Garden Club – New Plantings

The Garden Club met on Monday, November 17. Following lunch, which was provided by several members of the Club, all the members got busy putting together 30 gift bags for the seniors of Dana Point, in collaboration with the Dana Point Senior Center. Francine Stout and Melanie Wilcox did an outstanding job of bringing an assortment of gifts to add to what members had already contributed.

December marks the beginning of winter here in Southern California. The days grow cooler and shorter, shadows longer and plant growth comes to a near halt until sometime in February. Normally December fulfills its winter role with cold and rain although it can sometimes bring a heat wave that makes you swear that August has returned. So if the weather brings hot drying winds be prepared to hand-water your plants.

If you’re too busy to give the garden much attention this month you’re in luck as most plants will do quite well with little help from you. So if you prepared for winter in the fall sit back and relax and enjoy the holidays. If you still haven’t finished your fall gardening tasks don’t worry the fall planting window hasn’t quite closed just yet.

If you can find the time, working in the garden this month is wonderful. The weather is cool and when soil dries a little following a rain it’s perfect for digging. However be careful not to go to work too quickly after a rain because working a wet soil can physically harm it. Grab a fistful and squeeze it lightly: If it crumbles when you loosen your grip it’s just right; if it stays in a tight ball it’s still too wet.

New Plantings:

   Azaleas and Camellias: Plant Azaleas and Camellias this month. Camellias and Azaleas are best planted while in bloom which is helpful because you can see what colors you are adding to your garden. Sasanqua Camellia is in bloom right now. Although the camellia sasanqua flowers are smaller than and not as long-lasting as the camellia japonica, the plant blooms profusely and can take more sun.

Cool-Season Vegetables: Between harvests you can still plant most cool-season vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, lettuce and other greens, and root crops like beets, carrots, radishes, and turnips.

Cool-Season Flowers: Bright colors make for a festive front yard. If you live in a mild coastal zone there is no need to wait for spring; you can still fill in those bare spots with flowers. , cyclamen, alyssum, holly, evergreens with lights and living wreaths of succulents make for living cheer and color.

Wildflowers: Sow wildflowers. A generous definition of “wildflower” would be any annual or perennial that reseeds itself. Under this definition fall cosmos, gaillardia, annual gypsophila, foxglove, larkspur, nasturtiums, violas and viper’s bugloss (Echium vulgare). Their display can last into early summer.

And, finally, since our grandchildren and great grandchildren await Santa’s arrival, and we are all concerned about our national security, What nationality is Santa Claus? North Polish!                                              Lakshman Sehgal

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