Thursday, March 27, 2008

No Going Back!

Spring has arrived...and even if we get another rain storm (considered a winter event here!) there is no going back. The wisteria is draped in all its spring beauty, making me pause when I walk out the door and catch that whiff of perfumed air...just enough to savor and not overwhelm. The freesias in the ground have begun to open...they're always a bit behind the ones in pots. They have a much stronger fragrance but there aren't enough of them for it to be annoying. The dutch iris began opening the day after of the downsides of such an early 'first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox'. But now you can almost watch them as they the hour and a half we were outside with the day care kids today two blooms went from-blue-peeking out to open. The bearded iris flower stalks are popping up like crazy and just beginning to swell...I can't wait to see if any of the rhizomes I brought from San Diego are among them! The day care was closed the Monday and Tuesday after Easter for a little spring break and I got lots of gardening done...digging in soil conditioner to part of the old garden bed, planting the rain lily, pelargonium and Mulberry Jam salvia I got at the flower show, cutting back the privets a bit (one of those almost-finished jobs from a few months ago), pulling privet babies out of everywhere, replanting anise and lettuce that got used for salad fixings by the sparrows and making a new attempt at rigging up bird net to protect the next batch (note to self...consider buying plant protectors from Gardener's Supply), cleaning out under the cotoneaster and just simply puttering around...something I need to do for my mental, as well as physical, health. Nothing can make me more peaceful after something stressful (taxes...ugh) than being in the yard with no one to talk to and nowhere I'm expected to go. And as a special Stargazer lilies are emerging.These are the ones I dug around for several months ago in order to move and couldn't find. I thought maybe they had disappeared...they've been in too much shade the last two years to do really well and I was hoping to move them. But there they are...popping up happily and now that I think of it...I took out the privet that was shading maybe they were hiding because they knew things would be better there this year!

Monday, March 17, 2008

San Francisco Flower and Garden Show

I managed to get only a few photos at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show before my camera battery died. Apparently it has not been my imagination that it's been needing a lot of recharging. So here is what I saw at the very beginning of the show...

A cute flower water feature...spraying into a re-purposed bathtub.

A most wonderful succulent-filled wall in the garden of Michelle Derviss of Garden Porn. I want one! Great evolution from the original idea.

Aeonium tabulaeforme...being a bit of a succulent-oholic I had to buy one of these...a succulent I'd never seen before!

A cool succulent....did I just notice succulents because I like them or where they really all over the place?

Not a great shot but interesting use of clay pipe for planting...not a new idea but well done.

I thought the sales areas were really to choose where to buy your succulents, geraniums, perennials, orchids, dahlias...there were so many unusual plants especially at Annie's Annuals. But I was able to keep my purchases within reason...two African Violets, one pansy faced geranium, one aeonium tabulaeforme, and one Mulberry Jam salvia from Gold Rush Nursery where I also got a white rain lily. The blogosphere had a number of rain lily posts last year and while I'm hoping to find a pink one like Annie in Austin has I at least own a white one for starters!
The rest of the sales booths were equally over the top...lots of tools, accessories, clothing, and art as well as some random stuff you'd see at any craft show. I do have to admit my self-control slipped for a moment at Mrs. Dalloway's where I found a wonderful seed book for the day care kids and two(!) garden essay books I haven't read, as well as...well, something for my daughter the English teacher that I'd better not mention since she'll probably read this!
All in all a great day...made even better by the lovely bird sounds in the garden display inspired addition to a beautiful setting.

Friday, March 14, 2008

GBBD March 2008

There is a definite feeling of relief in the Davis garden...the possibility of frost is pretty much gone and everything is beginning to come to life . Many things are blooming and on our second go-round of Bloom Days I'm already seeing interesting that the first blooms on the Banksia rose are in the exact same area as last year! I guess that area is a bit closer to the house but... really...I'm curious why that spot is so eager. As many of my friends will tell you, I am not the most detail oriented person. I garden, as my husband would say, using the Force...I know what I like and apparently other people have been known to like it too... but I often don't really know why an area needs what I think it needs...I don't question it, I just do it. In any case, I'm enjoying taking photos and having thoughts about things like where the first blooms of the Banksia might be. And they really are the first blooms...there are only a few open flowers with hundreds (thousands?) left to come. Another beginning bloomer is my wisteria, of which I am very fond, unlike many other gardeners if last year's comments are any indication! The purple solanum has begun blooming again after a couple of months off and next year's lemons are just at the beginning of their journey. The Bradford pear is in full bloom as is the Iberis. The list as best as I can tell (I always see at least one bloom I's that detail thing I guess) is as follows...

Pink Heuchera
Light Pink Abutilon
Abutilon Pink Parasol
Red Cyclamen
White Cyclamen
Summer Snowflakes
Solanum jasminoides
Vibernum Spring Bouquet
Iberis semervirens
Bush mallow
Dwarf Carnation Evermore
Marguarite Comet Pink
Camellia Jordan's Pride
Tulbaghia fragrans
Rosemary Tuscan Blue
Polygala dalmaisiana
Helipterum Sunray
Clematis armandii
Bradford pear
Santa Rosa plum
Flowering plum Krauter Vesuvius
Flowering plum Purple Pony
Freesia (the ones in pots)
Solanum rantonnetii
Meyer Lemon
Salvia...oh no...forgot to write name anywhere...
Daffodils (small pale yellow)

Sunday, March 09, 2008


I planted seeds last Sunday...and they started coming up on Friday! I've always kept my seedlings in the bedroom window which gets a fair amount of sun but I've often felt a little more light would work wonders getting them up and running. I've been meaning to think of a way to put a light over them but didn't have anywhere to hang a shop light (California homes not usually having basements and not wanting them out in the cold garage). So yesterday the panic set in...the seedlings have sprouted and there was still no light. So I went off to the hardware store and came back with an 18 inch under-the-counter light and a plant bulb. Using a few pieces of redwood 1x2 left over from a trellis project I rigged up a workable stand. And what is planted under the lights?

San Marzano
Mule Team
Costoluto Genovese
Super Sweet 100
Sungold Cherry
De Padrone
Quadrato d'Asti Rosso
Ariane (orange)
Super Heavyweight (yellow)
Beauty Hybrid
Black Opal
Sweet Slice
Miniature White
Zucchetta Trombolina
Basil Genovese
Italian Parsley
Cottage Pinks Mix
I might direct sow seeds of the cukes and zucchini later, as well as more basil. But this way I can get a jump on a possible early harvest.
Another project that got done was direct sowing lettuce (Jericho Romaine) and anise (pimpinella anisum) seeds in the garden. For this I used an old wooden ceiling light frame, sowing the seeds inside so that I could cover the frame with bird netting. Otherwise the sparrows would think there was a new salad bar in town. I also got in the last planting of beets (Red Ace for this batch) that should mature before it's too hot for them. Tomorrow the day care kids will direct sow radishes and possibly one more batch of carrots that should also mature before the heat finishes them off.