In the pros column of California living is the incredible speed with which my balcony plants sprout.
Jalapenos and arugula - two weeks. I am skeptical about the longevity of the basil; my previous track record with basils has been dismal. But maybe this one will suffer through. I hope to make a dedication to Athena in this Mediterranean climate and grow an olive tree soon. But so far my research has not yielded much information about how that might be done, and Athena does not seem to be a popular local deity, judging by neighboring gardens.