Today Liz Cordova is welcoming us into her Southern California garden, starting with a beautiful quote:
“And since all this loveliness cannot be Heaven, I know in my heart it is June.” —Abba Woolson
I’ve been gardening for 40 years, 32 of them in Zone 10. My organic garden is the best yet this year, with all the wonderful rains and a very long winter by Southern California standards.
I couldn’t garden for several years. But I’ve been given grace to keep on healing from a severe autoimmune reaction.
So when the weather is perfect, sans Santa Ana winds, and before the bright sun damages my eyes more, I sneak out to quickly garden with goggles over UV polarized sunnies and a UPF hat. I learned to accept help from very dear friends and family to help me prune, water-lay flagstones or bricks, or dig.
I call this my All Season Garden, and now it’s a healing garden, as it continues to heal my soul and body as I meditate and I meander in the garden every early morning even before the sun slants in my eyes. The harvests of juicy Valencia, CaraCara, and Mandarin oranges, the hefty harvest of Fuyu persimmons (18 grocery bags full last fall), and the huge sweet pomeloes and heirloom tomatoes have made friends and family so happy.
Last month I started another edible garden, with different basils, parsleys, eggplant, artichoke, and ball zucchini, with a Provence lavender in the middle skirted with marigolds and sweet alyssum.
Monarch on asclepsias (Asclepias curassavica, Zones 9–11)
The rose ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ up the teak arbor meets the Goldflame honeysuckle (Lonicera × heckrottii ‘Goldflame’, Zones 5–9) on the right.
A honeybee sleeps on the job on this Austin rose, ‘Princess of Kent’.
The English rose ‘Wollerton Hall’ mingles with blue geranium ‘Rozanne’ (Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Zones 5–8).
A riot of color is formed by Andean sage (Salvia discolor, Zones 9–11) with silver sticky branches and pendulous purplish black flowers that hummingbirds love, hardy blue geranium, firecracker plant (Cuphea ignea, Zones 8–11)—which may need to go, as its wild loud colors don’t go with my soft colors—goldflame honeysuckle up the metal trellis, and a peach daylily starting to bloom.
‘Scepter’d Isle’ Austin rose
An English rose—not sure which one, since I lost the tag.
My square-foot edible garden contains basils, flat and curly parsley, Chinese eggplant, blue kales, artichoke, and ball zucchini.
We’ve even had beautiful moments of tea in the garden.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to GPOD@finegardening.com along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.
You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!
Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.
Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox.