Winter yard prep

I pruned back the Matilija Poppies (Romeyea) today, and with the 20% threat (yes, I said THREAT ;-) ) of rain I watered the natives in the front. I've decided that for California native gardens, the threat of rain is like a big sign telling me to water.

I've watered my Ribes deeply in the past month to stimulate growth and bring them out of their summer dormancy.

The Western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) haven't dropped their leaves yet, but when they do I'll move the one in a pot into the ground.

I still need to prune the salvia in the front yard and revitalize the front yard meadow, starting with extending the sprinkler system. I don't water often, but when I do I want to get complete coverage.

I've cleaned the gutters twice - most recently after a high wind and today I raked up and composted the leaves in the side yard where both my property and my neighbor's drain to the street. Maybe I'll be able to keep more water on my property in the future. For now, it's important that I not flood myself out so I need to keep a clear, leaf-free, channel open.

I've also cracked a Syrah, my first this winter. Bigger reds are key for the winter gardener. This one's Andrew Murray Estate, Santa Ynez Valley, 2004. I paired it with a turkey pot pie (from Banquet, I'm not going to make things from scratch every night). I'm a bit disappointed that it's not more complex, but it did travel with me to Lair of the Bear and back. Even though it traveled in a cooler, there could be some impact. It's been so warm that I've been enjoying whites and roses. My good tasting memory of Rhone-type wine was an astounding Chateauneuf du Pape, so perhaps the Andrew Murray isn't being fairly compared.

Finally, I need to get about 1 more cubic yard of wood chips to spread about the garden.

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