Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

Tomatoes in winter

The five little things that made my week…

1. This tenacious tomato plant was started from seed a year ago and left for neglect four months ago at the height of the drought. It stopped producing tomatoes but we were simply too lazy to pull it out. Now with El Niño in full swing (bringing with it more cold, rain, and snow than we’ve seen in several years), we’ve been getting dozens of little yellow blossoms and healthy green fruits! Here’s hoping they continue to ripen through the winter!

Fig in winter

2. Along with winter tomatoes, we have winter figs… another anomaly. In the last few weeks we’ve harvested almost a dozen juicy figs, with a few more fellas still hanging on.

Nasturtiums after the rain

3. Nasturtiums grow wild in our garden after reseeding with abandon every summer. This year, they’re getting an early start (thank you, rain!) and I love seeing the lily pad-like pops of green among the mulch.

Mandarin season

4. If I ever move out of California, this is what I’ll miss most. Backyard citrus! Our dwarf mandarin is only five feet tall, but is so heavily laden with fruits that its branches are touching the ground.

Seeds started in the window

5. After flipping through countless seed catalogs, I felt inspired this week to start a few seeds in the window in anticipation of spring. Cauliflower, escarole, mizuna, lettuce, spinach, thyme, cilantro, chives, and dill are all on the way!

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »


  • Avatar
    Aimee Levens
    January 16, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Ahh, that reminds me of the 3 years I spent living in Santa Barbara…constantly being able to garden, it’s such a trip! I missed the longer season for roses the most when I came back to Portland. But hey, we have a bit more real “seasons” compared to CA so it evens out. Still though, I’m jealous for tomatoes as we’re just getting our seeds purchased to start indoors under the lamps next month!

    • Linda Ly of Garden Betty
      Linda Ly of Garden Betty
      February 8, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      Year-round gardening is a real treat, but the drought has been a struggle! It gives us California gardeners a whole new set of challenges, that’s for sure.


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