Winter in the test garden

January 20, 2010 | By | Comments (8)

This is an exciting time for the Bay Area—the acacias, magnolias, flowering cherries, and flowering plums are all in bloom!

Sadly, we have none of those in the test garden, and it’s as slow as can be out there. To top it off, I’m feeling some disappointment about this year’s big winter veggie garden. Last year brought us this looker:


This year I have a bunch of stunted cabbage and bolting broccoli. Did I not add enough compost? Did I start things too late? Can I blame the weather?!

Ok, slight exaggeration—things look all right. Actually, the kohlrabi looks killer.

Without flowering trees, or a traffic-stopping keyhole garden, I look for beauty in smaller, less obvious places. Here are a few examples of pretty spots that are carrying me through the winter:

Purple mizuna

Kale ‘Winterbor’

Recently germinated ruby orach (Learn about it here)


  1. HankShaw

    Funny, I am also going to be growing red orach this year! I like the idea of a spinach-like green you can eat in high summer. Chard seems to the be the only other green that can survive a Sacramento August…

    March 2, 2010 at 5:07 pm
  2. r4 sdhc

    I like garden very much.I have also a beautiful garden in my home.Those are nice photographs.I also think that it is all because of weather.Thanks..

    February 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm
  3. Johanna

    M&M — You two are the best.

    Steve — Thanks for an additional vote of confidence.

    KG — ok, ok, ok. You are right. And by the way — it’s zone 16. As for the tag on the mizuna starts, it says Cole Canyon Farm —

    February 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm
  4. KathyG

    Dudes, get a grip! You live in Zone …. ohgod, what must it be? 15?! Rejoice in the balminess of it all. Here in Zone 1, we are out fondling frozen dirt clods and shriveled chard stumps.

    OK, now for that kewl purple mizuna — I want some!!!! where do I find it?

    February 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm
  5. Steve’s garden supplies

    I don’t know, sometimes no matter what you do mother nature makes her own mind up. Some seasons some crops grow fantastic and others not so good. Never had a season of all perfect crops!

    February 9, 2010 at 11:10 am
  6. Megan

    Matti’s right! It’s the weather.

    February 9, 2010 at 6:27 am
  7. Johanna Silver

    Matti? Matti Matti? Hi!! Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:56 am
  8. Matti

    I would blame the weather. We received a lot more rain this season…thus less sun. Matti

    February 9, 2010 at 4:12 am

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