Friday, February 23, 2007

More on the Eucalyptus Bloom--Seed Pod

A photo series of the buds, blossoms and seed pod of a eucalyptus tree.
The photo above show an immature bud of the Eucalyptus. It continues to develop to the showy blossom in February in Southern California. The fruit or seed pod is woody and the seeds shed through the slits in the top of the fruit.

Bees in the NYT Op Ed

I wrote earlier about the problems beekeepers were having with their hives. I found this piece, Keeping Bees Among Us, on the New York Times web site today.
You can click on the title above Bees in the NYT Op Ed of this blog to go to this on line.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Garden Survey!

Have you already purchased seeds for Garden 2007?

Yes,earlybird gets the first tomato

(View Results)

Create a Poll

Romaine Lettuce Bolted

I wasn't able to keep up with the romaine lettuce and it has bolted--gone to seed. Once lettuce bolts, it is bitter to taste. The composter may be getting a addition in the near future.
I think I can plant another batch before the weather is too hot.

Bamboo on the Path

Bamboo plants also lined the walking path we took yesterday. It is very robust and invasive and seems to have a strong presense in this natural area.
(Note: Interestingly, this area was part of a small fire about two years ago. About 40 firefighters fought the fire for 30 minutes. Luckily, no person was injured but you can see the trees behind the bamboo are blackened.)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Cactus, Pretty in Pink

There is a trail near my home which is lush with vegetation. This vegetation has to be draught tolerant because there is not irrigation here except what comes out of the skies (--rain!). When walking today, my friend and I saw something pink a bit off the trail. Its mate was nearby, a little green with envy, I think.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Succulent on a Sunny Day--Make Way for Rain

Sunny days are going to make way for rain next week. Yeah. The city allocates water based on historical rain fall, size of lot, and a few other factors. We are supposed to be in the rainy season but really are about six inches behind. With rain in the forecast, I can turn off the irrigation system next week and hopefully stay within the alloted amount of water for the month.

More trees in Bloom

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's Poppy Time In California

I'm not sure if the extra warm weather has brought these poppies out earlier than usual but I am glad they are blooming. It seems as though every garden patch has a splash of color.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007


For a cactus, I think this guy is pretty smooth.

Royal Palm

No palm is more majestic than the royal palm tree.

Many of the palm trees in Los Angeles have developed diseases and the city is discussing replacing them with trees other than palms. The palms don't provide the same amount of shade and are less effective in trapping air pollution.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Buds then Blossoms

Something is always in bloom in California. The trees in the town of San Juan Capistrano are starting to bloom.


I'm watching the evening news and hear that beekeepers are finding many of their bee hives are missing something very important--the bees. As a gardener, I am alarmed and hope the scientist studying this problem find an answer to this perplexing problem.

In an article on MSNBC's web site, apparently 22 states have reported this problem.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I remember loving the periwinkle crayon in my box of Crayolas when I was in elementary school. I think the flower which gave the crayon its name is very spectacular as well.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I found a wonderful kumquat tree growing between two buildings as I walked to the post office. If you have every tasted a kumquat, you know the rind is sweet and the citrus inside is very tart. The kumquat is about the size of the top part of your thumb.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Calla Lilies Continue to Bloom

My patch of cala lillies are continuing to bloom. I snapped a close up of the stamen because I was intrigued by the way it looked. Definitely click on the top photo for a super close up look at the frilly stamen.

Rosemary in Bloom

I noticed over the weekend that the rosemary is blooming. I really like when rosemary is removed from the herb garden and takes its place as an evergreen shrub in a border garden. The flowers are delicate but the folliage's fragrance is so aromatically robust. Just being near the plant to snap this photo has left my clothing with the spicy pungent smell.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Rose Hips

I love finding fully developed rose hips on my rose bushes. I like the color of these two I found in the garden this weekend.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Different Kind of Bulb

About a month ago I was at Costco and came across a package of light bulbs but not ordinary light bulbs. This package was comprised of three 60 watt, three 100 watt and 1 65 watt reflector CFB (compact fluorescent bulbs). What made them a wonderful find was that the whole set was priced at $2.99 after a rebate given at the check-out counter. Additionally, another set was available which contained only reflector CFBs. This set was $3.99 after rebate. The bulbs were so inexpensive because SDG&E (San Diego Gas and Electric) was helping to underwrite the cost.

I purchased several sets and came home to make my home more environmental as well as cut my super high energy costs. These light bulbs do not put out as bright a light as their incandescent counterparts. Therefore I devised a strategy for minimizing this fact. First, I decided to use these bulbs in locations which did not require extreme brightness. Next, I alternated the CFB with incandescent bulbs. This provided a little more brightness but still allowed for this environmentalist to make a difference. So, several of my hallways are now environmentally correct and my bedroom closet is as well.

I was so happy with the results, that I changed bulbs at my mother's house as well. I encourage everyone to replace five incandescent bulbs with CFB in their own home. You'll feel good! There is even talk that California will legislate to ban the 125 year old incandescent light bulb.
A few things to keep in mind when using CFB. One is that there is a moment or two delay before the light actually turns on. You get used to that very quickly. The bulbs should be used in temperatures between -10F to 140 F. If the area where you use the bulb is cold, it takes a few more seconds for the light to become completely bright. The bulbs should not be used in outdoor locations, with dimmers or photoelectric timers.

Click here for more information about CF bulbs.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Why We Love Nandinas, Part II

Beside the color their leaves can add to the landscape, nandinas have wonderful sprays of bright red berries. In climates not as temperate as California, these berries are often providing garden color at times when all other plants are dormant.

Frost Damage Continues to Reveal Itself

Yesterday, I was looking out of my upstairs window and saw that my banana palm also took a hit when we had the extremely cold temperatures a few weeks ago. The leaves at eye level are all in good shape. These leaves are about twenty feet from ground level.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Valentine Hoodies for the Passsionate Gardener

February 14...A day to celebrate those we love. Passionate gardeners might want to be seen in this darling hoodie. This is one of the valentine day items available from Cafepress.

Seagulls in Flight

Even though the temperatures were in the high 40s today, the sun was very warm. On a walk on the beach, we encountered over 500 seagulls sunning themselves. As I tried to capture the sunning birds, they all took flight. It was stunning.

I created a Youtube video for you to watch.

Narcissus: Almost in Bloom

This is my narcissus which I am forcing. It's just about ready to burst into bloom. I have it located in a very sunny location so it doesn't get too leggy.

Happy Ground Hog's Day

Ground Hog's Day is one of my favorite "holidays." I have been celebrating GHD since 1972. My friend Annie and I made up a song on February 1 and went to every blackboard in the school and wrote the song on the blackboard. Here is the song:
Ground Hog's Day is here at last.
It's come to say that winter's passed.
And spring is on the way.
Oh, it's Ground Hog's Day today.

My friend Kathi gave me this cute little GH!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


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