Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Giant Redwoods are In Cahoots with the Tree Fern in My Backyard.

This tree fern is hiding a very big surprise!  If you look closely in the center, you will see the surprise is peeking through the fronds.

Hello seeding of a GIANT REDWOOD TREE! 

Your needles are lovely, dense and green.
Three large, tall redwoods exist on the property behind our townhouse in Northern California.  One of them shared a seed or a sprout under a tree fern on our small parcel (30'x30') of land and it went unnoticed until its crown popped out through the fronds. 

Darling now, but this tree has a habit of growing over 350 feet tall...and living 2000 years. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Late Season Watermelon

In California, a late season stroll through the garden will reveal the tenaciousness of Mother Nature.  She will produce until sun and season make it impossible.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blue Daze

Closed for the night
Open Bloom During Daylight Hours
I just added blue daze as a ground cover in a newly planted bed.  These are amazingly tiny blooms which pack alot of blue color. 

Also, the blooms open in the sunlight and then close as the sunlight ebbs.

Signs the Hornworm Caterpillar Is Munching your Tomato Plants

Here he is.  I found him after the telltale signs were spotted. 
Stem of the tomato plant devoid of an leaves.  That's a sure sign the hornworm caterpillar is munching on your plants.

Black droppings on the ground or leaves.
 I first spotted the bare stem, saw the droppings.  I knew the hornworm caterpillar was somewhere on my plant.  It took a full five minutes of searching to find him but I did.  And after removing the one leaf/stem he was hanging out on (with garden scissors), I tossed him away.  Many gardeners enjoy the smashing of this critter, but I put mine in the trash.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dandelion Experiment

I was recently reading an article about dandelion greens.  Apparently they are quite a nutritious green.  Always looking for was to up the nutrients in my diet.

Ah ha!  I know, I will try to grow a few plants in my garden.  I know this sounds crazy because all spring I was eradicating any errant dandelions which had found their way into my grass, but, as long as I pluck the flower before it goes to seed, I should be able to contain them in the vegetable garden.

Earlier this week I captured two seed puffs.  I brought them home and placed the seeds in a small envelope to await the preparation of planting medium an a recycled cell-pack.  We all know how easy it is to "grow" dandelions when you aren't trying.  Let's see what happens when you want the little seeds to germinate.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Germinating some very small seeds directly in the soil.

Adding a cloche to keep the tender seedlings warm on our unusually cool nights.
I don't have an official cloche...but I do have a very large glass vase.  I've turned it upside down to create a cloche or a mini greenhouse for my developing seeds.  a traditional cloche would be bell shaped, but this improvised version does the trick.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Snowball in June Proves You Can Bloom Where You Are Planted

Sometime in the early part of the year 2013, I went to the pantry and discovered one of my red onions had started to go bad.  It was a cold day and I was not wanting to trot out to the composter.  I opened the kitchen door and tossed the smelly onion into the garden. 

Fast forward to June and we find the onion made itself at home in the garden.  This is truly a fine example of the saying, "Bloom where you are planted!"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

No Rotten Tomatoes Here!

Surprise from the Garden: this season's first ripe tomato.

Okay, it's a small pear tomato but it will be enjoyed as much as a two-pound beefmaster.

Glad I ventured into the garden early spring.  These are the earliest tomatoes I have grown in years.

Here's the beefmaster...small now, but given time this little tomato will rock the scales.

Lovely cascade of developing tomatoes.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lovely Bean Volunteer

During the cold, rainy winter months, a small little bean seed sprouted.  And grew, and grew.

Now that the sunny warm weather of spring is here, this little volunteer is blooming prolifically.

Outgrowing the wooden stake, I added room for additional growth by tying a string to the top of the pole and then to a nearby light fixture.

l love to stake the bean plant at an angle because they dangle away from the leaves and become very easy to see during harvest.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

A Dilly of a Plant

Flowering Dill
You have got to love Mother Nature.  No one makes color choices as brilliantly as she.  Just look at the bright yellow blooms against the deep emerald green (hello Pantone).

This is Dill 2.0. 

I planted a bit of dill last summer.  It grew and was enjoyed.  Then it bloomed and set seed.  These seeds replanted themselves and grew over the winter and into the spring. 

Now, More flowers...and hopefully seeds which create another wonderful plant for me to enjoy. 

Thanks Mother Nature for the beautiful colors and for the robustness of your plants!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Monday, April 01, 2013

Last Night the Rain Spoke to ME

Because April showers, bring May flowers... 

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me
Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,

what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again

in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,

smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches

and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing

under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,

and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment

my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars

and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(What Do We Know)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Snap Peas Means Spring

Beneath the soil and mulch, lie seeds of the snap pea, waiting for the water and sun to coax them from their hardened shells.

The delicate white blossom will create a delectable snap pea.
This snap pea is ready to eat.

So happy I got the snap peas planted this spring.  We are having sunny warm days which is encouraging a vigorous garden.  Looking forward to adding these to salad and stir fry.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Marching in with Berries, Buds and Blossoms

Laurus nobilis (Bay Laurel) Buds and Blossoms

Raphiolepis (Pink Indian Hawthorne)

Lorapetalum (Chinese Fringe Flower "Razzle Dazzle")

Rosemary Prostratus

Nandina Berries
 Wishing the clouds would shower us with a few more rainy days but for now, it's sun, sun, sun.  Irrigation has been reinstated as the grass was crisping up after multi-days of warm temps and sunny skies.  Spring is peaking around the corner for us in SoCal with plants bursting forth with buds and blooms.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bolting Arugala

Delicate white flowers of a bolting arugula plant.
I love growing lettuces in my garden in the winter.  The rain and the cold create the perfect combination along with sunny afternoons to foster the tender plants along.  Sometimes, though I get a little ambitious and plant more than I can use.

Before you know it, the plants, which have not been harvested regularly, decide they have had enough of all of the components (sun, rain, cool weather) and wham, bam: bolting.  After lettuces bolt, they typically are too bitter or in arugula's case, too hot, to consume.  I just let nature take its course: the flowers will produce seeds and repopulate the garden with new arugula plants.  Because these plants have bolted now, I think they might possibly reseed before the end of lettuce season, if we don't get an early hot (think too much sun) spring.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What's Blooming in February?

Osteospermum Voltage Yellow African Daisy
Nemesia Fruticans Bluebird.  I eat sunlight for breakfast.

Lavatera Maritima--Tree Mallow.

Good rain and sunny days have startled my winter garden from a sleepy, dormant place into a vibrant and blooming dream.  Just what a gardener need to motivate her to start thinking summer. 

Pest Control

We have a lovely table and chair set in the garden.  The problem?  Birds love sitting on the backs of the chairs.  And once they have perched, well, you know what comes next.

Trying to manage the problem I added two ssssssnakes into the mix.  I move them around so the birds don't get comfortable with their presence.  The chairs are staying clean.  I wouldn't say the problem is completely solved, but it is an improvement.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Lemon Harvest

I've been watching the lemons turn from green to yellow over the past few weeks.  Today with the warm sun shining, it was time for harvesting.  Selecting the ripest, about sixteen beautiful lemons were plucked from the branches.  This year's harvest was much larger both in quantity and size of the fruit. 

The aroma is fabulous as Meyer lemons have a peppery citrus fragrance.

The LA Times has a list of 100 things I can do with these wonderful, zesty fruit. 


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