Our Organic Gardening instructor, Christy Wilhelmi, is a fount of knowledge. Here is her latest post on her blog, Gardenerd

Christy WilhelmiFa

By Christy Wilhelmi

September 23rd marked the beginning of fall, the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. It couldn’t be more welcome after all the heat we’ve been having. It brings with it a hope of rain (here in drought-stricken California) and the chance to grow cool-weather crops. Here at Gardenerd our eyes are clouded with the promise of kale, broccoli, sugar snap peas and more.

But before we can put our fall crops in the ground, before we pull the last of our summer plants, before we add compost and smooth the soil to make ready for planting, we’d like to take a break to enjoy the plants that are just starting to wake up for the season. While everything else is dying and coming to a close, these plants are sending out signs of life to keep us hopeful.

loquat tree
Our rescued loquat tree is starting to bloom.

It’s very exciting to see blossoms on this tiny loquat tree. We expected it to take several more years before it would bear fruit. Maybe the flowers will turn to fruit and grow to maturity. Stay tuned.

Okay, just a showy shot of a new heirloom we planted this season. Listada di Gandia is ready to pick.


Monarchs will appreciate the return of this milkweed they consumed last year: Perennial milkweeds grow back year after year. They provide habitat for traveling Monarch butterflies.

Our citrus trees are blooming and are covered with bees. It bodes well for winter oranges, lemons, limes and kumquats.

lime tree
A potted lime tree sets fruit in the recent heat wave.

The most exciting part of the changing seasons is the giant Brazilian Pepper tree that blooms each year. This year, because of odd weather, it is having a second bloom. The bees appreciate it, and if you step out under the tree at about 6:30 a.m. you can practically feel the tree vibrate with all the activity.

pepper tree
This pepper tree provides pollen and nectar for neighborhood bees.

The vernal equinox brings hope, as do these flowers. What’s blooming in your yard right now? What are you hopeful about this fall? Post your comments below.

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