Dome Update – April 2022

Here’s the latest from the dome!

Calendula is a constant sunny presence in the dome.  It attracts aphids, unfortunately, but I guess that keeps them off the roses. The ladybugs I released last fall have been reproducing! I see their larvae a lot, mostly hanging around the calendula. I tried to get a picture of one but they were being shy when I took these.

Seedlings are coming up! These are (left to right): eggplant, parsley, and Leysa pepper, a really lovely, very fleshy, mild red pepper (like a bell, but more poblano-shaped).








Fuchsias are blooming happily after being fed. They like a lot of water, too. I have two baskets, hanging on either side of the pond.

Speaking of the pond, I have water plants on order. At the moment there is only duckweed and water iris. Oh, and a lovely little plant called lucky Buddha, which kind of sprawls around on top of the water. It was a free gift with the water iris, which I ordered last year.

Also thriving after winter break is this sweet hydrangea plant I bought on impulse last summer. They love living in a greenhouse, and this one bloomed beautifully into the fall. In December it looked dead.

So I trimmed off all the brown leaves and flowers, pruned it back, and watered it. Now it is covered with new leaves and flower buds! I have given it some aluminum sulfate solution, which is what makes the flowers blue. Hoping to see those beautiful flowers in the next week or so.

The other fuchsia, hanging out by the pond. This one is actually more purple than pink – kind of green-white outer petals around dark purple ones inside. It may have been a little backlit when I took this picture.

BIG news for the pond is this gorgeous bamboo fountain that Chris made for me! We recently got it set up and I love it – I can sit and watch the water for hours. The multiple trickles have a gentler sound than the fountain that came with the dome (a watering can that shoots like a fire hose).

Chris is building a second bamboo fountain, mirror-image to this one. These two fountains with their multiple streams will do a better job of aerating the water than the fire hose, which in turn will increase the vitality of the pond. THANK YOU CHRIS for making this happen!

In front of the pond are a bunch of pots with flowers and herbs. This little mint (right) was a volunteer in another pot, so I gave it its own pot (knowing how mint is), and it’s very happy. I love having mint year round!

I have several pots of petunias going, with 5 different colors of flowers. Petunias through the winter have been a wonderful thing, too.

The big triffid-looking thing (below left)  is a poppy. The Hungarian blue poppies I had last year reseeded themselves, and I have several going (including a couple growing up through the gravel floor). These are the poppies that make the seed we use in baking. I put some of last year’s seed into my birthday cake a while ago.

Back to the beds for a look at what else is growing:

I planted some marjoram seed (right). Holy, moly, it went crazy! It puts out runners and was trying to take over the bed before I gave it a haircut. Anyone want some fresh marjoram? (Good in soups and stews.)

Last year my dear friend Pari gave me some oregano seed. I planted it in the bed, and here it is! Thank you, Pari. I think of you every time I see this.

Also in the beds, lettuce (Garrison Romaine, a favorite from last year), and tomatoes (heirloom and Piennolo del Vesuvio, a beautiful paste tomato).

I have pruned the tomatoes back to where I can reach the fruit. They were trying to climb the ceiling (again).

These are last year’s plants, and they’re going great, but I want to get them better organized and keep them tidier. I need to be able to reach the fruit. When they cram themselves against the ceiling, they become unhealthy. Ongoing effort.

A few days ago, the Our Lady of Guadalupe rose began blooming. It put out a zillion buds! These are just the first.

This rose has a heavenly fragrance.

The Moondance rose across the dome is also making buds, but hasn’t bloomed yet.

Finally, a little image of hope. This is a basil plant given to me by my dear friend Jane last year. It didn’t love the winter, but it didn’t die, and after a pruning it’s looking pretty cheerful. Hoping it has another good season.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my garden. If you have a garden of your own, I hope you are loving it and spending quality time there. We need to give ourselves time resting in peaceful places like this. (If you don’t have a garden of your own, maybe you could visit a public garden in your area. Our Biopark is getting ready to be full of gorgeous flowers right now, including oodles of hydrangeas!)

Wishing you peace, joy, and wonderful fresh food!


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