It’s nearly time to close the book on the gardening book for 2012 – it does seem like this year really flew by. All in all I think our weather was better than it has been the past few months. Only two really hot months (July and August) and fall kicked in as soon as we turned the calendar to September. Fall has been long and wonderful. Cooler than normal nights and mornings and lots of days of San Diego like weather…no complaints from me this year.

I love planning a beautiful tablescape for Thanksgiving! 

Hopefully you have over-seeded your lawn, planted your pansies and tulips – if so, well done! You will be rewarded next year and your neighbors will appreciate and value your hard work.

You can continue to make changes to your landscaping this fall through December; in fact the nurseries are bringing in new plant stock every day. The best time to plant trees is now through March for the very best results.

I will plant my paperwhite bulbs soon so they begin blooming in early December. Christmas isn’t Christmas without a windowsill of fresh and fragrant paperwhites.

This silver bowl makes a beautiful vessel for the paperwhites, as the container must hold water. Love the green and silver miniature balls at the base of the bulbs.

How simple is this? Jars with a simple ribbon on a silver tray.

How simply elegant?

You can never have too many paperwhites!

Top Things to do in November

• Last chance to finish up plantings of pansies, cabbage and kale. 

• If you haven’t ordered bulbs – it’s not to late – but hurry – don’t miss the opportunity to have a glorious spring next year. 

• Plant trees and evergreen shrubs and bushes. 

• Replace landscape plants that didn’t make it through the summer – now is a great time to do this. 

• Begin a first round of forced bulbs for Thanksgiving – plant the second round after Thanksgiving and you will have continuous bulbs in bloom in your home from Thanksgiving through mid January. Narcissus (paperwhites), Amaryllis, and hyacinths are best performers for indoor forcing. 

• Plan on what you will do to create the magic of Christmas in your home. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

November begins the tranquil time of the year as a gardener. Tulips and spring bulbs should be arriving any day and once they arrive time it will be time to get them in.  I like to have pansies in by the end of October and if you love a lush fall and spring lawn, then the task of over seeding with blends of fescue and rye should definitely be done by now for best results.

You can continue to upgrade your landscaping this fall through November; in fact the nurseries are bringing in new plant stock every day. You will have to wait another month before fresh trees come in. The best time to plant trees is now through March for the very best results.

To be honest – I’m ready to get out of the garden – I want to just sit outside and soak up the incredible weather we have been having and enjoy my outdoor fireplace and the smell of oak and pinon throughout our neighborhood.

Although my Karen Adams calendar has two cute acorns on it this month….I’m fast forwarding to Thanksgiving weekend – and my tradition of taking the 3 days after Thanksgiving to decorate my home for the holidays. There’s one thing I do the very first of November to really maximize my Christmas décor as soon as my tree goes up and that’s to plant paperwhites the first of November.

Some people detest the fragrance of paperwhites – but my husband, daughter and I love the smell – and we want it everywhere in our house during December and January. My daughter has loved this tradition and often helped me when she was young….it is so easy and the reward is huge.


Paperwhite Flowers

My favorite dish or container to use for paperwhites are these cute blue and white exports from China. No hole in the bottom –as paperwhites will drink quarts of water before they are finished.


Fall Flowers

I like to buy my paperwhites aka Narcissus from the same company that I get my tulips from…but sometimes I’m just not that organized – but fear not - just go to your local big box store or nursery and they all have Narcissus and Amaryllis bulbs now. When I get them home I empty them all out into a large pot to make the planting go faster.

Fragrant Fall Papperwhite Tulips

I like and recommend using small river rock at the base of your pot about ¾ filled – then add a nice potting mix….place your bulbs at the top of the container like this….pack them in tight.


Fall Tulips

This is the perfect size of river rock – but don’t worry any size will work. I always tell my husband we need to have river rock in certain utility areas of our yard where I don’t want to mess with a lawn or flower beds…this is my secret way of having an unlimited supply of this – I just love to use it for forcing bulbs. Top off the pots with the river rock - try to squeeze them in all around the bulbs….the reason is that the paperwhites become quite top heavy with lots of growth – the river rock helps weight them down into the container. Fill the rocks in around the top of the bulbs – you are securing the bulbs with the river rock so don’t be stingy with the rock.


Fall Tulips Tips

Next water slowly and let the bulb sit in water….this will begin the cycle of root growth. We are having really warm weather this week – so I’m going to let them sit a few days on my potting bench – once it cools down I will bring them indoors and let them sit on a sunny shelf over my kitchen sink.


Plant Fall Tulips

I’ll post some pictures once the vibrant green growth starts emerging from this creature looking bulb…it won’t be long now….I can already picture these sitting on my kitchen window sill – loaded with white blossoms….harkening Christmas!

Top Things to do in November

  • Finish up plantings of pansies, cabbage and kale.
  • If you haven’t ordered bulbs – it’s not to late – but hurry – don’t miss the opportunity to have a glorious spring next year.
  • Finalize the task of preparing your lawn for an over seeding of fescue and rye blend – this must now be done asap – last month was better.
  • Replace landscape plants that didn’t make it through the summer – now is a great time to do this.
  • Begin a first round of forced bulbs for Thanksgiving – plant the second round after Thanksgiving and you will have continuous bulbs in bloom in your home from Thanksgiving through mid January.  Narcissus (paperwhites), Amaryllis, and hyacinths are best performers for indoor forcing.

Best in Show – our dear friends at a recent wedding in Salt Lake City – we ventured up to Park City, Utah to take in the Aspen trees at their absolute prime!!!!


November Gardening Tips
Tulips Gardening Tips

The aspens were quaking in the breeze – with the sunlight coming through them it was a beautiful – site – this was a huge grove of aspen.


How to Plant Tulips

We spotted this friendly bear in downtown Park City – and had a tickle hugging him!

Fall Tulips Pics

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -