In My Garden – April 2018


Spring is definitely in the air, and my first crazy wave of planting is over. Now I just have to wait and see what likes the (very compost enriched) soil and the Fort Bragg weather. We are expecting a major rain system later this week, very late in the season. Fort Bragg usually gets about 40 inches of rain during the winter, we are about 60% of that so far this season. We are going to be spending a good chunk of the spring and summer clearing the underbrush and lower branches from the trees in preparation for fire season.

The daffodils have been blooming in waves, continuously since late January.

Amazingly the hellebores, also called the Christmas Rose because they bloom in mid-winter, are still going strong.


I was gifted some tulip bulbs several years ago at Christmas. At the time we were only spending occasional weekends at the cabin so I planted them in a half wine barrel with a butterfly bush. Even though the container was close to the house, the deer still managed to get to them before they bloomed. This year has been different, the barking of the dogs has kept the deer at a distance even without a fence and they are lovely.


This unusual variety came with the daffodil bulbs I ordered in the fall.


The Dutch Bearded Iris bulbs I transplanted along the driveway from the Oakland garden have take off, several are showing flower stalks. I expect there will be a long bloom period for them since there are multiple varieties and sizes.

Bearded Siberian Irises


It is almost time to trim the grass in the front meadow. We had to re-seed much of it because of work on the septic leach field.

The Lily of the Valley bush continues to flower but now has the most brilliant colored new growth. There are four on the property, two in the front as foundation plantings and two in the back near the tool shed. The ones in the front have bright red new growth, i understand that this is the Mountain Fire variety.

Mountain Fire Lily of the Valley Bush – Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’

The two near the tool shed could be the ‘Compacta’ variety, they are definitely smaller and the new growth is yellow to orange.

Lily of the Valley Bush

I have been encouraging more birds into the yard with multiple feeders. We live in the middle of a redwood forest, which is generally a quiet place with few birds. Along with the birds came a midnight visitor to raid the sunflower seeds, he bend the feeder to the ground. The second night he came back we caught him on camera.

The midnight marauder

i’ve decided to leave the sunflower seeds off the feeder, he doesn’t seem to bother with the thistle seeds. We are hopeful our new fence will encourage him or her to seek easier food sources.

Meanwhile, the dogs like to be in the garden with me enjoying the spring sunshine. In lieu of the fence we settle for a long leach. They are entirely too interested in mountain lions, bears and deer.

Casey and Quinn enjoying the sunshine

Their favorite form of gardening is digging for gophers.





12 thoughts on “In My Garden – April 2018

  1. Wow, so much blooming in your garden and it all looks wonderful. I cannot wait to don my gloves and hat and get digging, but the weather here remains so unpredictable. I’m envious of all the color in your garden ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Spring is the loveliest time in N California, most of the native plants go dormant during the summer dry season. October is just sad unless you have planted sunflowers. I look forward to seeing your garden.

  2. Oh those flowers are beautiful. We’ve got a late start on spring here in Oklahoma, but it’s coming. At least I have some strawberrry blossoms! That gives me encouragement!

    • Thank you, I was so surprised they usually require more chill days than we have.

  3. Have been enjoying your work and feeling a little guilty about not responding. Think you are doing a great job. Did you sell Oakland house? We were in the city last weekend for Hertz &thought of you, and weekends in SF. Love to Steve. Carol and Tom

    • Carol, so glad to hear from you! Yes, the Oakland house sold but we have an appartment in downtown Oakland as well as the Fort Bragg house. Please let us know when you are in town

    • They absolutely leave them alone although sometimes the gophers seem to move them around. I find bulbs coming up in places where they werenโ€™t planted, which is a fun surprise. A bit like self sowed seeds, they find their place.

  4. Pingback: In My Garden – April 2019 – spades, spatulas & spoons

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