Entries Tagged 'Gardening'

February Garden Update

Gnome in Garden at Pinch My Salt

As always happens here in central California, spring sneaks up on us in February. Every year I see the blossoms on the trees and think that it’s way too early for spring. It’s especially jarring when I see photos of ice storms and piles of snow all over instagram in the evening then wake up to a beautiful sunny day and admire all the tulip trees in bloom while walking the dog. It’s weird, but it’s happening. Spring is most definitely here. Continue reading →

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The Sugar Snap Peas are Back!

April CSA Box

As if the scent of roses, lilacs, and orange blossoms wafting around our yard hadn’t been enough of a clue, the arrival of sugar snap peas in our CSA box is a sure sign that spring has definitely, absolutely arrived.  While I know that the weather hasn’t been very pleasant in other parts of the country, it’s been mostly warm and beautiful here punctuated with a few brief bouts of much needed and prayed for rain.  It’s actually sprinkling on and off as I type this.  It’s one of those strange and beautiful early evenings where the sky is dark and stormy but the setting sun is low enough to break through and brighten everything down below.  It’s a striking contrast and especially beautiful since everything is wet and sparkling from the afternoon showers.

For the last month we’ve been working around the yard and slowly getting various beds in shape for planting.  My dad helped us put in an absolutely beautiful raised bed on top of an existing bed in the middle of our patio.  He designed it and did most of the work but Phil helped and I offered to help but mostly just documented the process with my iphone and went on lunchtime taco runs. Below you can see some before, after, and construction photos courtesy of my Instagram account.

New Raised Bed

Picking up dirt from the ranch

New Garden Bed

My uncle was nice enough to load us up with some great dirt out at his ranch yesterday so we’re all ready for planting.  The first thing to go in was a Tarocco blood orange tree.  This bed will be mostly flowers this year but I may stick a few herbs in at the corner closest to the kitchen.

Well, it’s time to get in the kitchen, unpack this CSA box, and make some dinner.  If any of you have started planting gardens already, leave a comment and let me know what you’re growing.  So far I have a couple tomato plants in, but I still need to decide what else I want to put in the ground.  I’d love to hear what everyone else has planned!

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After the Rain

Mini Succulent Garden

Meyer Lemon

cecile brunner rose




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Fall Harvest: Persimmons, Feijoas, and Meyer Lemons

Fall Fruit

My kitchen counter is filled with slightly unusual fruit this morning.  While persimmons and Meyer lemons are common and popular here, they aren’t as familiar or easy to come by in other parts of the country.  I had never even heard of a Pineapple Guava, also known as Feijoa, before we bought this house and noticed the egg-shaped fruit dropping like crazy from the two large tree-like shrubs bordering our courtyard.  I have a feeling that many of you haven’t heard of or tasted a pineapple guava either.  You should, they’re delicious!  The persimmons aren’t actually from my yard – my cousin Cristin has a tree and delivered a bag full of them.  I just thought I’d highlight some of what’s currently ripening in the backyards of Central Californians right now.

We’ve been living in this house for close to 10 months now and we have really enjoyed seeing what surprises our mature backyard has to offer with each new season. In the early spring, we had two big patches of Lady Jane tulips pop up followed by a surprise (huge) lilac that had been somewhat hidden behind and inside a huge Myrtle. Continue reading →

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Loaded with Lemons

Meyer Lemons on Tree

Our Meyer lemons are just about ripe and we have a ton of them.  This lemon monster was pruned back quite a bit before we moved in but it definitely got away from us again.  The tree is so loaded with lemons that the branches sagged to the ground and just started growing out along the pavement!  It needs a lot of thinning, but we just can’t bring ourselves to cut off any of the unripe lemons. Continue reading →

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A Peek into the Garden

I don’t know what spring has been like for the rest of you, but here in central California it’s been unseasonably HOT.  While I’m not quite ready for summer to begin, our tomatoes and peppers sure have been loving the heat!  Continue reading →

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Exploring My New Backyard

Purple Flower

We had kitchen cabinets installed at the new house today, but there wasn’t much I could do except stand around and get in the way of the installers.  Instead, I grabbed my camera and wandered around the backyard.  It was raining, but just barely. Continue reading →

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Meyer Lemon Tree

Meyer Lemon Tree

Once again I was at the new house today – working a little and supervising a lot.  I needed to meet the window guy fairly early and was running late so I put my oatmeal into a plastic container, grabbed my travel mug of coffee, and ran out the door.  While the windows were being measured, I sat on the patio under the pineapple guava trees and ate my oatmeal.  I noticed that the meyer lemons are really ripening fast and took this photo to share on instagram.  The tree is right outside the master bedroom window and it’s my favorite thing in the yard at the moment. Continue reading →

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