Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Giving back to the community: Ann Trinca & Norma Quintana

Meet Ann Trinca and Norma Quintana, artists and community mobilizers. Together they have opened a wonderful space in Napa, The Nest, which is at once part livelihood and love-offering to the community. Their motto: Live creatively, give generously. The nest is combination art gallery, store and gathering space. Part of the the proceeds from store sales and events goes toward building the "Nest Egg" fund, which is distributed to artists through our local arts council.

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

Yummy Nasturtium 'Peach Melba'

Blooming furiously in a hot, dry corner.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wild Ass Idea - propagation mister

There are wild asses, you know, but I don't know what kind of ideas they have beyond I think I'll graze slightly to the left now.

So, I'm thinking, without any personal research to back it up, that maybe I could come up with a cheap way to mist cuttings. I have one of those cobra misters and I'm thinking of connecting it to a hose, connected to a faucet, connected to a solar or battery-powered timer. Why not? I have everything I need except the timer. I even have plastic sheeting should I choose to slap together a small mist house (which I probably won't but I could).

Report pending.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

More May Bloom Day

Here's the recently planted curbstrip, not yet in full expression, that I share with my good neighbors who gave me free rein with my trowel. It will fill out more next growing season. You can just catch a glimpse of the flagstone and solar garden lights placed for their nighttime safety in and out of vehicles. I miscalculated on the flagstone and lights a bit. Umm, a lot, But it will help keep us from tripping at night.
Jupiter's beard/centranthus ruber, 'Moonshine' yarrow, wahlenbergia species 'Blue Cloud & 'May Night' salvia, plus more.
Waiting to bloom: caryopteris 'Dark Knight,' various agastache, elfin thyme, red Channel Islands buckwheat, epilobium/California fushia (not really a fushia) & Cleveland sage.

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.'

'Apple Blossom' penstemon with 'Snow Hill' salvia in background.

Small's penstemon, with yellow native lupine.

List of bloomers



anchusa (both perennial & annual)

yarrow 'Moonwalker'

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"

cream cups

California poppies

Ladybird poppies


stipa/Mexican feather grass



dianthus barbatus 'Sooty'

Baby Blue Eyes/gilia

tri-color gilia

Penstemon: Garnet, Apple Blossom, Small's, Husker's Red

Jupiter's Beard

scabiosa - three varieties

elderberry 'Black Lace'

vebena bonarensis

verbena 'Burgundy'

various pelargoniums


sweet peas (just barely)

Monday, May 5, 2008

What's blooming in the North Bay - May

Close-up of 'Tequila' rose.
Put on your sunglasses, here comes anagallis monellii, shockingly cobalt with pink center. It's a beauty.
This photo, not much bloom and the plants haven't filled in yet, but photo taken about a week ago. The hollyhock 'Aunt Brownie Fig' is now in bloom and you can see that the 'Black Lace' elderberry in the foreground starting to push. The elderberry will get bushier in subsequent seasons (planted last fall from a 4-inch pot).
Here you see anchusa (very intense cobalt blue), catmint, 'Tequila' rose, California poppies, yellow centaurea macrocephala (never again, ever)
Saponaria ocymoides in background, pentemon 'Garnet,' growing in the inferno strip under a trident maple. Love 'em.
Different view of catmint, etc.
Three kinds of pinks/dianthus, English lavender hybrid, yellow cream cups and blue annual anchusa near the field stone
Yet another view of catmint amongst everything, yawn.
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.