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By Francesca Filanc, for Let’s Talk Plants! January 2024.

New Year, Fresh Start

Gosh, already it is January 2024! How time flies. The new year is a time for fresh starts, new beginnings, new possibilities, a time for a do-over. Many people enjoy making New Year’s resolutions. The new year is also a fresh start in our gardens.


It’s a time to -


·     Fertilize citrus trees unless you’re in an inland area with a lot of frost then wait until February or sometime in March.

·     It is also a time to plant bare-root fruit trees and roses. Mum has written all the instructions in her amazing book (Pat Welsh’s Southern California Gardening a month-by-month Guide.) I have friends who have shared with me that they love to take the book to bed and, before they go to sleep, read what to do every month in the garden. Pat’s book is sold as an e-book (easier to read in bed) or you can find the hardback used online. Either way it’s a wealth of information. 


·     This is also the time to plant camellias and azaleas. They will start blooming here in San Diego, California this time of year.


Note: Camellia japonica 'Debutante' is the name of a camellia growing and blooming for weeks now in my mum Pat Welsh's Garden in Del Mar, California.

·     January is also the time to prune the roses. All the information can be found in my mom’s book to plant and prune properly. 


Frogs are happily croaking in the garden on this beautiful cold winter day. 


Happy New Year and enjoy working in your gardens!



Fine art with gold leaf by Francesca Filanc.

Fly-fisher woman, Francesca Filanc, grew up in old Del Mar and these days lives, paints and gardens in historic Olivenhain with two dogs.

Find her art and writings here:

She can be found on social media here:

Have gardening questions or want to learn more about Francie’s art? Contact: 


If you enjoyed reading this article, consider joining (or renewing your membership with) the San Diego Horticultural Society.



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