Spring in the Garden of Good and … not so good

My garden is eclectic. Somewhat like me. It is not in the best of shape, this year, and hasn’t been for a while, as I struggle to make a living up here. I work long and hard, but unfortunately, not in my garden. Maybe next year. So you won’t see “long” shots – only close-ups. Like this one:

Apricot Tree

It’s in a hole surrounded by hardware cloth, but the gophers are still going for it!

My garden is a mixture of volunteer and transplanted natives – both Big Sur and California, and exotics. My watering system is by hand, with a garden hose. No blanket watering, no drip system (I’ve tried that, the gophers eat it) and no sprinklers. Each plant that needs water, particularly those that supply food, get “dripped” by hand by my hose.


These little guys have been around for a few years. So long, I am always surprised when they pop up each spring, but I’ve lost the memory of what they are. Sweet, anyway.

Manzanita in bloom

This is a volunteer. It is either Hooker’s Manzanita or Hoover’s Manzanita, but I think the former, the big seed. It is like a weed up here, but the CNPS always gets excited when they see it!


I have never planted tulips before, although I have planted many, many bulbs. Unfortunately, most bulbs seem to be gophers favorite foods. They ate dozens of lilies, which I adore, so I learned to plant my lilies in pots. But I found some tulips and decided to give them a go. Some time after I planted them in a raised bed, having forgotten they were there, I scattered a couple of native wildflower packets. Now, the tulips are covered, for the most part, but still coming up and forming buds.

Wildflowers amuck

I know I am supposed to thin them back, but I always have trouble doing that. Any seed strong enough to send up a sweet green shoot deserves a chance. I know, I know … but it is like baby killing to me. I let them compete. Maybe I will eventually, but right now, all those sweet seedlings are life inspiring to me.

Hummingbird Sage

Once I convinced the guy who weed whacks for me that this is NOT a weed, well, it started spreading like one!

BTW, I haven’t forgotten that most people voted they wanted to see me post more shots of Big Sur gardens, and I have permission from a couple people already, but most want their gardens photographed in the spring, not fall or winter, so I hope to get out and get a few soon!
And remember to vote, if you have not already. New header goes up tomorrow!

4 thoughts on “Spring in the Garden of Good and … not so good

  1. Kate:

    When you get a chance, would you let me know what kind of shape the Willow Creek Road is in for a high-clearance 2wd SUV (Toyota Highlander)?

    Many thanks, Paul D.

  2. Great Garden, Kate! I feel much betterknowing there is someone else who has difficulty keeping up with that kind of work. The neighbor shook his head back and forth when I said I like things to grow and burst forth. He kept telling me that I should mind them better. Two years ago, I hired him to do my front and side beds? Well….he does a good job. I keep it up once he has started it each year. (he does landscaping as a second job)

  3. Anyone have any recommendations on vegetable varieties that grown well in Big Sur. Especially for things like tomatoes. I love Cherokee Tomatoes and wonder if they will grow here.

  4. There are so many micro-climates in Big Sur, it is hard to make recommendations. For example, I get really hot summer days, above the fog, so I like Celebrity, Ace, and Champion tomatoes. Plus they are easy – a big requirement for me. Anything that handles the heat does well at my place. You might want to check the firesafe gardens link I have to the right. Dave is an expert gardener up on Fronthill/Clear Ridge area.

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