January is a quiet time in the garden but also a time of promise. The promise of spring is there with the emergence of the first bulbs, and the sprouting of self seeded wildflowers. Snowdrops and hellebores are beginning to bloom.
The flowering current, Ribes sanguineum, against the garage is also starting to bloom. I think the hummingbirds will enjoy it. This is considered a red flowering current even though the blooms are pink. The flowers emerge before the foliage.
Most of the same plants that were blooming in December are still in bloom but not as eagerly.
The biggest change is in the vegetable garden. My raised beds are now in place, all 5 of them have plantings that are doing well. Lettuce, kale, chard, radishes, cilantro, parsley, artichokes and arugula all do well in our mild winter climate with the winter rains. Chances are that I won’t need to worry about watering until sometime in April or even later.
The mulch, warmed by the sun, is the perfect place for a nap.
And we are finding some amazing mushrooms due to the wet weather. These were more than a foot across.
They have pores and I was told they are members of the porcini family, but I wouldn’t dare eat them. Some creature clearly doesn’t feel the same way though. Before the fence we had mushroom hunters crossing our property in mushroom season, maybe that is why we are seeing these now. I am told it can be a very profitable business.
Lastly an update on the meadow, the winter rains have been kind and things are greening like crazy. The bare spots are places where I have sown bunch grass and other drought tolerant grasses that need at least 55 degrees F to germinate. It has been too cold but they will hit a growth spurt when the weather warms a bit.
Lastly, a couple of photos of the coast less than a mile from the house.
The sunsets, with storm clouds on the horizon, are always stunning.
Exciting, Liz! Wishing you would revisit me, but I can see you are growing all the food you need right in your yard!
Well, at least some of it anyway. It’s very gratifying. And I will visit you! Thank you Dianne.
What a great looking winter garden.
Thank you Karen.
I love seeing your winter garden. What a different season you have compared to us. I’m looking at dirt, ice and snow and it’s just getting started and your thinking spring, what fun.
As for the mushroom, Liz your wise to be cautious for sure. We forage for mushrooms, but don’t have one that looks like that one. Might I suggest, as your a Master Gardener, why not have an expert on mushrooms from the Extension Agency come have a look. You might have some fine eating there. FYI, I learned about mushrooms from a an Extension agent in Washington State when we lived there.
Thank you Ron, I have taken some additional pictures and am sending them to an expert to identify. I might still be afraid to eat them though. Maybe they could taste them first.
Wow those mushrooms are enormous! Showing it against your foot really demonstrated how large they are and I had to do a double take! 🙂
I would find out if the mushrooms are edible. They look like ones we get here and they make for a great stew. Casey looks so peaceful in the sun 🙂
I am contacting someone but am not sure I would eat them. She was most content until the sun went behind a cloud.
My expert thinks that they are porcini from some additional photos. I would want someone to actually see them live before I ate them. I worked for the CA health department for many years and I remember the mushroom poisonings, whole families needed liver transplants if the even survived.
I would also want them seen by someone first hand before eating them. They look exactly like what we find here, but that can be deceiving, with as you say, disastrous effects.
I sure wish our winters were a little milder. We just got another dumping of snow and another is on its way so I really appreciate seeing signs of spring. That mushroom is amazing but like you I sure wouldn’t take a bite.
I am definitely not unless an expert okays it. It’s pretty much dissolved now with the rain.