Problems are solved there, commitments reaffirmed and new challenges
invented. My occasional bouts with moodiness dissolve to make room
for calmer introspection.
Gardening produces magic for many of us, because it allows for
personal space and freshness of thought. Rather than waiting to
garden because I need therapy, this coming year I resolve to enjoy my
garden more often, and fix myself prior to December.
Your questions for the Plant Man, for this first month of the year
Q: Is this a good time to plant roses?
A: The best! Your local nurseries will have their largest
selection of roses at the best prices, because it is bare root season
Q: What is the most important garden job this month?
A: January is the month for pruning. Prune carefully to encourage
the type of plant growth you desire. Early-flowering shrubs and trees
may be pruned after they have flowered.
Q: My tuberous begonias are going down now. What do I do with them
in Laguna Canyon?
A: When the stems have fallen off, remove the tuber and shake off
the soil. Dry them for a few days, place tubers in a paper bag, and
store in a cool, dry place. You can set the begonias out again in
Q: Dear Plant Man, my azalea plant was in blossom when I bought it
about two weeks ago, but most of the flowers have turned brown and
many leaves are dropping. What can I do?
A: Azaleas have a difficult time growing indoors. Rapid leaf drop
is an indication of too much heat (perhaps it's next to a heater),
lack of water or possibly the plant is sitting in saucer water. Plant
it outdoors soon.
Q: My roses have been so beautiful this past year. But now, they
are losing leaves. Is it too early to prune for the winter?
A: Rain, insects and cold winds have stripped many rose leaves. If
you have the time, it would be OK to prune your roses now.
Q: Do hydrangeas bloom on old or new wood?
A: The common hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) flowers on canes
formed the preceding year, and should be pruned after flowering or
not at all.
Q: Can I grow chives from seeds?
A: Yes. They can be sown now, but I think buying a plant is much
Catharine and I spent the end of the year with friends Lynn and
James. Our favorite getaway was as beautiful and soothing as always.
I resolved there, to look forward each day; not dwelling on the
events of the past. And of course, as always, love my wife
unconditionally -- but not too tightly. See you next time.
* Steve Kawaratani is happily married to local writer, Catharine
Cooper, and has two cats. He
can be reached at (949) 497-2438, or e-mail to email@example.com