Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Garden at the end of January

I took a stroll around the garden, today.  An orange had fallen from the tree, so I went out to pick it - the end had begun to split, as oranges sometimes do, but the fruit was good and I cut off the damaged bit and ate the rest of the orange.  My vitamin C for the day.

While I was out, I took some photographs.  The little peach tree has many flowers on it:

Peach Tree

I'm still trying to take a close up of the flowers:

Peach Flowers

One last look at the little tree:

Hope at least a couple of those flowers will result in peaches!

Meanwhile, under the orange tree,there is a single pea shoot!

Pea Shoot!
 I had better cover it so that the mourning doves don't eat it!  One year, they ate all my pea shoots and green bean seedlings!

The beet seedling are starting to sprout, too:

Beet Seedlings
Those packets of seeds we scattered were so old, I didn't think anything would grow!

In the front, the osteospermum (African Daisies) have started flowering:


They will continue to bloom until it gets hot in the summer.

Close up of the white Osteospermum

 I like the purple ones, too, but the color looked washed out in the sun:

Close up of the purple ones

The jade plants by the side walk are in bloom, too:

Jade Plant

And the row of lantana:


I am hoping that they will, eventually, grow to form a small hedge, but they seem to be taking their time!  It's probably too sunny and hot for them, out in the front.

And, finally, the aloe plants are having some flower spikes, as well:

Aloe Flower Spike

The recent rains encourage some grass to grow, but, we've not had any rain in the last 10 days, or so.  I should water the front garden, later, this evening, just to keep the plants happy.

My water bill came in the mail, yesterday.  I used 9 hundred cubit feet (HCF) of water during the billing period   (11/16/18 - 1/18/19), of the 16 HCF I am allowed at Tier 1 rates (currently set at $6.33444/HCF).  This is all the water used, both in the house and garden.  The water portion of the bill came to 57.01.  The rest of the bill was for electricity (I used 514 kiloWatt hours of the 1,000 kWh I am allowed at Tier 1 rates of $.1664/kWh, which, with City utility tax and State energy surcharges came to $98.08), sewer charges ($43.34), and solid waste charges ($76.42).  The entire utility bill came to $274.85.  I used to budget $150 per month towards the utilities bill, anticipating a bill of $300, every two months.  But, starting in January of this year, I increased the budgeted amount to $200 per month, in anticipation of higher water costs in the summer.  Especially, if I plan to plant any vegetables, this summer, then, I will need to water the plants, regularly. 

I know that many of my readers have snow and cold weather; I hope you enjoyed the stroll through my garden at the end of January.   


  1. Your garden is beautiful. I think this might be the first time I saw peach flowers. They are so pretty.

    I remember once you said that Four o' clock seeds would sprout, so I picked some seeds and scattered in the front yard. Yesterday I saw several new plants coming up. :) As soon as weather gets a bit warmer, I'm going to transplant them.

    1. Thank you, Nil. I'm glad to hear the four o'clock seeds sprouted for you! I, too, picked some seeds today, from my four o'clock plants and tossed them into another flower bed, so see if they'll take root there. I think I will scatter a few more in other areas that are currently empty to encourage them to grow in other places, too.

  2. Yes, Bless, I certainly enjoyed a stroll through your garden and I am amazed at the size of the flowers on the peach tree. It is interesting that your out-of-date seeds sprouted. I have used them that way too, it just means that there will be fewer germinating, but that means fewer to take out to avoid overcrowding! I have a plant in our garden that has flowers like your jade plant, maybe it is the same type.

    I wish I could show you the beautiful sunny morning today with fresh snow on the trees. It really was spectacular. On the way home from church though, I was going extremely slowly down our road because the gritter was in front and I didn't want to be right behind it and get salt on the car. The wind had got up and the snow was blowing across the field. All of a sudden there was a total whiteout and I understood how those pileups happen on highways where everyone is driving fast and visibility goes just like that! I was very glad I was going slowly with no one behind me.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Bushlady. I rather thought you would! :D

      Oh, wow, I am glad you were going slowly and there were no other vehicles behind you! Glad you got home safely!

  3. What a pleasure to see peach flowers on my peachs production area we have to wait until the end of March to see them.
    Goodday Bless

    1. How lovely to hear from you, again, Vegevi. We have had some unusually warm temperature, during these past few days, so the peach tree flowered early! The flowers are very pretty, aren't they?

  4. As predicted, I enjoyed the walk through your garden. Flowering trees and sprouting seeds are always wonderful to see.

  5. Yes I really enjoy looking at your garden photos in January, while my garden is under snow and ice. I don't know how the rabbits survive, but their tracks in the snow reveal they have been very busy.

    The peach tree looks very lovely. You now how much I love the osteospermum and the lantana plants. I also get to see how the succulents bloom in their natural surroundings. They are very unique plantings. Did any of your lavender plants survive?

    When you increase your budget for utilities from $150 to $200 a month, where does that money come from? Will you take it from money you were going to put into savings? Or will you make cuts in your budget from another category?

    1. Glad you enjoyed the tour of the garden, Susan. One solitary lavender plant (of the 5 I planted) survived and it has a single flower stalk on it! I almost took a photo of it, but decided not to. Most of the blue salvia plants survived, too, except for one. And several of those small chrysanthemums, too, have survived.

      I made quite a few revisions to the budget, increasing some categories, reducing some, and eliminating others, but, overall, my budget went up by $260 and that extra money comes from what would have gone to savings. I am comfortable doing this - spending a little more and saving a little less. I never thought I'd say that! :o


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