-- Phyllis McGinley
Now that I have exercised my right to vote, I plan to get my hands
dirty. The initial disappointment of hearing holiday music in October
was briefly lost by the election season (which also concluded as a
disappointment). However, life goes on and I will reluctantly engage
in the extended holiday season, by planting and obsessing in the
garden. Pass the potting soil, please.
This was another year without a pumpkin, another Nov. 1 to wonder
why people scatter them asunder upon our streets. Catharine could
have baked some pies to soothe their ruffled psyches. Whoever they
were, I'm sure they will find work disparaging others in the next
By the way, you did manage to fit in the time for some November
questions for the Plant Man ...
Q: What should I plant for color now?
A: Pansy, viola, snapdragon, stock, calendula, primrose and
Iceland poppy head the November color list.
Q: What should I be doing in my garden this month?
A: We are in the midst of the season that is considered the best
for planting. It is also cleanup month, the time to fasten trees and
tall shrubs, prune the old tops of perennials and freshen flowerbeds.
It's not too late for bulbs. Remember to refrigerate the tulips and
hyacinths. Finally I would suggest mulching perennials and keeping an
eye out for fall weeds
Q: Is this a good time to sow lawn seed?
A: The fall is the best time to start a lawn. It's still warm
enough to germinate seed rapidly and with the prospect of rain to
reduce irrigation cycles. If budget allows, consider sod instead, as
you'll be able to enjoy it for the holidays.
Q: Should I be planting my asparagus now?
A: Early spring would be better.
Q: When is the right time to pick my apples?
A: For home use, fall apples may be left on the tree until ripe
enough to eat.
Q: Are the fruit of the Thanksgiving pepper poisonous?
A: No, but they are hot and should be consumed with discretion.
The fruit of Jerusalem cherry, however, are poisonous.
Q: Why do cyclamen always die in my home?
A: You got it ... they are not houseplants.
I spent the election evening celebrating my anniversary with
Catharine. Although our favorite candidates did not entirely prevail,
it was wonderful to be home in Laguna. For better or worse, I can't
imagine living anywhere else. See you next time.
* Steve Kawaratani is the owner of Landscapes by Laguna Nursery,
1278 Glenneyre, No. 49, in Laguna Beach. He is married to local
artist, Catharine Cooper, and has two cats. He can be reached at
(949) 497-2438, or e-mail to email@example.com.