Pink Promises

Eva's Pride Peach in bloom.

Eva’s Pride Peach in bloom.

She’s a small thing but she’s got star power.  Especially since she’s a full month ahead of any other fruit tree in my backyard.  She’s getting all of my gazes as I do the dishes, glances as I putter in the garden and stares as I sit under the pergola.

Up close and personal.

Up close and personal.

DSCN1252Every year it never fails to impress me when the fruit trees bloom.  I imagine the energy and fortitude that must go into producing such a sudden burst of beauty.  To me, fruit trees are the best trees.  Flowers and fruit.  What could be better?

January in Bloom

Sequoia Strawberry flower.

Sequoia Strawberry flower.

I planted a dozen Sequoia strawberry plants about a week ago.  It’s a June bearing variety that does well in California and is one of the earliest Spring crops where safe from frost.  June bearers generally produce a single large crop in spring to early summer and are prolific producers for 3 to 4 weeks.  Plus, they are root knot nematode resistant, which works well with my RKN soil.

Eva's Pride peach is already about to bloom!

Eva’s Pride peach is already about to bloom!

We’ve had little rain this winter and unseasonably warm weather during the day, which has encouraged this already early bloomer to be on the verge of something that I’ve never had before in the garden.  A blooming fruit tree is January.  That feels like a garden miracle!

Another view of Eva's Pride.  I've never tasted this peach as this is my first Spring with her after rescuing her from a small pot from a previous place of employment, but I've read that it has a "zing."

Another view of Eva’s Pride. I’ve never tasted this peach, as this is my first Spring with her after rescuing her from a small pot from a previous place of employment, but I’ve read that it has a “zing.”  Can’t wait!

Even my grapevine seems to be early this year.

Even my grapevine seems to be early this year.  But I’m not complaining!

Royal Lee Cherry budding in groups.  My two cherries seem to be the only ones to bud in groups, which makes sense since cherries form in clusters!

Royal Lee Cherry budding in groups. My two cherries seem to be the only fruit trees in my backyard orchard to bud in groups, which makes sense since cherries form in clusters!

Even though cherries aren’t supposed to fruit until at least year three, and I’m just my second Spring, I’m still crossing my fingers for maybe just a few cherries, or even one lone straggler.  Yes, that would be just fine with me!

Is It Spring Yet?

I’m so excited for Spring, I’m posting a day early because I just couldn’t wait.  Who’s to say that it doesn’t already feel like Spring, what with the warmer weather and blooming trees and flowers around Southern CA.  My garden is ready, too!

IMG_9469What better first photo than a Rattlesnake Pole Bean seedling?  Due to my root-knot nematode situation, I’ve decided to stop fighting (it’s been almost a year) and go with the flow.  Many, many tomatoes have been developed to be root knot nematode resistant (the ‘N’ in VFN on seed packets and seedling tags), but not so many of the other veggies.  Almost none, in fact.  I found one pole bean from Hawaii, but of course it’s scarce and can’t be shipped to the mainland.  Thus, I decided to go with the advice of seasoned edible gardeners.  Within gardening discussions, I found talk of some pole beans that are not resistant varieties, but more so varieties that TOLERATE the nematodes and can still thrive.  Rattlesnake, Alabama #1 and Blue Marbut are all such pole beans.  Rattlesnake is fairly common and I was able to find the other two both through Sand Hill Preservation.

Diana Fig is coming to life.

Diana Fig is coming to life.

The Red Baron peach is nearly at full bloom.

The Red Baron peach is nearly at full bloom.

The Snow Queen white Nectarine is leafing out and has decided that she likes where she is.

The Snow Queen white Nectarine is leafing out and has decided that she likes where she is. (The netting in back is ready for pole beans!)

Welcome, Spring!  You are my favorite season…