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California and Santa Ana Winds

by Lorraine on November 3, 2011

Every Autumn in southern California we have a very “windy” event, otherwise known as the Santa Ana winds.   In many parts of the world communities  have their own terrible, driving winds which are unique to their particular area and we are no exception and upon their arrival the damage and  havoc that can ensue by winds which sometimes have gusts up to 70 miles per hour!

These winds develop out of the higher deserts located northeast of the Los Angeles basin and funnel though the canyon passes with a verocity that can be deadly and quite often cause brush fires.   Last fall we were quite fortunate, in that the Santa Ana season was quite mild and we didn’t experience the insanity of constant blowing winds and it was a relief to me, since I hate them….

On Tuesday we started to develop a mild Santa Ana and by Wednesday they were ferocious.   Downed trees everywhere, tons of debris and everyone is on edge, as it makes you quite uneasy with the worry of brush fires.

Whew!   They ended last night, there were no fires that I know of and other than experiencing a lot of sneezing due to allergies, there’s a mess in my garden.   I JUST swept it up and cleaned it out the other day and now everything is smothered in fallen leaves and small branches.   Even my little Certified Wildlife Habitat sign from The National Wildlife Federation got blown over.

But I’m relieved that there was no damage this time around and the worst I have to deal with is cleaning up all the leaves and small branches that came off my neighbors Ash tree and my three Liquid Amber’s.

However, this can change quickly and we are only just beginning the season for, what some people call, “Devil Winds” and I’ve got my fingers crossed that this year, will be one like last fall.   Very, little wind and very little worry.

Just dried and cracked skin.   I need lots of good, creamy lotion.



December Garden Chores

by Lorraine on December 14, 2010

For the last few weeks I have been very busy making changes in my garden and I’m just about done with I wanted to do.   Initially I had planned to remove all of the Canyon Prince Rye grasses, two sages and begin trimming many of the plants.

Winter and fall are very busy times if you have a native plant garden because most of the maintainence and planting is done then.   With the recent rains that we’ve had,  my garden has come to life and every day it looks a bit different and requires some attention.

Many of the bulbs are popping up due to a period of time when the temperatures were warmer and oh my gosh…there are a million California Poppy seedlings that have sprouted, even in the cracks of the sidewalk.

The fuschias are done blooming and they will be my next target for pruning within a couple of weeks or so and I do intend to put in a couple of new plants in a place where I just removed a Desert 4 O’clock that was under a window and was too messy.

I divided some Blue Eyed Grass today, as they are now beginning to be very happily established and since there are so many of them, I dug a few up and transplanted them to another location.   I hope they don’t die but do well because they are so beautiful and I love their blue flower.

I moved two Salvia mellifera’s from the garden to the backyard and actually they came up pretty easily.   But again, I don’t know if they will survive but hopefully they will, as I enjoy the smell of them and their beautiful blooms in the spring.

We are expecting some rain this weekend, so that’s why I wanted to get all of this done in time to take advantage of it and the cooler temperatures, too and I feel as though I have managed to complete what I set out to do.

Then there’s the Liquid Amber leaves.   I have four of them in my front yard and I love them but everything is buried in their leaves and I can’t rake them up fast enough before they get deeper.

Whew!   I ‘m tired but satisfied and I love how the garden is looking.   All I need to do, is step outside, step into my garden, inhale its fragrance and sink into it’s tranquility.