California – a global guilt trip.

This week I dug out my lettuce soup recipe. I usually do this about a week or two before I dig out the entire lettuce crop (or at least those plants that I’m not seed saving from.) And why, you might ask, would I do either thing?

Well, since it is now the start of April, it is getting too hot for the lettuce that I planted in the main bed during winter. The leaves become bitter and leathery and not very palatable. I can still find some shady patches where a new batch of lettuce might grow during the blistering summer months. The truth is that my salad days are nearly over for this year – at least my salad leaf days… next phase is the tomato salads, sauces and soups.

The tomato nursery on the back patio.

So as the  the Irish get drenched in April showers, the East Coast shivers in the last (hopefully) snowstorms of winter and the Mid-west is torn asunder by tornadoes, we here in California are soaking in the sun in this perfect of all climates. And that’s exactly where the guilt trip comes in. I’ve discussed this with my friends here and they feel the same. We rarely comment on the weather directly in our facebook posts afraid of being unfriended by those less fortunate than us. Though there’s not much we can do about posting pictures of ourselves with the sun shining in the background on our tee shirted bodies. Sorry!

But hey if it makes you feel any better we did  have a big wind storm on Sunday night. It blew over a lawn chair in my yard, and we were awakened by the pomegranate branches battering off the metal shed that butts up against the outside of our bedroom wall. It was a trial!

What? Still no sympathy – well, I don’t blame you.

I pruned that tree. The next night was so warm we slept with the window open… all night. That’s just how we roll here on this edge of the continent!

It’s full on orange season here. (Slightly different timing to that back home!)


I’ve been playing about with recipes and substituting orange juice for milk in scone recipes. That works really well.

Since the cilantro has grown two feet tall I’m also making orange and cilantro salsa.

And a fennel and lentil soup may be on the menu at some point. I love the fennel bulb caramelized with chicken or fish…yummy!

And the summer scents from the garden! The smell of sweetpea just makes me miss my sister so much – it reminds me of her.


 And the smell of lavender reminds me of my mum.

I just discovered yesterday that lavender oil is great for calming down an allergy induced sneezing attack. It’s not hard to understand just why there’s all that sneezing when you consider the pollen being produced in my front yard alone!

It’s that perfect time for plants here. Still some life in the plants after winters rain but with daily blasts of sun and warmth to really get things growing. The native garden is bursting with color.

 The Chinese houses reseeded themselves from last year. (above)

The monkey flower is just starting out – it is a long distance runner in the blooming race.

Even the shade garden is enjoying a flash of brightness as the Coral Island Bells shine.

I never usually rate the blooms on succulents, favoring them more for their foliage but this little flower is very pretty.

 Overall, I’m pleased at how the succulent garden has filled in.

So, as I go out now to do my daily fifteen minutes of weeding in the sun, I will wallow in guilt, knowing how blessed I am to be living in Paradise. Mind you all that guilt does evaporate quickly when I consider that we do constantly live under the shadow of the next big earthquake…

Nuffin’s perfect eh?

Byddi Lee

1 reply to California – a global guilt trip.

  1. Oh, orange and cilantro salsa sounds very tasty! This year I do think we have one glaring thing wrong with our gloriously sunny weather. The paucity of rain! I used to not have to regularly water the garden until May, but not this year, I've been watering since March! I must admit though, the warm sunny weather has been amazing. Your garden is looking fabulous!

Comments are closed.