CityDiggity

A green space for urban gardeners

Archive for zone 5

Time to play ‘name that plant’ (or ‘plants,’ as the case may be)

DSC00479DSC00480There’s something growing in my garden. That’s the good news.

The more perplexing news is that in this particular case I’m not sure of what exactly it is.

You see, a terra cotta pot from last season that sat on the balcony through the winter sprouted and filled up with so many lovely, dainty leaves that I decided to just let it be and see what developed.

It’s developed into what you see here: a profusion of lacy edged leaves with some taller spikes boasting thinner leaves protruding at intervals. And now it looks as though those spiky protrusions are on the verge of flowering. (Click Read the rest of this entry »

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A sweet, potato project: Lazy, drizzly day perfect for vine time

Sweet potato vine is a staple in my garden.

Sweet potato vine is a staple in my garden; I've already picked up two for my planter boxes.

‘One potato, two potato …’ I was thinking of the children’s rhyme today when I compared two sweet potatoes that had been languishing in my larder since Easter.

One looked much like it did when I bought it, while the other had several sprouts jutting from it — purple sprouts. And, what’s more, a closer examination revealed what looked to be tiny purple leaves extending, in turn, from them.

Dig the tiny purple leaves

Tiny purple leaves jut from the sprouts of my sweet potato.

The garden is great for awakening a sense of wonder. Even if it’s a long time coming. I’ve used sweet potato vine in my planters for several years now, but only recently started to ponder their relationship to, duh, sweet potatoes.

A little online research gave instructions on how Read the rest of this entry »

Make no small plans: use time inside to enhance time outside

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Lantana is one of the ready and waiting small plants I've bought to go in my balcony boxes.

My sprouts and plants are lined up like soldiers next to the balcony sliders, my cat has taken to staring wistfully through the glass while making his little bird sounds, and the empty terra cotta pots outside are stacked and waiting to fulfill their destiny. But Zone Five summers won’t be rushed, despite the impatient champing at the bit to shift into full garden mode.

Birds shouldn't get to have all the outdoor fun

When the bird sounds start, summer is on the way.

With the sunshine battling the chilly air and bouts of icy rain for dominance, we won’t get the green thumbs up until total victory over the fluctuating elements is claimed in this seasonal smackdown.

Of course, when you don’t have California weather, a good portion of your garden work is spent California dreaming — better known here as Read the rest of this entry »