A spring morning in my front yard on Harvest Monday April 8, 2013

When last I left you, I was headed up into the mountains, going to Big Bear to look at a “bargain” cabin being offered at $64,000. It was HORRID! The water heater had broken and there was water standing on the floor in the kitchen and bathroom. The carpet, if you could call it that, was filthy and matted with dog hair. Also lumpy, bumpy and crusty from what might have been urine. The walls were flimsy, cheap paneling. The electrical system didn’t work. The appliances looked original to the cabin, circa 1968. The paint on the exterior had peeled with raw wood exposed. The sliding patio door onto the balcony upstairs was broken and boarded up. The sliding door downstairs didn’t work. OMG, did that place ever have issues. It needed to be stripped to the studs, and then who knows what other problems might arise. That one was not for me.

This beat-up gambrel cabin is on the market for $64,000.

This beat-up 3-bedroom gambrel cabin is on the market in Big Bear, CA for $64,000.

I have focused more on home this week, now that my cold is dissipating. I am finally getting my energy back, and am enjoying my spring yard.

This is a post about a harvest. But a harvest from the garden can be more than mere pounds of produce. A garden also produces peace, tranquility and beauty. That is harder to measure, but I hope that you can see it in these photos.

Our front yard is mostly trees, shrubs, flowers, herbs,  bird feeders, and a small pond.

Our front yard is mostly trees, shrubs, flowers, and herbs, with a few fruit trees, bird feeders, and a small pond. This is the view from a bench on our front porch.

Yesterday morning, I decided to sit on the porch bench and take photos only from where I was sitting. It was an interesting challenge. My Nikon Coolpix P510 is a great little camera, with 42x zoom. It allowed me to photograph birds and flowers from where I sat.

In addition to the pond, we have a bird bath. The one is back is a used fountain dropped off by our tree guy. Someone was throwing it out because it no longer holds water. I plan to fix it if I can.

In addition to the pond, we have a bird bath. The one in back is a used fountain dropped off by our tree guy. One of his customers was throwing it out because it no longer holds water. He thought I might be able to fix it. My first attempt failed. I will try Plan B some other day.

After having this dwarf Valencia orange for four years, I finally got around to planting it in its permanent pot. It is in full bloom. I'm sure it will do better now that it is finally our of its nursery pot.

I got up off the bench to take this photo. After having this dwarf Valencia orange tree in its original nursery pot for four years, I finally got around to transplanting it into its permanent pot. It is in full bloom. I’m sure it will do better now that it is finally out of its nursery pot.

The Valencia orange tree is loaded with blossoms and it smells so good.

The Valencia orange tree is loaded with blossoms and it smells so good.

The strange looking plastic box to the right of the Valencia tree is one of our four water barrels for collecting rainwater. Our part of Orange County, California gets only about 11-14 inches of rain a year, hardly more than a desert. Any little bit of water that I can collect and use is that much less water that needs to be pumped down from northern California, and then put through water filtration and purification. Saving water saves energy, and therefore helps fight global warming. That’s what we are all about here at Green World.

Pink cobbity daisies

Pink cobbity daisies

Louisiana iris blooming in the pond.

Louisiana iris blooming in the pond.

Light lavender Louisiana iris in pond.

Light lavender Louisiana iris in pond.

Male house finch at feeder.

Male house finch at feeder.

White-crowned sparrow

White-crowned sparrow

White-crowned sparrow

White-crowned sparrow

Pink cobbity daisies

Pink cobbity daisies

Female house sparrow

Female house sparrow

Pink English daisies.

Pink English daisies.

Ack! A slug! I didn't even notice it until I was processing the photos.

Ack! A slug! I didn’t even notice it until I was processing the photos.

Clivia or Kaffir lillies

Clivia or Kaffir lillies

Fressias by the pond with iris and curly rush in the background.

Fressias by the pond with iris and dwarf curly rush and dwarf straight rush in the background.

Freesia buds in the oregano bed.

Freesia buds in the oregano bed.

A bushtit after bathing in the pond. A pair has been collecting nesting material from our yard this week.

A bushtit after bathing in the pond. A pair has been collecting nesting material from our yard this week.

A male black-headed grosbeak stopped by on his migration north to fill up on sunflower seeds.

A male black-headed grosbeak stopped by on his migration north to fill up on sunflower seeds.

This is most of our front yard. The "lawn" is Zoysia or Korea Grass. Never needs mowing. No herbicides or pesticides go onto it either, so our yard is safe for birds, bees, grandchildren and other living things. The pavers help reduce the amount of water needed to keep the lawn growing.

This is most of our front yard. The “lawn” is Zoysia or Korea Grass. Never needs mowing. No herbicides or pesticides go onto it either, so our yard is safe for birds, bees, grandchildren and other living things. The pavers help reduce the amount of water needed to keep the lawn healthy.

Hope you enjoyed that little photo essay of a morning in my front yard. I think that there are 25 different species of plants in bloom in front right now, maybe more.

DSCN5576

I can’t believe that we harvested a bell pepper this week, but here is the proof. It set fruit during an unseasonable warm spell last October.

The bell pepper went into a scramble along with red onion, mushrooms, and an avocado (also from the garden). The navel orange is from our tree.

The bell pepper went into a scramble along with red onion, mushrooms, and an avocado (also from the garden). The navel orange is from our tree.

Here is our harvest for the week ending April 7, 2013.

FRUIT

3 lbs 6 oz Limes

VEGETABLES

3 oz Bell Pepper

12 oz Bok Choy

TOTAL PRODUCE 4 lbs 5 oz plus 28 eggs

I am slowly catching up on logging in my harvests to Excel. The total harvest so far this year is 32.3 lbs of fruit and 12.8 lbs of vegetables, plus 194 eggs.

If you had a harvest or to see what others are harvesting, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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8 Responses to A spring morning in my front yard on Harvest Monday April 8, 2013

  1. Daphne says:

    Wow that pepper took its time didn’t it? I love those little pink daisies.

  2. Norma Chang says:

    You have such gorgeous flowers and beautiful birds, thanks for the tour. Wish I could grow some of those flowers, but that would be encouraging the deer to spend more time on my property. My list of deer resistant plants is short and is getting shorter, they are nibbling on my tree peonies buds this year, I am not a happy person.

  3. Mac says:

    Beautiful yard and flowers, I need to get a book on how to ID birds in our region. Love to have them around except I don’t know which is which.

  4. leduesorelle says:

    It must have been such a relief to come back to your own home after Big Bear!

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