Tulips that bloom every year

In Southern California Tulips need to be refrigerated, everyone thought. In my garden in Encinitas two varieties, Menton (pink) and Maureen (white) bloom every year.

mentontulip               mtulip2


I found it by accident. About 10 years ago I planted Menton in a pot after refrigerated  them, and they bloomed beautifully that spring. After they finished I stuck the pot in the back of my house and forgot about it. The following spring I saw some pink thing behind a calla lily, and it was a pot of Menton blooming again. So there you have it. Not all Tulips need to be refrigerated.

I have now potted Menton and Maureen at Cedros Gardens.

Grapevine care

These are pictures taken in my garden in Encinitas on March 27.
My ‘Eastern Concord’ has started to put on flowers that look like baby grapes  on lateral branch 2-3 leaf nodes from the main stem.  If your grape vines are happy, they put on 2-4 clusters of flowers on each lateral branches. Then the vine will go into the growth mode. So, you need to start pruning the branches leaving 2-3 pairs of leaves through out the growing season. I’ll start this work next week.

miagrape1                 miagrape2                 miagrape3

Don’t overwater your grape, otherwise you’ll end up with a monster that eat up your garden. Grapes are quite drought tolerant.

A Glimpse of Mia’s Garden on the Spring Equinox


Wisterias don’t have to be monsters. I keep my ‘Black Dragon’ Japanese Wisteria at only 3 feet tall by aggressively pruning through the summer. The flower tassels are 20″ long. Wisteria makes next year’s buds in August. So it is important not to stress them out by overwatering at that time. My first Wisteria took 4 years to bloom. This freestanding one has its roots in the shade and it seems to like it very much. I do not fertilize mine. Deciduous trees feed themselves when they drop their leaves.

mia shungiku

The prettiest flowers from my early vegetable bed are ‘shungiku’.  Shungiku is an annual edible chrysanthemum.  Their young leaves are tender in salad and light soup.  At the end of the season, their flowers are great for cutting.  You can scatter their petals as garnish.  Plant them next fall for spring harvest.


My vegetable garden has been producing abundantly thanks to Bu’s Blend and my chickens.  It is time to add some of my favorite Japanese cucumbers, ‘Tsuyataro’ and ‘Natsusuzumi’ and the best white beans, ‘Shiro Hana Mame”.



The Digiplexis that I planted last fall started to bloom.   This plant is a cross between digitalis and Isoplexis canariensis from the Canary Islands.  They are perennial and less thirsty than foxglove.  They require full sun even inland and bloom from spring through fall.  Would you like to try one?


I guess winter was too warm and dry.   Some of my deciduous fruit trees are leafing out with hardly any flowers and pollinizers are not blooming in sync.  Alas.  Hurray for the first day of Spring!

Gerberas and Anemones

The warm winter brought out Anemones and gerber daisy a bit earlier this year.
When you plant them don’t tease their roots as you would with other plants. Their roots won’t like being disturbed. Just plant them as they are. If you plant gerberas and anemones now, they should bloom through May.
Have fun, Mia

anemones      gerberas

To All Blueberry Growers

blueberry blog

January is an important month to help your blueberry bushes to yield more berries come this spring.
If you have not given your blueberry bushes high phosphorus, do it now.
Good examples would be
Soft rock phosphate or
Super bloom
This treatment will be repeated again in June for fall harvest. I will remind you then.

It has been very dry. Blueberries aren’t drought tolerant. Their roots are shallow. So make sure they have a nice layer if mulch to prevent moisture loss to the air. Also, their acid requirement is very high like low 4s. If you want to plant more bushes, make sure you replace the soil with good blueberry mix, not mix it into the existing soil. They do very well maybe better in containers like half wine barrels. I water my blueberry bushes twice a week and give them cottonseed meal every 45-60 days.
Have fun and great picking this spring.

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