signs of life

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Despite my concern that our little cold snaps would prevent any of the seeds I recently planted from sprouting, this morning I was happy to find several tiny seedlings poking their heads above the soil in their pots. I guess the fact that we have had sunshine during the cooler weather helped a little bit.

I apologize for the lack of photos- I went out this morning with the intention of taking a bunch of photos of the garden before I swam, but walking around the garden in only a bathing suit (which was still damp from the day before) in 48 degree weather lasted about … oh… four minutes before I did what I needed to do out there and jumped into the warm pool. I usually garden right before I swim so I literally can get as dirty as necessary and then hose off, and then swim. But on colder days, hanging around with just a bathing suit on for too long is a no-go. Today was one of those days. I did manage to get a shot of this geranium seedling, though.

It looks like my tomato plant is a goner, unfortunately. The whitefly got to it. The tomato plants gave us a few bowls full of nice tomatoes, and I think there’s plenty of time to plant more seeds (or pick up another seedling at the hardware store) and get another big vine growing before it gets too hot.

This whitefly thing is starting to drive me crazy, but it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be any solution to it in this area anytime soon. The only thing I can do is be vigilant about my garden and the landscape. No one really cares for their own landscape here (it’s a snowbird/resort community) and I honestly don’t think many people even pay attention to their landscape. As long as it looks fairly green and is severely trimmed, they just keep paying the landscape services to come. Now that I garden, it baffles me that people don’t do more with their land around here. True, we all live on tiny lots, and many of us have septic and other systems under the bulk of our “open” space, but there’s still so much that can be done with just a few spaces of dirt.

What really baffles me is the fact that there isn’t much VARIETY of things growing around here. I’m successfully growing passiflora- five of them. They are probably one of the more vigorous plants I have ever grown. Yet I never saw them before I got one myself. Why are they not all over the place? Same with plumeria. And some of the more exotic hibiscus. And things like Milkweed, which grows so beautifully and looks SO lovely and attracts butterflies like crazy? Or even some roses? Nasturtium? Shrimp plant? Succulents? So many things, so many opportunities, but no one seems to really embrace the possibility.

There seems to be a list of ten plants that are planted around here, and that’s that. Yellow hibiscus, palm trees, ficus, crown of thorns, vinca, and then a few variations on palm trees. I wonder if there is an ecological and ethical way of promoting different types of foliage and vegetation in a small area? I need to look into that. Maybe that will be my gardening project for 2014- looking more into community gardening- not *joining* a community garden per se (I have enough of a challenge keeping up with my own) but getting involved with other local gardeners and finding out about any community efforts to garden.

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