Spring Fever

I know. It's still the middle of winter. And what am I doing planting a garden in February? But I couldn't help it. The weather's been so completely beautiful for the last week or so, and we're all walking around in short sleeves, and Jack Johnson is on the playlist again, and it just seemed like flowers were a great idea. Besides, this is southern California. We're not even sure what the word "frost" means. So I went ahead and did it. And my flowers are so gorgeous! I love them. My grandma Kimber had a green thumb like you wouldn't believe: she grew the most amazing orchids in huge tubs on her patio, and loved spending afternoons among her plants, watering and digging and planting. Unfortunately, I didn't inherit the green thumb, just her love of beauty, so these plants will probably be dead in a few weeks. So I thought I'd take pictures and post them so they'll at least live on somewhere.

Here's what I planted, besides the blue hydrangea above:
Pink jasmine on our back patio, which smells SO good. This one's actually going to make it, because I've had it over a year and it's doing great. Jasmine's easy.
Impatien, also on our back patio. This one is a volunteer. It's growing in a hanging basket that originally had fuchsias in it, and I have no idea how it got there.
This is an anemone, something I always thought you only found in tidepools. Turns out it's a flower too, and this is my favorite among the flowers I bought. It's so big and floaty.
Pink ranuncula.......
......and white ranuncula, otherwise known as "the most beautiful flower with the ugliest imaginable name." The name makes them sound like they should weigh 50 pounds each and be very clumsy.
Snapdragon. So much fun. I'm afraid to show Judah what you can do with snapdragons, because he'd probably destroy them in his excitement.
Sweet alyssum. This is one of my favorite flowers. They're so tiny but they have so much fragrance, but it's not overwhelming. And if you let them, they'll spread out and take over large areas, which is what I'm hoping for.

Nasturtiums. These grew wild at my grandparents' place and I can't wait for them to bloom. The flowers are bright orange and red and yellow, and grow kind of under the leaves, and have a bitter, earthy smell.
Cosmos. Like daisies, but better.
Spanish lavender, another one that I'm hoping will get really big and take over a lot of space, and also smell good. I'm going to learn how to dry it and use it in sachets.
Primrose, which looks nothing like what I thought it would. I love how bright it is.
And hibiscus, which I've had since July. This plant did really really well over the summer, but is not looking so hot now. The leaves are yellowing and the flowers are opening up looking a little ragged. I don't know if it's just the wrong season for it or if I'm over-watering or what, but I'm hoping it'll come back in the spring. Any tips from any of you?
Besides all these, I planted thousands of seeds: bachelor buttons, bells of Ireland, Mexican primrose, and morning glory. I am seriously addicted to morning glories, and found a variety this year I'd never seen. They're bright red, so I planted them behind the nasturtiums. My dad's making me an arch for our backyard, and I'm planning to grow a moonflower vine over it, and blue morning glories beside it. Hopefully it will all grow...I'll keep you updated!


SOLD! To the lowest bidder.

Yes, it's true. We are one car less in this household. And while we still have more cars than we have legal drivers, this is a vast improvement. A person who was serious about the Impala finally turned up, drove down from Agoura, and bought the thing for his 15-year-old son. Which means that within a year it will be nothing more than a twisted pile of metal at the edge of some freeway, but whatever. I'm not sure what that guy's thinking giving a new driver this kind of horsepower. But I guess he knows his kid, and it's his call, and we're glad to be rid of the car. He gave us $6,000 for it, and Nathan pointed out to me that he spent more than that just in repairs on the car within the first year he owned it. Yikes. So, farewell, Sasha the Impala! It was fun (most of the time) and also expensive (all the time). The only part I'm sad about is that this is the car we brought Judah home from the hospital in and it was a little hard to see that go.
It turned out the the Impala hadn't been smogged in the last 90 days, so Nathan and the two guys that came to get it went to a local smog check station. Before they went, Nathan called the place to see exactly where it was located, since he'd never been before. Here's how the conversation went:

Nathan: Where are you guys located?
Smog dude: Between Prospect and Bastanchury on Imperial.
Nathan: And are you on the north or south side?
Smog dude: Well, I don't know which way you're coming from.
Nathan: ......... Umm, okay. I'll find you.

Think about that one for a while. Genius.