April in the Garden – What’s Up?

I haven’t been able to get out into the garden these last few weeks (my goodness, it’s been over a month since I spent any serious time there!). It’s due to a combination of factors including one that should be a warning to all gardeners and sun lovers. My dermatologist discovered a small carcinoma near the tip of my nose and I had surgery to remove it (successful), then plastic surgery to do some necessary reconstruction. My plastic surgeon cautioned me to avoid all heavy lifting and exercise for at least four weeks after the surgery. It seems that blood flow to my face could hinder healing of the incision sites.

All is well and my nose just looks like I forgot my sun screen on the ski slopes. So, wear your sunscreen and a big hat all of you gardeners. And, don’t do what I did as a young woman and use baby oil to get a sun tan. What we didn’t know in those days!

Amazingly, the garden proceeds to do its “thing” without me and chugs (mostly happily) along. Alas, not necessarily the veggie garden, where everything is bolting due to the warm weather. But much of the rest of my garden has self-sown itself from seeds planted years ago. Every year they come back in a place they like and I enjoy finding a poppy, or other flower, growing in an unexpected place. Sometimes they even skip a year, how does that happen? Spring is the most amazing time because plants are responding to winter rain and spring sunshine.

I am continually amazed by the resilience of nature and its beauty.





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Here’s a snapshot of the more ornamental part of the garden. The artichokes and cardoon tower in the back among the dahlias, butterfly bush, shrub roses, and Matilija poppies (also called fried egg flowers).

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I’m hopeful that I will have more time next month, the tomatoes and beans need to go in before it is too late and will likely come from seedlings purchased at the farmer’s market. With water restrictions, I need to develop a new strategy for water-loving plants in my raised beds. I’m considering removing some of the “used” soil and building a modified hugelkultur bed to conserve water and nutrients. Stay tuned for pictures.

The other reason for my neglected garden is a class I am taking at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, “Sustainable Vegetable Gardening”. We’ve been spending time at our cabin up on the North coast so I can attend the class. This is a three-month hands-on workshop program which takes place every other Saturday until the end of June. There is always more to learn and Jamie Jenson, who teaches the class, is a very talented gardener.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Last weekend we learned how to build a raised bed and the class actually built two. I had fun with the electric screw driver, my education with power tools has been sadly lacking. My Dad taught both my brothers wood working skills, and I learned to cook.

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If you ever get up to the North coast of California, make sure you make time to visit the gardens. It’s a fabulous place and well worth spending a day. Look for some pictures in future posts.

Thank you for visiting. What’s happening in your garden? Do you have any good strategies for cutting down on water use in the vegetable garden? I’d love to hear them.


8 thoughts on “April in the Garden – What’s Up?

    • Hi Angie, Thank you. I agree, there is always something new and exciting in the spring. In truth, by mid to late summer, I feel quite differently! Then it starts to feel overwhelming.

      Wear your hat and sunscreen. My problem is that I go out to snip some thyme or parsley and end up loosing track of time.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your plants are so beautiful! I loved seeing the pictures of them. My husband and I always get jealous of the plants and flowers when we go to California. They are twice or three times the size of the plants here in Arizona. I’m glad your surgery was successful. My husband had the same surgery. We never put sunscreen on as kids either. Thanks for sharing your garden with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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