Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sunflower for The Great Sunflower Project

I have been cheering this little seedling on since it was the only one of twenty which germinated. The little guy is about 18 inches high. Once the flower blossoms, I will count the bees which visit it in a 30 minute period. The project is one from SFU trying to get a picture of the bee population around the U.S.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bush Beans

I grabbed a four-pack of beans earlier this summer when my garden had such a late start. I was sure I got pole beans and planted them near my bamboo pole and cotton string trellis. As it turns out, these little guys are bush beans. Never mind. They'll still taste great

Sedum Spurium Tricolor in my Garden

This is a sedum plant which I am adoring. I love the way the pink color of the plant hides under the green and white external leaves. Sedums love full sun, is heat tolerant and needs minimual water. This plant creeps to create a low, mat ground cover.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


We just had an earthquake. It was the second one of size since we moved here nine years ago. The first one was during the night after we had lived in California for one week! I was not pleased. This one was smaller than that earthquake and the house joustled around for about 15 seconds. I was expecting/hoping for shorter time. After about 5 seconds when the shaking continued, I picked up the dog in case things got more violent and we would need to vacate the house. One interesting feature which accompanies the earthquakes are the sloshing of the water in pools and spas.

All has settled down now. Life as usual.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Flowers at the Orange County Fair

Saturday's trip to the OC Fair was fun as always. The fairway was nicely presented with displays of flowers around the ticket booths.

Caution: Tomatoes at Work

Under the canopy of green aromatic leaves, my tomato plants are busy manufacturing gorgeous tomatoes. This variety will be yellow when mature.

Tri-Color Beans

Tri-Color beans are a favorite crop of mine. The beans are three colors: dark green, light green/yellow, and purple. The purple bean has beautiful purple flowers and stems as it grows. When you cook them, the purple color of the beans changes to green.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Soybeans have been added to the crop list for this year's garden. It's fun to watch a plant grow for the first time. Today when I was out inspecting the garden, I discovered the flowers had set and small soybean pods have appeared. They have a bristly surface.

Corn--Eight Days Later

After eight days of water and sun, this corn is heading to the sky. Beautiful tassels are appearing at the top of each plant. One ear of corn has appeared with fuzzy silks at to top.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Corn as High as an Elephant's Eye?

Corn is a new crop for me this summer. With four stalks growing, it will be a small but much appreciated crop. As a Midwesterner, I have enjoyed corn so tender and fresh it melts in your mouth. I have not found that same quality of corn while living here in California. With luck, I will experience one of the wonders of summer when my corn reaches maturity.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Color Scheme for the Garden

The color scheme for my garden is a combination of blues, reds and yellows. The blues come from salvia (dusty purple/blue), agapanthus (medium blue), penstemon (purple/blue tone), the red comes from verbena, and the yellow comes from daylilies.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lawn Ornaments: Garden Gizmos

The chickens have come to roost. When we lived in Dallas I purchased these two lovlies from Nicholson Hardie Garden Shop. I have been waiting for things to settle down in the garden and decided these look great with a back drop of the hillside seat wall, the penstemon (purple) and acanthus mollis. These are a little memorabilia from the days when my spouse worked for KFC International.

I think Stephen Orr of the New York Times would approve of my placement of the chickens (to punctuate the walkway to the seating wall patio with a backdrop of plants. I'm not so sure he would like my concrete chickens, however. In his Q & A article, Picking Accessories for the Plants , he seems to prefer found objects (bowling balls/teacups), natural items, such as wood or stone, or architectural salvage pieces.

I think the key to using lawn ornments is not too many items and interesting locations. In some gardens, even the pink flamingo has its place.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tips on Cultivating Additional Tomato Plants

This is a little trick I discovered a few years ago which results in additional tomato plants at no cost to you. When you pinch a large sucker from the crotch of a tomato plant, stick the sucker into the dirt. I try to use the shade of the parent plant to protect the new start as it establishes roots. I make sure to provide plenty of "drinks" for the first few days. Before you know it, you have a new plant which will provide you a plant to share with a friend, or more tomatoes for you.

You can see the small sucker planted in front of the parent plant. In a few more days, I will transplant the small plant to an area which will allow the plant to have it's own space--sunlight and water.

Sweet Bell Peppers

I know when you purchase plants from the garden shop, you should choose plants which do not have fruit already set. The thought of the head start when I am already longing for home grown produce is just too much for this gardener to resist.

So here we have a lovely speciman on the plant. Should be ready soon.

Tomato Season has Started

Knowing the main vegetable garden was going to very late being planted, I casually stuck this tomato plant in the ground in the spring. Monster! I loves this location and has grown to behemouth proportions. And yummy tomotoes already ripening for inclusion on BLTs and summer salads.

This is a celebrity tomato.

Octopus's Garden in the Sun

The irrigation in my vegetable garden is a drip system. I asked for an eight port manifold which allows me to deliver custom water to eight different plants. This is a definite green watering solution. Best part...looks like a school of octopus have taken up residence in my garden.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


You are looking at an aerial view of two sunflower plants. These plants are from seeds given to me by the Development Department of St. Maragaret's Episcopal School where my children graduated.

I have a smaller sunflower growing which is part of The great Sunflower Project. It is much smaller and the only seed which germinated of the 20 or so seeds I planted. Once the flowers appear, I will collect data for a bee project, noting how many bees visit the flower head over a 30 minute period. I hope it hurries and grows. I want my data to be part of the project.

English Cucumber

One variety of cucumber in my garden this summer is the English cucumber. These cucumbers grow long and lean. They are sometimes described as being "burpless." Additionally, they tend to have smaller seeds.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cloud Nine Eggplant

Cloud Nine is the perfect name for this creamy, lustrous eggplant.

Edamame: Soy Beans

You never know what you will find at the garden center! When picking up a few annual color plants a few weeks ago, I strolled by the vegetable section and found these lovelies: Soy bean plants or edamame. I'm looking forward to watching their progress. Six plants. Hopefully, enough to produce a nice bowl of edamame is 70 days.


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