In the Garden | December 2018


Having an extended weekend has meant a little more time to get a lot of different things done as well as leaving plenty of room for laziness. I’ve dabbled around the garden the last few days, more than I’ve done in the last month or so. And that meant taking time to get a few photos in…so here goes a photo tour of our late December garden.

The swamp chestnut oaks (Q. michauxii) are starting to develop good bark now that they have been in the ground for over five years.

In the edible garden, we’re in the transition period between sowing and harvesting with many greens nearly ready to begin harvesting on a regular basis.

A leftover echinacea flower.

My two over-summered beets! They are now putting on greens again and I’m hoping that since beets are biennial that I will get some seeds this year.

I only had two kohlrabi germinate and which is probably ok in the end because we really don’t use much of it in the kitchen.



The greens that are furthest along are the ones I sowed in the blackberry bed back at the end of September. Kale and bok choy make up most of it in addition to self sown cilantro.



Other than the cooler fall and early freeze, winter has been rather mild and on par with average winter events. Which means bok choy is up for bolting already!

A look down at the kale, spinach, mustard spinach, and another round of bok choy.

Morris heading collards and daikon radishes. I’ll thin the collards one more time around New Years and they should do well through spring. I’ve not tried that variety before so I’ll be curious to see how well they do compared to Champion or Georgia.

Chris got onions planted about a week ago or so.



It was a really good luffa year. The only bad part was that all of them are 20+’ up in the sweetgum tree! One was low enough to pick and another fell recently but the rest, I’m going to have to wait for.

Moving to the flower garden, it is mostly quiet out there right now.

A lot of the tender tropicals got nipped back by the freeze so much of it has gone dormant though some like this Justicia spicigera was unfazed and other have begun resprouting already since December has been mild.

Prunella seedlings.



I hacked down the banana trees which are usually in the front left. They will resprout in the spring and we will probably be moving at least one clump around because they had migrated too far to the back.

I also took out the almond verbena which had graduated into a monstrosity that we didn’t imagine when we planted it. I believe we were told it would be a more shrub-like and then it grew tree-like and a freeze knocked it back to where it started regrowing about 3′ up and sending stem boles out everywhere—it was a mess.

Here it is in happier days. Now with that space open there will be some wiggle room to plant something different. I have ideas!

The gingers are looking nice but I saw deer browse on some of them. Usually the deer leave them alone. I wish we could have a one day, limited tag bow season in the neighborhood. Too many deer at the moment.

Last week I noticed our white brugmansia that is near our backdoor had sent out new leaves from a good portion of the plant. It hadn’t been killed to the ground in the freeze! It always resprouts from the roots every year. I’ll be interested to see if it makes it through the rest of winter like this.


Some fall maroon colors from the oakleaf hydrangea! I’m glad I dug it up and saved it as it was on its last legs in the flower bed. I think I’m going to move it to a flower bed at the office and see how it does there. Less deer pressure in that area.


The Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus combo is putting on a show. Chris brought the plants out from the mancave for some light and water since the weather has been pleasant.

And I found a rosemary blooming!

Lastly, there was some shenanigans with boxes on the porch over the weekend, too!

These last few weeks have had me itching for February weekends and preparing for spring. It’s around the corner!

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