start moving in the yard, but the combination of rain every couple of weeks and warm weather has caused things to take off. There are not a ton of blooms around, but things are definitely getting started. Plants are filling in the blank spots and there are blooms starting to open all over.

201602 Cosmo

Life is showing up all over. This no-so-little lizard has been driving the cats wild by rustling around in the vines on the wall.

201602 Alligator Lizard2