Reflecting on the January Garden
Mexican Cold-Hearty Avocado Blossoms!
I had a former neighbor who used to remind me that there were far worse addictions than gardening as he chuckled at my endless toiling. He is correct; however if you let it, this can be a very expensive habit. For me, January was all about planning to keep my budget in check. Activities that helped me do this were maintaining the indoor herb garden, sorting my seed library before looking at any of those irresistible seed catalogs, and taking stock of how much space in which I have to grow and what is suited to grow in each space.
The 2022 Year-Round Gardening Calendar helped me to reflect upon I what I did and did not accomplish. I found the extra space in the calendar to write my notes about what I did and might do differently next year supported my thinking. For example, I did not get my starter plant station set up as I felt it was more important to get my garden plan completed before sowing a seed. I also forewent the stratifying of perennial seeds to study and plan which perennials might have the most success and where. Two of my winter experiments went better than I had hoped with my avocado tree and forced bulbs bringing light and happiness to this dark month (though it is getting lighter!!!). All in all, January was lovely!
The Plant Wall
See details on the products used to create this wall in the Index: Recommended for the Year-Round Garden
I love this plant wall so much! It artfully displays the orchids and forced bulbs in my collection. I made two "arrangements" of forced bulbs and plan to do a few more be for winter ends. The first is blend of hyacinths, muscari, and tulips; the second is an unusual amaryllis with muscari below. Through this process, I learned when you mix bulbs, you cannot count on all of them booming at the same time, so an arrangement ends up being a succession of blooms rather than a powerful singular display. I do not mind this so much, but next year I may plant one type at a time and rotate them as they bloom.
Hyacinths, pale pink muscari, Pink Sunrise, and
two varieties of white tulips.
A new and interesting amaryllis bulb, Chico, planted with some pale
pink muscari, Pink Sunrise, at the bottom.
The orchid I saved from near-death from the grocery store clearance rack.
My orchids never let me down in January. One is in bloom, the one I rescued from the clearance rack at the grocery store for $3.00. The others are sending up promising stems. The others each have special meaning to me, my first mothers day gift as a new mom, a gift from my daughter upon bringing home her younger sister, and one I gifted to my mom that gave back to me after a major surgery. Orchids are easy to care for and the payoff of longstanding blossoms is worth every bit of minimal effort.
Indoor Fruiting Plants
Black Mission Fig
I have been nothing but impressed with my indoor fruiting plants, this being the first time I have tried such an experiment. The black mission fig, after losing nearly all of its leaves in November (something I have since learned fig trees do) has fully leafed out. There are not yet signs of any blossoms/fruit. I have ordered a utility shelf for seed starting that will also allow the fig to sit in full sun in a south facing window in February. I plan to move the fig to the yurt deck in the summer so it feels like it is in the Mediterranean for a portion of the year.
The Cold-Hearty Avocado with my 7-year-old for size reference nextto the key lime tree.
The Cold-Hearty Avocado loves its space near the big west and south facing windows. I do believe the humidifier helped to facilitate the large number of blossoms. While the vendor says this is a self-pollinating tree, I have been circling in the mornings and evenings with small paint brush in hopes this will produce as many avocados as the blooms are currently promising. I did replace a four-foot bamboo pole with a six-foot one to support the trunk, which has very little strength of its own being grown in an indoor environment. Hopefully this will help in the event we do get a wealth of avocados.
Meyer Lemon with new blooms and new leaves on the Haas Avocado
The Meyer Lemon that lost its blossoms in December has begun to blossom once again and I am looking forward to the scent of citrus blossoms if I am so lucky. The Haas Avocado seemed to get new leaf growth only to have the new leaves dry out and fall off so I am giving it smaller and more frequent drinks throughout the week and this seems to be supporting the new growth to reach maturity. No signs of blossoms for this tree yet, but it is putting on some really healthy foliage at the moment.
I was able to map the entire property this month and choose my permaculture zones. I also mapped out my cool-season, shade-loving kitchen garden and the plants I will get started for this indoors in February. My next mapping project will be the yurt deck for my sun and heat loving plants. These will be the spaces in which I grow food this summer out of reach of the deer, within reach of water. How was your January of garden dreaming?