California Gardener’s November Checklist

In a season of traditions, let’s take advantage of California’s familiar — as well as quirky — planting opportunities

Other than the smell of a turkey roasting in the oven or the sight of a quarterback tossing a football to a receiver in the flat, nothing makes me feel better about November than a persimmon tree fully loaded with gleaming orange fruit among foliage turning a matching color.

This is a plant that says a lot about gardening in California, and maybe about California in general. Native to Asia, it has made itself home in the state. It’s easy to grow. It’s quirky — the fruit of the most common species is so astringent that you can’t eat it until frost or time softens it.

Of course, the persimmon is also a reminder of how distinctive California’s plants and gardening climate are — and how many neat things we can do in the garden this month when much of the country is moving indoors for an annual hibernation.

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