Friday, May 25, 2007


Tony says this little butterfly is a Checkerspot, seen here on
'Teasing Georgia.'

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

path closed due to napping

Saturday, May 19, 2007

the aftermath

Our Graham Thomas Rose was deperately in need of restraint.
Here is some of the overflow. (some Hot Cocoa too)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

a swallowtail...

...enjoys a sip! I used to think this plant was "Joe Pye Weed", but now know it to be "Jupiter's Beard", also known as valerian (centranthus ruber). It seems to come in three shades, and I've seen it growing wildly along the freeway down in Marin.

an embarassment of roses

'Livin' Easy', blooming in almost total shade;
'Pat Austin', new to me this year;

'Sally Holmes', in total glory right now;

'Just Joey', a frilly favorite;

and, sheild your eyes, 'Disneyland'

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Blooms

Happy Mother's Day to Jan!
with oodles of gratitude for this life...!
Wish you were here to smell the roses, listen to the birds, and share a pot of tea.
Well, we'll do it next month.

(Queen Eliz. with clematis, 'Disneyland', and Angel Face with penstemon)

Mother's Day, part 2:

...the bouquet!
...and an offbeat mother's day poem: last weekend I heard Billy Collins, our (former?) poet laureate read this poem on Garrison Keillor

The Lanyard

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

- Billy Collins

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

the Garden Conservancy's...

...Open Garden Day is coming!

Visit private Gardens in Sebastopol & Occidental, on Mother's Day.

Schedule is here.

back to pure, rose-y beauty

Here's Hot Cocoa (red) & Graham Thomas, co-mingling against a shed.

buddleia globosa

I love this plant, and the bees do too, though it's actually a Butterfly Bush. I've been known to say it's rare-- but I'm going to amend that-- just less common than the more usual form of buddleias (which have more cone-like, often lavendar colored flowers, and bloom later in the season). I've never really worked with rooting cuttings, myself, but I've heard that buddleias were easy, and friend Bob had success taking a snippet from this, which is now flowering in his yard for the first time.
Fast-growing, this is about 10 feet tall by 10 feet wide by the end of the season, and we cut it down to about 5 feet in the winter. Butterfly Bushes (the other kind) came up as volunteers in a number of places this year, and many have been escorted to our new planting beds. We're seeing more Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies (black with blue) this year than we've seen in our yard before.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Yippee!!! Drip Irrigation!

Double yippee, in fact. Because

1) I fixed my camera myself. If you have one of those very popular little Canon digitals, and your retractable lens ever sticks in the out position, check out this website.

2) Drip Irrigation!! You may remember we vowed to get this a couple months back, and now, its happening! We've hired our fabulous local Jane-of All-Trades, and she's working it out for us. Something about trying to add irrigation IN, to the existing, already-planted garden, with all its mounds and paths and different sections-- seemed mysterious, if not impossible. Also we have very chunky (iron & minerals) water. But hopefully this'll work. More details, & photos, tomorrow.

Monday, May 07, 2007

hot, hot, HOT

My neighbor says her thermometer reads 97... (mon.)
(I guess records were broken, but only 92 for Santa Rosa)

and now (tues) the camera is down. (a quick search online shows this (error message E 18) is a widespread Canon problem)
but Costco should exchange it once I can track down every cord & charger & disk that came with it...

We'll be back with more Beauty soon!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

...less than beautiful moments...

There have been a lot of pretty rose shots here recently... it's a morning ritual of mine (perhaps shared by gardeners everywhere)-- to stroll around the garden in the morning, coffee in hand, looking for the latest thing to put out its first blossom of the season. And of course now, having this blog, it's a stroll with camera in hand. (It's been really fun to watch spring ripple across the country through garden blogs-- check out Garden Voices on GardenWeb for a selection of daily highlights.)
But a little while back there was a trend towards showing some of your less than perfect garden moments, and this photo will serve to represent many such corners of the garden I might have chosen. There are moments of pure bliss--lots of them!!-- in the garden right now. But pockets of loss and disappointment too; we lost 5 vines to the frost, (hardenbergias & pink jasmines)--valued for covering those ugly fences, and views of neighbor's blue-tarped trailers. Also: three big mallow bushes (which may have come back, but got moved along, in favor of something hopefully more resilient). At LEAST 2 good-sized lavender bushes-- and four more straggle on 'under observation.' 2 red 'Hop' bushes. My favorite rose bush. Those foxgloves I liked so much. And now, it seems, 2 trees, Chinese Pistache, and Crimson Cloud Hawthorn-- to either: fireblight, or verticilium wilt. And a tree is a more painful loss. .. those Hawthorns are in bloom all over the area right now, and they are old-fashioned-looking (can a tree be old-fashioned?) beauties.

It's all part of the process, I know-- we're still pretty new gardeners, learning from trial and error and research and advice-- and a dead plant is an opportunity for a NEW plant, right? Still it seems only fair to share a little bit of the pain along with the beauty, no?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

celebrating Golden Celebration...some more

...and a day or 2 later...

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