(Title to be sung to the original ‘Deck the Halls’ melody.)
While you find yourself cooking, entertaining, partying, shopping and occasionally getting over-wrought during the holiday times, your garden is not sitting around doing nothing. Here in the chaparral of Southern California, seeds are germinating with recent rains, leaves are falling, and California native plants are coming into active growth.
Don’t think of this as more work to be done, since the chaparral garden is not in any rush for attention. But do remember that physical work in the garden is an excellent way to work off stress and to burn off calories. So taking a break from holiday craziness to putter in the garden can be good for both you and your plants.
I just tore out my vegetable garden after over a decade. The time went painfully fast, but the carefully set block wall started to tilt, the soaker hoses and drip irrigation became too full of holes, and the over-zealous rats and mice found too many entry points and gobbled down more of my vegetables than I did.
With the cool temperatures and moistened soil, this has been a perfect time for transplanting and rebuilding. I’m trying out some new designs and ideas for discouraging the rodents. One reason I love gardening is that it keeps me thinking creatively. The wildlife all too often outsmarts me, but sometimes I get the upper hand. Experimentation always produces both knowledge and results, albeit the results aren’t always what I expect.
Working on my chaparral garden during the holiday season is not only much more comfortable without the hot sun and the dry, baked soil, but it has allowed me to splurge a little with holiday foods and not gain weight. I find I can think things through more clearly while working which allows me to address all my other projects in a much better state of mind. And getting my body tired out with garden labor helps me sleep well despite all the end-of-the-year things on my mind.
Now that I finished this little bit of writing, I’m going out to the garden to transplant some of those boysenberries I dug out around the vegetable garden. I’ll enjoy the sense of accomplishment, the cool sunshine, and the Deck the Halls Christmas melody going through my head reworded to: “ ‘Tis the season to be gardening, in the chaparral, the cha-par-ral!”
Amazon Carousel Widget