Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
OK, it's off-topic but I saw this truck while leaving the Rutherford Grill after lunch on October 17. Kristen and Joyce were married in California on October 16, 2008 and graciously allowed this stranger to take photos to post here. They were on their "mini-moon" in the Napa Valley.
Please help guarantee equal protection under the law for all married couples. Vote NO on PROP 8 in California on November 4, 2008. The voter registration deadline is October 20.
[UPDATE: Californians voted by a narrow margin to amend the state constitution through Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage.]
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Red buckwheat & Snow-in-summer What a blooming cottage garden looks like when it's not blooming
Penstemon 'Hildalgo.' This thing is a skyscraper, as far as penstemons go, over 5 ft.
Becauses this is a realtime garden, here are a few photos of what a hot and tired garden looks like at the end of summer. If anything looks OK it's only because it's a closeup that excludes the surrounding blahs.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Here is what I learned.
This is one tough, beautiful and un-thirsty buckwheat, it does not appreciate shade and it's a generous bloomer. The spoon-shaped leaves are sturdy, a nice green and glaucous on the undersides with a slightly waxy feel, perfect for its native salty, windy coastal island where it is dry most of the growing season. However, my plants did just fine in Napa's uncharteristically hard freezes this past winter. They do prefer a lean soil but I have mine planted in a bed that's mostly clay amended with lots of organic matter. So far (just one growing season) they've done great. The mason bees, skippers and hairstreaks love the nectar. I even see the wasps going after it. When the seed heads dry later in the season there will be food for the neighborhood quail. I didn't bother taking a photo of the plants under the maple tree because they didn't perform nearly as well. Those will be replanted in full sun this fall in a roasting, dry-ish bed next to the driveway. It makes a good companion plant for yarrow, Cleveland sage (both of which grow on the Channel Islands) agastache and mullein. The photo was taken before it reached full bloom. It looks even better now, especially with the plants around it having filled in. The plant is full and not unattractive even when not in bloom.
You don't have to live on a windy island to enjoy this plant. My climate in Napa is decidedly Mediterranean, with dry summers and wet winters. Red buckwheat is a winner here.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I was exiting the garden center in St. Helena recently and saw this. Be still my heart. I want. Beautiful, no? I have a new appreciation for the time, effort and cost of materials, because the next thing I saw was the sign in the window. Three grand, baby. I don't know the builder. Probably never will since I live just slightly within city limits, I'm concerned my neighbors would be offended and there is no way I can afford this chicken house. It's a handsome chicken house but what do you all think of the wire floor? Is that OK for chicken feet? I'm not that familiar with chicken culture so I have no idea.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Their latest project: a community garden. People in the community who donate a plant, seeds or gardening materials have been invited to share in the garden bounty and much of the produce will be donated to the Napa Food Bank. Check out Ann Trinca's May 17 blog post to see what one of the local big box stores did for them to help kick off the project. Check out the rest of her blog, too (one of my favorites). How cool is that mini-tire planter the kind man with power tools is assembling?
The Nest's main web site will tell you more about upcoming events at the gallery.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Jupiter's beard/centranthus ruber, 'Moonshine' yarrow, wahlenbergia species 'Blue Cloud & 'May Night' salvia, plus more.
Leaning Tower of Delphinium, 'Graham Thomas' roses, with a slight peek of hollyhock 'Aunt Brownie Fig' in the next photo. The fig-leaf hollyhock, usually rust-resistant, had terrible rust this year. Lots of wailing and ripping of leaves ensued.
'Ladybird' poppies, two views, with 'Whirling Butterflies' gaura & anchusa capensis 'Blue Angel.'
Carex testacea 'Orange New Zealand Sedge,' which is far more intensely colored in person, very garden-worthy. At its feet are verbena 'Burgundy' and 'Mother of Thyme.'
anchusa (both perennial & annual)
columbine, unnamed cultivar
salvia nemerosa 'May Night' & Snow Hill
autumn sage, red & peach
Roses: Iceberg, Tequila, Betty Prior, Sally Holmes, Graham Thomas, Lida/Leda, Brilliant Pink Iceberg, Burgundy Iceberg, Playboy
linaria 'Flamenco' & 'Red Velvet"
stipa/Mexican feather grass
dianthus barbatus 'Sooty'
Baby Blue Eyes/gilia
Penstemon: Garnet, Apple Blossom, Small's, Husker's Red
scabiosa - three varieties
elderberry 'Black Lace'
sweet peas (just barely)
Monday, May 5, 2008
Put on your sunglasses, here comes anagallis monellii, shockingly cobalt with pink center. It's a beauty.
Three kinds of pinks/dianthus, English lavender hybrid, yellow cream cups and blue annual anchusa near the field stone
Waaaay off in the middle of this bed you can see my first-year 'Betty Prior' rose (pink). Behind that, against the lattice is 'Sally Holmes.' Grow this rose, please. I abused mine in a container before finally putting it in the ground this past winter. She's a beauty and forgave me, producing huge clusters of large single flowers slightly blushed with peach. Still waiting for some of the later-bloomers to fill in.
Dianthus barbatus 'Sooty' in the foreground smells like chocolate. The white pom-pons are scabiosa 'Snow White' and the yellow spikey thing is a California native lupine.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
...I'll have to substitute a shot of Gino, so you can get an idea of the deceptive form these aliens take. They even sometimes ruthlessly send their young (not related to Gino)...
...which you see here on my niece Kanishia's shoulder making itself as appealing as possible to trick her into thinking he's a real cat. I see a future catmint flattener with some serious aaaahhhhh factor going on.
It's all OK, though, because the plant in question was Jeffy's favorite, so it must smell especially nice. There are many more catmints in the garden, standing tall and putting out bloom like there's no tomorrow.
(please spay and neuter pets)
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
A little bit of color is starting to push. My soil is rich and loamy so I have big poppy plants with few flowers.
Little shop of horrors! The photo is a tad fuzzy but the thing was lunging and snarling at me so I couldn't get a clear shot (Centaurea macrocephala). This is its third spring in the ground and it's the first year I'll get bloom. If you live in a rural or boggy area avoid this plant as it can be invasive. I plan to use this one for cut flowers so it will get whacked back before going to seed. By the way, this photo shows only a small portion of the plant; it's at least 3 feet wide, and covered with buds. Creepy, scary buds
The catmint started blooming a couple of days ago, but sadly very few honey bees are visiting, numbers perhaps reduced by colony collapse. I am, however, seeing carpenter, bumble, and orchard mason bees.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
p.s. I did use some clove oil organic herbicide on a patch of dichondra and I have some grieving earthworm widows now.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Narcissus (of course), abutilon, freesias, dianthus, anchusa, iceberg roses (no joke, they bloomed all winter), dutch iris, pacific coast iris, lavender, california poppies, nasturtium 'Margaret Long,' saponaria, white scabiosa and I picked and ate my first alpine strawberries of the season about two weeks ago.Here are photos of just a few (some kinda fuzzy - all taken with my camera phone).
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Q: May I come see your garden? It must be beautiful.