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Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.
Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.
Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?
Diary entries for 2004 through 2014
Entries below are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.
When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.
Unless a different year is given, dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear, including entries on prior pages for the same year.
|Date and Weather||Observations and Activities|
Clear, sunny, and mild
|Now that we are well into autumn, the angle of the morning sun has changed enough that I removed the shade cloth from the greenhouse window.
The gift golden calla lily (Zantedeschia elliottiana) in the greenhouse window (28 Aug) is really not a house plant. Since it will thrive outdoors and — unlike other calla lilies — even tolerates full sun, I planted it in the east bed, where it will receive partial sun.
Put up cuttings of lavender and Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (A. arborescens × absinthium). Both of these tend to root quite readily. When rooted, the lavender will replace the potted plant in front (9 Oct), which is not dead yet but has only one tiny green shoot. When rooted, the Artemisia will replace two that died in back; of seven, only three are still alive.
Clear, sunny, and hot
|Citrus can remain fresh on the tree for a long time, but there is a limit. Today, I removed all of last year's kumquats (Citrus margarita) from the dwarf tree. They were drying and shriveling.
Trimmed the potted sweet bay (Laurus nobilis) to reduce its demand for water.
Cut away a major limb of one of the lavenders in the circular bed in back. The entire limb had died.
The potted lavender on the front brick path is totally dead. This is not the first time a severe heat wave damaged a lavender in that pot (19 Aug 18). Lavender is quite easily propagated from cuttings, so I will put up one or two when the weather cools.
Clear, sunny, and warm
|Another heat wave came and went. For seven days, the temperature exceeded 90°F. On one day, it reached 103°. Today is the last day of the 2021-2022 rain year.
The potted lavender in front is mostly dead. Since the soil is moist, I think it cooked.
The potted Aloe vera in the greenhouse window is very overgrown. Today, I put up a cutting. When (if?) it roots, I will use it to replace the existing plant.
Finally finished pruning the loquat tree. Some of the branches I removed already had flower buds, but many of the remaining branches also have buds. Thus, I expect a good crop next May. Also, what had been the leader was growing to one side. It had a long and wide streak of dead bark; the exposed wood had lengthwise cracks. I remove the entire leader.
Clear, sunny, and hot
|Yes, we actually had some rain. With the end of the 2021-2022 rain-year less than a month away, we have had slightly more than the 19-year average for this area. However, we are still in a drought because our primary water supply is from snow melt in northern California, of which there was very little last winter.
Pruned another limb from the loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica 'MacBeth', 29 Jul & 7 Aug).
A very long heat wave finally ended. We had eight consecutive days with temperatures exceeding 100°F, five of them exceeding 105°. I believe the heat more than the drought is responsible for damage to my garden.
Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.
The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.
Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.
The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)
Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.
Rain is in inches. Rain-year is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year (our "rain-year"). Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no measurable rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.
Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.
The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:
Diary entries for 2004 through 2014
Main gardening page
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