Friday, November 03, 2006

Garden Tucked Away near Apple Pan

This charming garden is sandwiched between two buildings in Los Angeles. The one building is the home of the famous Apple Pan burger restaurant.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hummingbirds Love the Pineapple Sage in Bloom

The pineapple sage is one of my favorite plants. The leaves give off a wonderful scent of fresh cut pineapple when they are touched. In the fall, a wonderful spray of blooms appears. The hummingbirds love this bright red flower. I will keep my camera at hand to hopefully catch one of them enjoying the nectar.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Autumn Harvest of Sweet Bell Peppers

I have been busy in various other activities and went to the garden last week to do some housekeeping. What a surprise! My pepper plants was loaded with peppers. They are huge and very heavy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Big Excitement Scheduled for Friday

I have been meeting with several landscaping companies and selected one to come to help me with my overgrown garden. They are coming on Friday. I will be excited to post some before and after pictures! Should be awesome.

Sunflower Ready-to-Serve

Visited by bees desiring the pollen saturated blooms, the sunflower then drops its petals and concentrates its energy creating the seeds.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Peach Rose

My neighbor's roses are blooming beautifully. If you look closely, you will see traces of the rain which fell before sunrise this morning.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Pumpkin Harvest

I decided to harvest the trio of pumpkins before they turned completely ripe. I had to do this because I have had garden visitors this year who have sampled everything I am growing. I didn't want these pumpkins to be devoured while I slept. I will store them in a cool, dark closet and hopefully they will make it to October and Halloween.

Container of Flowers

My garden is sleeping! With the record high temperatures, it seems like my vegetable garden decided to take a siesta. Nothing is happening. No new tomatoes; no new beans; no new zukes. Nada. Zip. Zero.

But, my containers look fantastic!

Sunflower Leaf Against a Blue Sky

Love the colors and the light puffy cloud passing by.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Back to Normal...

Temperatures have dropped and things feel more normal here in SoCal. The top temperature is the outdoor temp at 1:00 p.m. and the bottom temperature is the indoor temperature sans air conditioning. Ah, the electric meter is spinning much more slowly!

Stephanotis Flower

Ah, the stephanotis is in bloom. The fragrance is marvelous and the flower is so simple and waxy.

My vines are in an alcove area surrounded by small shoulder high walls on three sides. The plant gets some direct morning sun and by afternoon receives no more direct sunlight.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Garden Gnomes at the Orange County Fair

Went to the Orange County Fair. Mr. And Mrs. Garden Gnome were there in a very big way!

The garden was loaded with all kinds of beautiful veggies.

Sunflower at the Mission in San Juan Capistrano at Sunset

The setting sun has a way of creating magical photographs.

Flowers Afloat

My friend, ES, arranges flowers in the most imaginative and unusual way. Here is an arrangement she made for a boat trip. She has artistically included tulips and orchids with shells and baskets.

Friday, July 28, 2006


This is a photo I posted yesterday. My son created a special effect which I thought was cool enough to deserve a second posting.

Epsom Salts--Are They Organic?

Organic is the way I like to garden. I was on the Burpee web site today. They had a tip of the day "Epsom Salt To the Rescue."

"High in magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt can be used to increase the yields of tomatoes and peppers which need magnesium for maximum fruit production. It also seems to improve the flavor of both vegetables. Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt in a gallon of water, and spray a pint of the fluid on each plant as soon as blossoming begins. Repeat this process once a week throughout the season to keep the plants in top production."

This sounds like a great way to increase yield. Does anyone know if using Epsom Salts would still be organic?


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sunflower Power

My friend KC gave me a wonderful gift this spring--sunflower seeds on an easy-to-grow seed tape. They germinated so quickly and have been growing and growing and growing. This week the tallest one passed me in height (5'7").

This morning when I came back from exercising, I discovered my first sunflower had bloomed. Isn't it sunny and bright?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hot Temps, Cool Cucumber

Keep cool by picking that ripe cucumber from the garden.

You can replace the lemon slice in a glass of ice water with cucumber slices. No, that's not a's a yellow lemon cucumber! Chillax baby!

Eat 5 to 9 a Day

Not only does gardening provide me with a great hobby, it also allows me to get my five to nine a day. During the summer with the garden right outside my kitchen door, I can easily get my daily vegetable and fruit servings, no problem.

Fruits and vegetables can be divided into color categories. My garden contains at least one item from each color group: green (peas), red(tomatoes), orange/yellow(pumpkin/acorn squash, blue (eggplant), and white (onions). Check to see what veg and fruit colors you have in your garden.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Interesting Trees at the Harbor

The Bees love the flowers on this tree.

My early morning walk with BKA and MB took me to Dana Point Harbor. This location was selected because of the possibility of cooler weather by the coast. We were not disappointed. During our walk, we happened upon these flowering trees. Flowers in the shades of red and orange were a hit with the bees!

Tomato Confetti

Reported earlier on this blog was the gobble and run assault of an almost ripe tomato. Some garden pest has ruined over ten tomatoes and keeps returning each night to destroy another tomato. I discovered this tomato in the garden in my early morning garden check. Argggggh.

No Longer Contender for World's Largest Pumpkin

Ah, the pumpkin ripens. I guess that means my pumpkin is out of the running for the world's biggest pumpkin! Currently, this speciman is about the size of a small cantalope.

Ohio State University recommends "to protect the pumpkin from direct sunlight, construct a shade out of burlap or other lightweight material. This will prevent premature hardening of the outer skin and will allow the pumpkin to reach its full genetic potential in terms of physical size."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lizard Surprise!

Because there are practically no rainy days in Southern California in the summer, occasionally I spray the foliage on some of the plants. They can get very dusty.

Today as I was completely absorbed in the task, a surprise visitor jumped out of the bushes and landed on the rock ledge. I think I had surprised him with an unexpected cold shower. He did a nice job blending in with the surrounding stonework, don't you think?

Purple Fountain Grass

I'm not sure what I did but I am keeping the purple fountain grass in my front garden under control. Lately the plant is staying at a moderate height (around three feet tall). In the past it has grown to five feet heighth which is just too big for the area it is planted. I love the deep purple/burgundy color against the other greens planted near it. Also, because it is so light the gentlest breeze causes it to sway. Something about this movement seems perfect for the warm (HOT!) days of August, which are just around the corner.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Legend of the Palm Trees

This posting has been modified to reflect the information received from a reader of my blog that the information was not accurate.

The new posting shall simply state that there is a hill in our city which has an interesting history. It is quite a landmark since their are a number of palm trees planted on the top. Because the of elevation, the trees can be seen for numerous locations.

Thank you kind reader for providing the additional information. This blog would never want to misrepresent anyone or cause anyone bad feelings.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Three Lemon Cucumbers

The lemon cucumbers are turning out to be one of my more prolific vegetables this season. The skin of the lemon cucumber is varied. Sometimes they are very yellow; other times a pale yellow.

I'm Feelin' Hot! Hot! Hot!

Sorry for the whine but it is hot. It's never this hot where I live even during the Santa Ana winds. We had to turn on the AC! This is a big deal because electricity costs an arm and a leg where I live.

Bee Collecting Pollen

Busy doing his job of collecting pollen from the flowers.

Come visit my store, BUZZ OFF, on CafePress! This darling design with the phrase "buzz off" on t-shirts and totes.

Robin Red Breast

This little robin was bopping along the sidewalk in my back yard. He was finding various things to eat. I wasn't able to get too close. I've seen some hummingbirds as well as some yellow birds. They usually leave before I can get my camera out of the case and turned on.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Putting the Fun in Fungi

This mushroom village is growing with gusto on a lawn near my house. Photo Op!
Under the cap of this mushroom, the gills almost look like an expensive fabric which has been painstakingly arranged.
This 'shroom looks more like a 'smore!

Horizontal Pole Beans

My nineteen year old son wandered into my garden patch the other morning. He has a signature style of humor which can best be described as random and dry. The pole beans had reached the top of the teepee and were reaching into space. He saw an opportunity for a sight gag. Beans are supposed to grown vertically, right? How funny would this be--horizontal bean pole growth? Lucky for him, one last bamboo pole was available. He rigged the pole between two teepees and has been encouraging the beans to grow along the pole. Awesome.

Victim of a Gobble and Run

The bounty for some scavenger wandering through my garden in the dark of night was my first full-sized ripening tomato of the year. The thief didn't know my big plans for a weekend sandwich topped with the glorious red globe fruit. Nope, he just gobbled and ran. He didn't even "clean his plate."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tree Bark Art

These photos were taken with a HP camera in macro lense mode. No other enhancements were made. I love the colors and textures.

I have taken photos of tree bark before. I feel my appreciation of the bark of trees is validated after my recent trip. Here is a gallery of photos of trees in my neighborhood, including palm, pepper, and eucalyptus trees.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cloud Nine Eggplant


This beauty was truly unexpected when I discovered it growing in a crowded part of the garden, completely hidden by the leaves of surrounding zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes. When I saw it, I gasped from surprise and amazement. Now that I have made the discovery, I will be following it closely.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Tomato Hornworm/ (Tabacco Hornworm)

Fee! Fi! Fo! Fum! Who is that eating all the leaves from my tomato plant?

Why it is none other than the tomato hornworm.* The tomato plant was being depleted of its leaves down to the stem. Lucky for me I spied this ravenous creature as I went to photograph some newly developing veggies. Even though they are the size of an index finger, they are so clever in their coloration and markings, they are hard to see. And yuck, it presented me with green goo when I tried to remove it from the stem on which it was napping. I repeat...YUCK!

The hornworm caterpillar is named after the magenta colored "horn" which is at the posterior end of this lovely creature.
*I misidentified this little fellow in my original post. Observant readers of my blog have indicated my error in their comments. I stand corrected and state that this little guy is actually a tabacco hornworm. Thank you faithful readers! :)

Watch this video with still photos and action video of the hornworm caterpillar.

Water Lilies and Lotuses

The water garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden was another stunning area to visit. Two symetrical rectangular ponds brimmed with a wide selection of plants. Bright blue dragonflies, too small and too quick to be photographed, darted among the lilies.

The center of the white flower was quite different. It almost looks like a green shower head. It remains after the petals of the flower fall off.

Bonsai Maple Tree (Trident)

This Trident Maple (Acer Buergerianum) was a gift from the city of Tokyo to the City of New York in 1961. The bonsai tree is over 125 years old. This speciman is currently on display in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Purple Orchids

One of the places we visited in NYC was the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The conservatory was wonderful with all types of climate zones represented. These purple orchids were breathtaking.


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