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Welcome 2009!

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

How wonderful to start a brand new blog on the very first day of the year!  I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time…

First, a weather report: Today’s high was 62, last night’s low was 38.  Humidity was about 85% and there was virtually no precipitation.  Typical for January in coastal Southern California.

My garden is located in Olivenhain, California, a community of Encinitas, half an hour north of San Diego.  As the crow flies (or in this case, the heron), I am  about three miles from the beach.  But my garden sits in a low spot at the bottom of a river valley. Cold air flows downhill and sits here.  Winters bring five or ten nights well into the upper 20s which translates to frost, frost, frost!

Two years ago this month,  a massive cold front brought us temperatures in the upper teens for about ten nights in a row.  It was both horrifying and fascinating for a plant lover like myself.  I wrote about the freeze and how it affected my garden and others for the July 2008 issue of Pacific Horticulture (for a summary of the cold weather’s affect, see The Freeze of 2007: Responses in a San Diego County Garden.  

Our first freeze usually comes the week of Thanksgiving, so the weekend before, I get to work.  The most tender potted plants come up onto my back patio, the warmest area of my 2/3 acre property.  

Tender plants that can’t be moved get covered with woven frost cloth that stays in place until our last frost date in late February.

This year, our first frost was at the end of December.  Nights haven’t been too terribly cold, but every day, I check track my neighborhood’s temperatures on-line.  Yes, neighborhood.  Weather Underground features data from personal weather stations, one of which is few blocks away and at the same elevation as my garden.  Its almost like having my own weather station but without actually making the investment.  See my weather at this moment, or check out my neighborhood’s weather history.    

That’s probably enough information for a first posting.  I’ll add details about my garden, my love of plants, the work I do in the horticulture industry, photos, and other bits of information over time.  

In the meantime, I wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2009!