Nature’s Garden Dance Under a Full Moon

by on January 23, 2019 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Kathy Blavatt

Baby sprouts with outstretched limbs dance under a full moon on the rain soaked earth.  The heads pop-up with bent necks, slowly reaching for blue heavens. These little ballerinas do their performance. By daybreak sun reveals the nights magic.

Growing plants creates a splendid bond that feels maternal as you nurture and raise your little green sprouts.

Sprouts.

Plants are like children, some need more attention, some are picky, some tend to get sick, and others do what they please. Some of them die, while others thrive and propagate creating a population explosion.

For gardeners the winters in San Diego can make or break a garden. With luck there will be enough rain to sustain the garden for several months without having to do much watering.

The winter days in San Diego can give renewed birth to gardens. The combination of rain followed by sunny days, then more rain, and then again more sun create an explosion of life. The once dormant seeds sprout up, the succulents puff up, the conifers grow, and the green spikes of bulbs start to appear.

The rebirth of your garden comes at a price. It is time to plan for the future for the babies need care. Priorities become splitting apart bulbs and clusters of plants, then replanting as your taking out those pesky weeds. It is a great time to use left over old pots or six pack planting containers.

Rosemary Christmas tree

Primping your trees through a winter pruning will make them healthy and fruitful in the following seasons.

After these tasks it is feeding time. The garden scraps will make your worms and damp composts very lively and plants healthy in the months that follow.

The damp earth is the perfect time for my Rosemary Christmas tree to be planted in the garden.

A past year’s Rosemary Christmas is now plump and rounded, full of tiny bluish sprigs of blossoms.

This is a great time to share the extra newly spouted plants from your garden with friends and neighbors. You can be that proud parent that watches their child move away from home, grow up, and have babies of there own.

Besides the nurturing aspects, winter gardening has other advantages. Being out in the clean air full of oxygen after a good rain does wonders for your lungs. That combined with the fitness benefits of pulling weeds, planting, shoveling compost, hauling buckets of rain water and cut branches around the yard will help you drop any extra holiday pounds you may have gained.

Filling left over glass juice bottles with rainwater for future use is a good reuse of the bottles. The bottles can also be put around garden to keep the dogs from peeing in your yard.

January’s edible greens

This time of year can also supply other health benefits from some of the extra edible plants that come up. I have an excess of arugula, borage, chives, nettle, and parsley plants.

A trip we took to Italy gave me an appreciation for arugula salads. Simple but tasty salads can be made with arugula, tomatoes, lemon, and good olive oil. Garlic salt pepper and pumpkin seeds are a nice addition.

I like to cook the fresh borage leaves in stir-fry dishes with other greens and vegetables, or put the leaves into a healthy quiche substituting the crust for a mixed bottom layer of pumpkin seeds, organic popped rice/wheat, healthy grains/seeds, and flour alternatives.

Last year when the arugula went to seed, I spread the seeds around my pavers for an edible ground cover. It seems to be working with the help of the rainfall.

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The stinging nettle makes a nice cleansing tea. In Ecuador they use nettle for body cleansing. I personally learned this visiting an interesting in-door grocery/farmers market in Quito where they had a row herbal medicine woman booths set up. I had a nettle cleansing done there. It was interesting and a bit painful for a few seconds as the women hit me with the stinging nettle then sprayed some concoction on me to stop stinging.  For the next twelve hours my body was tingling. It made for an interesting trip on plane home. Would I do it again? Maybe.

When you have lots of parsley Tabouli salad is a great way to use it. I use finely chopped onions, tomatoes, fresh garlic, sometimes bell peppers, lots of fresh parsley and soaked bulgur wheat, all tossed with vinegar or lemon juice, good olive oil, a sprinkle of garlic salt and pepper.

It is even better the second day. Tabouli is great on pita bread with some hummus.

There is just something so tasty about having fresh produce from the garden.

I am hoping for a winter crop of tomatoes to add to the Tabouli and other dishes. If the tomatoes are really good they may be eaten off the vine…. and not make it into the kitchen!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar ZZ January 23, 2019 at 4:10 pm

Stinging nettle is my worse weed! I know it is edible, but I’ll never let them get big enough.

Some edible plants I have established and require little care, and that I see elsewhere around the beach:

Dill
Fennel
Mustard
Mallow

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Avatar retired botanist January 23, 2019 at 4:22 pm

Awesome article,Kathy, thanks! And some great ideas- love that idea of pumpkin seed crust! :-)

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