Friday, May 23, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
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Spring brought some pleasant surprises in my little front yard garden.

This year, I thoroughly pruned my miniature rose bush in my front yard - early in the year sometime when it was not frozen outside. We get freezing weather here in the Antelope Valley of Southern California, but very often during the winter days, especially when we have bright sun, it warms up. Well, the pruning really paid off -- I have the best show of miniature roses ever since I moved in - in 2001.

Here are 2 more pictures of the rose bush - showing the blooms closer up:

The other surprise was that the snapdragon plants I bought blooming last summer and potted and put in the front yard, did not die this winter -- and came back more spectacular than ever!! Snapdragons are actually annuals - not perennials - and I expected them to die off during the winter. All I can figure is that the pot never actually froze -- and the blooms are like a second period of blooming -- and are better than they were originaly!! I was watering the plants out front all winter long every so often, so they would not dry out -- a gardener from a local nursery told me to water the perennials all winter long and I included the snapdragon pot -- this also really paid off!!

Now my succulent plants are another matter!!

The Jade Plant off to the right in the back is an indoor/outdoor plant -- this past fall I got it inside in my living room early enough so none of the leaves froze off -- the previous year I didn't watch it carefully enough and we had had a frost and some of the leaves froze before I got inside -- it grew back then -- but this year I got it inside and also watered it all winter long. It kept growing a little bit all winter long -- when it got warm enough and the trees in the front yard had leafed out some to give the front yard some filtered light (rather than the harsh sunlight from the west in the afternoon), I put it out in the yard. It is doing really well!!

The other 2 succulent plants in front of the Jade Plant (I don't know their names) was given to me by a neighboring friend who moved to northern CA last summer. I placed them there -- and they don't freeze in the winter for whatever reason -- and I have been watering them ever since I was given them -- including during the winter -- they are really getting new growths and are really lovely!!

I also read up a little about keeping lawns green and growing in -- in this High Desert climate of the Antelope Valley, that can be a real problem. Even with a sprinkler system, we very often end up with brown spots. The landlord leaves it up to the individual tenants if they want to do any additional watering (I am careful to not do too much and use too much water as water conservation is so very important).

Since I am out there anyway watching my potted plants and I have a little round sprinkler head for my hose - it is something I can easily do. I read that watering them lightly and soaking the roots some in the growing season (early spring) -- the grass will really grow in -- and then watering them lightly on a regular basis in the mornings will help to keep it from drying out and turning brown.

I am not really that big on having the "perfect lawn" -- but I much prefer the live green grass than the dried up dead brown spots -- so all spring I have been doing a little bit of watering with my round sprinkler head in the mornings before the sun hits my front lawn. I started before the trees leafed out - and have kept it up since the trees did leaf out. The trees have really grown and offer a lot of shade for the yard and my apartment now.

The little bit of watering I have done has really paid off, too!! The grass has grown in all over my front yard with nary a brown spot -- and my beautiful dog Misty just loves rolling in the fresh green grass!!

Just thought I would share with you one of my joys of life!!

Next time, I will go into more of my plants -- and what herbs I have growing!! Hopefully, I'll have fresh herbs for salads and other cooking this year!!


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