Late January in the Garden

It's simply delightful outside today. Yesterday we had a nice, long, soaking, misty rain - the plants really needed it - and today is warmish and sunny. The song sparrows and finches are all flying about, chasing each other (mating?) and chirping, the hummingbirds are defending the feeder, the bumblebees are all over the manzanita, and the honeybees are bringing in pollen - a good sign that the queen is starting to lay more eggs. 

 Manzanita

Manzanita

 An incoming bee meeting an outgoing bee at the hive entrance; they are probably sharing a taste of the newly collected nectar

An incoming bee meeting an outgoing bee at the hive entrance; they are probably sharing a taste of the newly collected nectar

I sat under the manzanita for a while and just watched the incredible amount of activity going on. Other than the narcissus (and a few fava beans), nothing else is blooming in my garden, so this is where everyone hangs out. I have other, younger manzanitas that are not blooming yet, and this makes me want to plant even more. Loads more. What a boon it must be for all these creatures who desperately need spring pollen and nectar. I noticed that the ceanothus is close to blooming, and that will be the next plant that gets all the action.

 ceanothus

ceanothus

Days of sun interspersed with rain is also so very good for the garden. Suddenly everything is waking up and getting busy. Interesting things are popping up in the wood chips.

 Inky Cap Mushroom

Inky Cap Mushroom

 Self-Seeded Nasturtiums

Self-Seeded Nasturtiums

And the vegetables are all doing wonderfully, still very small in most cases, but getting bigger every day.

 North Garden; the row covers have been off for weeks now, but might go back on tomorrow night, as it's supposed to go down into the mid 30's

North Garden; the row covers have been off for weeks now, but might go back on tomorrow night, as it's supposed to go down into the mid 30's

 "Red Baron" beets

"Red Baron" beets

 Artichoke

Artichoke

 "French Yellow" shallots

"French Yellow" shallots

 This is either "Colorado Rose" red potato or "La Ratte" fingerling potato

This is either "Colorado Rose" red potato or "La Ratte" fingerling potato

 "Japanese Mikado Baby" turnips

"Japanese Mikado Baby" turnips

 "Danvers" carrot

"Danvers" carrot

 "Ichieum Red" softneck garlic

"Ichieum Red" softneck garlic

 South Garden

South Garden

 Cabbage - still tiny

Cabbage - still tiny

 Fava Beans

Fava Beans

 succession plantings of 'Regiment' spinach

succession plantings of 'Regiment' spinach

 Peas, "Progress #9," starting to climb up the trellis

Peas, "Progress #9," starting to climb up the trellis

There's also loads of Asian Braising Greens, Chard, and Kale, which I am now picking and eating every day. These are the stars of my winter garden and provide us with our daily salad or saute. 

In between trips to the garden (just to enjoy the sun and the wildlife!), I'm getting lots of projects underway - I'm working on the new tomato and pepper indoor seed setup, my new vinegar crock has arrived, I'm baking bread, and checking on the olives. More to come on these projects and others!