Reflecting on The December Garden
This was a beautiful December in Durango. I spent glorious time in the snow with my family hiking, skiing and hiking some more. We also made loads of amazing food and spent time snuggling while the flakes were falling. It really could not have been a more quintessential Christmas season full of time with one another...oh and the kids got some presents from Santa and Jultomte. I would say this is the December to-do item on which I was able to make the most progress!
Other items on my to-do list suffered this month because I spent way too much time getting ready for the farmers market. I learned that, for me, the farmers market is best used to purchase and photograph produce, not sell calendars and postcards! I would much prefer to use my time to grow what I can at home and purchase what I cannot at the farmers market.
Besides the success of my dill and two gorgeous basil plants, I did not make much headway on my indoor herb garden. This was partially due to planting some seeds of questionable viability which just never got started in the AeroGarden and spending too much of my time selling the idea of year-round gardening, but not doing as much of it as I would have liked. Such is life and learning. January will be the month of the indoor herb garden!
My indoor fruiting plants have been freed of spider mites through regular (twice per week) applications of 1.5 tsp. neem oil diluted with water in a 16 oz. glass spray bottle. I really sprayed the heck out of them each time. I still have some tiny black flies about the size of fruit flies living in the soil. Spraying the neem oil on the soil has not yet eliminated these little pesky bugs which really are only a bother to me and don't seem to be affecting the plants.
No more spider mites on the key lime (left) or Meyer lemon (right). There are also no more blossoms on the Meyer lemon tree :-(
The blooms on the Meyer lemon tree fell off as I became busy with holiday preparations and did not water it enough. This made me terribly sad until blossoms emerged on the cold-hardy avocado tree which helped me to quickly rebound. The black mission fig has been near the humidifier and is getting afternoon sun and seems happy as a fig plant can be. I am making space for it in our bedroom with a south facing window as I have learned figs love full sun. Maybe I will be writing about fig blossoms soon!
Cold-Hearty Avocado tree and Black Mission Fig tree are looking healthy as can be. Looking forward to watching these fruit and stretching my indoor growing skills.
I did start two forced bulb flower arrangements that have begun to emerge. One is a new and interesting amaryllis bulb, Chico, planted with some pale pink muscari, Pink Sunrise, at the bottom. The other has hyacinths, muscari, and tulips. The hyacinths blossoms are just peaking out! The hyacinths and Tulips spent two months in the refrigerator.
The List of Minimal Chores on My Gardening List for December:
- Playing in the snow with my kids
- Sharing my love of gardening and calendar at the local farmers market
- Supporting the health of my indoor fruiting plants that have been suffering some neglect
- Continuing to force bulbs indoors for winter blooms and my own learning about the best methods
- Succession planting indoor winter herbs
- Planning for spring in my garden planning journal