Tag Archives: Plums

SoCS – A Rainy Day

The prompt for Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “a rainy day.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the phrase “a rainy day.”

I took the first two photos today (January 17, 2022).

“It’s going to be a rainy day!” Hubby peeked out of the window. He gazed at the flat, gray sky backdropping the trees in the front yard.

“I hope it will pour for a few days.” I turned my head in the same direction.

“I’ll turn off the sprinklers,” he said.

“Yeah. There’s no sun to evaporate the moisture in the air. We can turn them back on if the rain didn’t breakthrough.”

“The clouds seem to be darker in the distance above the mountain. It looks like the rain started already.” He continued to examine the pattern of the sky.

“Did you watch the 10-day weather forecast?” I was curious.

“Yes, it said it will rain tonight. The storm will come in by the third day and have steady rain for two more days.” He glanced at me occasionally as he continued his examination.

“That’s wonderful! Remember? We had heavy rain several weeks straight a few years ago. The Naval orange tree loved it and soaked up every bit of the water. We had hundreds of juicy oranges that year.” That thought made my mouth water.

“Oh, now you remind me of collecting small bottles. I’ll squeeze the juice and freeze it. We had juice enough for four months in some good harvesting year.”

“You saved many 16oz peanut bottles. They are the good size bottles to stack up in the freezer.”

“That’s right. I’ll buy more peanuts,” he said.

“Why?”

“To have more bottles.”

“Do you want to eat more peanuts to save enough bottles for the juice? If we have about 1,000 oranges, 8 oranges to make 16oz of juice, you will eat 125 bottles of peanuts.”

We may have more than 1,000 oranges this year

“Might as well. That way, all the bottles are the same size.” He tried to convince himself.

“We’ll have a good harvest of the plums this year with the pouring rain. The year we had juicy oranges was the same year we had full loads of plums on both trees.” I recalled.

“Didn’t you give away many plums?” Hubby turned around to walk toward the back patio door.

“I did. They ripened almost all at once. I couldn’t pick them fast enough. I tried to leave them on the tree as long as I could and ate as many as I could each day. They get soft when continue to ripen. But I like firm plums.”

“I ate two or three a day. They were sweet, and that was all I could eat.”

“I know you worry about the blood sugar. Plums are full of fiber, which helps slow down a blood sugar spike after you eat carbs. Don’t worry about eating more of them this year.”

“You put a lot of in the refrigerator last year.” Hubby looked out the glass patio door.

“I tried to keep them from getting soft too fast. Out of curiosity, I tallied them as I picked. We got 1,100 plums from two trees. Even the new tree yielded many plums. The rain surely contributed to the abundance. The good timing of the plum blossom was an important factor as well. We had many blossoms last year, but it rained right after that and didn’t give the bees a chance to pollinate.”

Plumtree in2019
2019 Plums

“We don’t know how much rain we get this year.”

“The plum trees will blossom next month. I saw the bees are hovering all over the clovers on the slope. They’ll be ready to work.”

“The trees have a good soak so far. You may have a good harvest again.”

“I made four jars of low sugar plum jam last time, but we didn’t use it fast enough. It started molding after a few weeks. I had to throw it away.” I saved the jars, though.

“I don’t eat toast often enough to use the jam.”

“I know. I must do something this year to save the plums.”

“What?”

“I remember my friends in Oregon used an electric dehydration machine to make dry fruits. I could get one and dry the plums.”

“How much is a dehydration machine?”

“A 10-tray dehydration machine is about $200. I can get a smaller one, but it’ll take forever to dry 1,000 plum,” I said.

“Well, I don’t know. Let’s think about it and talk more about the peanuts and the dehydration machine some other time. Let’s see if it’s going to be pouring the rest of the winter.” He walked toward his new Rolls Royce recliner.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

SoCS – A Rainy Day

.

.

.

SoCS – If I Had a Bigger Garden

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “if.” Linda invited us to start our post with the word “If.”

~ ~ ~

If I had a bigger garden, I would plant more fruit trees and vegetables.

I have a good size garden and am grateful for all the flowers in my garden. My picture folder showed my garden was barren in 2003. I planted the flowers and trees a few at a time for the last eighteen years. I set a mental budget for gardening and didn’t spend too much money each year. Probably I spent the most this summer when I replaced many annual to perennial flowers.

Flowers in My Garden

I also tried to see what grows well in my garden. Some part of my garden gets full sun all day, while other part gets either the morning sun or evening sun. After we planted the Cypress trees in the backyard, they block the sun in the winter as the earth tilted.

Another factor about gardening is the soil and watering system. Hubby is in charge of the sprinkler system. He also takes care of the lawn while I take care of the flowers. He installed the sprinklers according to the needs of the lawn. As a result, some flowers get too much water, and some don’t get enough water. Well, I have to improvise and make change now and then. I don’t mind doing that. What I did was to plant the flowers that need more water in the areas that have more sprinkler heads and planted the flowers that don’t need so much water in the areas further from the sprinkler heads. Of course, I could ask him to add sprinkler heads in some areas.

I started with one patch of Lily of the Nile (African Lily). African lily can withstand drought because of its large, fleshy roots. Roots spread and fresh shoots grow. I transplant them on several spots and the sixty feet wide slopes in the back yard behind the retaining wall, spaced them every eight feet in eight patches. The photo below is in the front yard.

Lily of the Nile (African Lily)

When we renovated the front yard, I bought ten rose bushes, and they turned out to be in different shades of pink. Then I felt in love with the white iceberg roses and bought ten bushes.

Throughout the years, I planted different flowers. As mentioned above, I experimented with the kinds that do well in my garden. The flowers above and below included in this post are what I currently have.

Year-round: Geranium, Hibiscus, Pentas, Periwinkle (Vinca) Lantana, and Snapdragon

Spring: Freesia (yellow and purple) and Clover

Summer: Daylily and Sunflower

Winter: Cyclamen and Camelia

I have planted the bulbs for Daffodil and Iris, hope to see the flowers next year.

Fruit Trees

So far, I have two plum trees, one apple tree, and one orange tree. We hope to plant a dwarf lemon tree, blackberries and raspberries. Berries are invasive, so I need more planning before planting them.

Vegetables

I planted kale, orange and green bell pepper, and squash. They are not ready to harvest yet. I love to grow more vegetables if I had a bigger garden.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

.

SoCS – If I had a Bigger Garden

.

.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70: Monochrome – Color

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70, Patti is inviting us to explore the world of monochrome–which includes black and white and sepia, as well as different shades of one color.

In this post, I include the  roses, plums and apples from my garden. The roses show different shades from buds to full blossom. They also show different shades when reflecting the intensity of sunlight throughout the day. There are two photos of green apples and plums before ripening and one photo of the ripe plums.

 

book photo 21a

Pink Rose in day time

IMG_4407a

Green plums and shades of green leaves

IMG_4487

Green apples and shades of green leaves

IMG_4595 (2)

Yellow rose

IMG_4554 (2)

A different yellow rose

IMG_4974 (2)

Ripe plums, some are more ripe than the others

IMG_5957 (2)

Pink rose at sunset (different rose from the one above)

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70: Monochrome – Color

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Tree Stories

This week Ann-Christine gave us the theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Trees. Here are some of my tree stories.

I’m thankful for having many trees in our front yard and the garden in the back of the house.

Our county is named Orange County known for the orange groves.  In 1948, a vast forest of five million Valencia orange trees grew on 67,000 acres. The postwar population boom triggered an almost wholesale conversation of farmland to suburbia.

Our home was built before 1948 with an orange tree planted in the backyard. The Valencia tree produces two crops a year yielding several hundreds of oranges each crop. The juice we squeeze and freeze from each crop lasts for four months.

1.IMG_9631

I planted two plum trees in my garden several years ago. The plum blossoms start earlier than any flowers. In 2017, when the trees were mature and started having full blossoms, I worried there were no bee attracting flowers to pollinate the plum blossoms. Well, I said there were no bee attracting flowers around, it was not entirely true. There were clovers with yellow flowers but yellow was not my favorite color of flowers. To one person is flower, to another person is weed. I consider clovers weed and always pulled them to give room for planting other flowers. That year, after I pulled two handful from the slope blanketed with clovers, I spotted bees. I was surprised and happy, but sorry for what I did. I quickly plugged the clovers back to the soil. Ever since then, I leave a large area on the slope for clovers.

2.IMG_3212 (2)

3.IMG_0057

This year, with five months of winter rain, both plum blossoms and clovers grow wild. There are several hundreds of plums on each tree.

(Note: The heavy rain throughout the winter boosted the growth of the plums. When they started ripening. For the sake of curiosity, I tallied as I picked them. From June 16 to July 15, 2019, one thousand and one hundred plums (1100) were picked. What a year!)

3.IMG_4891 - Copy

IMG_4963

Without giving too much thought on many kinds of apples, I planted a Granny Smith apple tree several years ago. It turned out that Granny Smith apples were too sour for me to eat. My friends recommended to use them to make apple pies. We don’t eat pies too much for health reason. I ended up chopping down the tree and planted a Red Delicious apple tree. The tree is three years old with thin branches, but with the help of heavy rain this year, there are a couple hundreds of apples. I had to use heavy sticks to pop up the weighed down branches.

6.IMG_2563

Cypress trees require little water to grow to a maximum of 100 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Many homes use them as natural fence for privacy or border of the property. We grow them for privacy reason. The home on the hill on the top of our slope has the backyard facing our second story. Even though people don’t purposely intrude other people’s homes, we wanted to have the added beauty of the trees and privacy.

There are three Hibiscus trees, two in the garden in the back of the house and one in the side yard. Hibiscus tree has gorgeous flowers without requiring too much water. I used to water them the same way I did for other trees and flowers. Then I noticed white flies growing from the back of the leaves. My gardener asked me to rinse the leaves with soapy water. I got rid of the white flies with soapy water, but I decided not to water the trees at all. Since the roots of the trees are deep and draw water from the deep soil, the trees grow beautifully with dark green leaves and bright color flowers.

Hibisbus-poem-flower-Miriam Hurdle-blog tour-new release-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The WriterNext Door-Vashti Q

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Tree Stories

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Promise

The spring came late this year. The winter rain kept the sun away when the plum trees needed the warmth to bring out the blossoms. Regardless, the hard-working bees pollinated the blossoms as much as they could. It looks like the trees promise a fruitful harvest in the summer. The top right photo is apples and the bottom right is plums.

Just thought that I could relax to look forward to the harvest, I found out that the homeless and hungry cat has eaten three mourning doves in my backyard. The doves are not very alert. The cat hid behind the flowers and dashed out to the doves. I’m heart-broken and try to do my best to fence in some area for the birds. He’s behind a gate my neighbor installed to keep the dog in their yeard. The cat is flexible to go through any tiny area to get into my yard.

fruits

cat

flowers

Frank’s Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Promise

Debbie’s Today’s Forgiving Fridays is about…Happy-ness!

« Older Entries