Friday, September 28, 2007

a few fleurs

We're gonna be heck-a busy here the next couple weeks...
but I'll try to keep a few flowers coming your way!

1) new! a cuphea
2) California poppy-- darker version (my favorite)
3) new! salvia guaranitica, aka "black & blue"
4) rudbeckia family

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Steep Ravine

Sunday night found us on an o-so-short getaway to the Steep Ravine Cabins, perched on the cliffs in Marin County, near Stinson Beach. Famously difficult to reserve, Wendy lucked into a reservation, and off we went. The weather, clear and perfect, the moon nearly full, the sunset golden, the margaritas, delicious & effective.
Next time, a longer stay?

Happy Birthday, Fall Babies!

Friday, September 21, 2007

a little Fall Bounty...

for the first day of Autumn.
Our neighbor Catherine came by, angling to trade some grape harvest for some tomatoes-- but she was out of luck at our house. Our tomatoes this year--pardon me--sucked. The only ones that produced anything were the SuperGold cherry tomatoes, and that apparently is no accomplishment. I fear we may have some ... problem. Next year we'll try harder. Maybe in barrels. Great tomatoes are the one edible I'd really like to do well. But the last couple years, definitely not-so-good. Alas.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Gardener's Bloom Day

Almost everything blooming in last month's Bloom Day post is still blooming now (except Hydrangea, and those are definitely done). So I'll just focus on some of the recent highlights. First, Brugmansia, or Angel's Trumpet. Possibly Tony's favorite plant. These grow to be trees where it doesn't freeze, but ours starts over from the ground up each spring. Sooooo fragrant at night. Just burst into a round of much anticipated blooms. (shown with average size hand for scale)

Below: new to the garden: an agastache.

...and tiny asters.

Heliotrope--smells like vanilla.

And soon to bloom, lighting up the back of the garden:
helianthus augustifolius, or
  • swamp sunfower.

  • To see what's blooming across the country-- and beyond-- go to this post at
  • May Dreams Gardens
  • and visit the comment section.

    Bloom Day Addendum

    Until we get them going on a blog of their own--
    I bring more super bloom-y-ness from China & Steve's garden across the street-- the scene of a fabulous brunch this weekend.

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    the T-shirts are here!

    You may recall my sketch for this project from a month or so back... and that I was learning photoshop back in the winter.
    The first tangible printed results arrived today-- just the day before the day they were needed for our small town fair!

    There are a few small things I might change, if I could,, but basically, I'm quite pleased, and so are the others who have seen them thus far-- when Tony & I modeled two colors to this evening's neighborhood potluck.
    Huge thanks to the efforts of Barbara in working with the printers, selecting the background colors, and keeping me on track! (click on t-shirts to enlarge 'em!)

    three scenes...

    seen on a recent bike ride in our extended neighborhood.

    Really, WE didn't do it. It was like that. : )

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Monarch sightings increase

    I talked a lot about creating Monarch habitat earlier this year with some of my neighbors... but none of my milkweed seedlings (the monarch's host plant) survived.
    However, we've seen them in the yard each of the past 4 days (compared with just one sighting earlier this summer).

    I wonder-- do they wonder why we chase them around with the camera?

    And... I don't know what this plant is-- something I found irresistable. All I know is its not frost-tolerant, so it's in a pot, and coddled through the winter, and its particularly happy right now. (Update: I saw one in a nursery today, it's called 'Duranta Repens'-- and apparently in tropical places could get to be 20 feet tall).

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    foggy morn

    with 'About Face' opening.
    I love this rose.

    And the way that licorice plant (helichrysum) in 'limelight'-- has woven into it. I'm definitely not a roses-in-isolation rose gardener.
    Nasturtiums-- have been very slow coming back this year, but now they're here! softening up the edges of things.
    This area in front of the studio has a lot of pots-- cuz we lost a number of things in the winter here. It's starting to bounce back, though.

    'Medallion' does a curly un-furling.

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    celebrating grasses

    I'm joining a number of fellow bloggers in the celebration of ornamental grasses. When Shirl started this topic, my initial feeling was that I just don't have enough of them. I love grasses-- the way they catch the light and move in the breeze-- but I tend to feel that they look best in big, natural looking drifts, and I just don't have that much room. I do however have this:
    which I've only known as Mexican Feather Grass, and a google search shows to be 'stipa tenuissima'. An enthusiastic re-seeder, its offspring have been escorted to various bare spots around the yard, from which it may be removed when something else comes along.
    Growing on the deck, in two big beautiful blue pots given to me by Tony's mom, Alice, is this: possibly Stipa arundinacea?

    And below, catching some late afternoon rays. (with 'creeping jenny' & a bacopa).

    ... it turns a beautiful orange in the winter, but it hasn't been as vigorous this year as last..

    Next, I believe is an orange sedge, or carex testacea; and below that, it appears with a bluish grass clump to the left of it (a fescue?)

    But wait-- isn't bamboo a grass?
    We have a few clumps of this-- growing in big half wine-barrels (so it doesn't take over the yard & cause trouble with the neighbors).
    That wraps up my round-up of grasses.
    I'm starting to suspect I may be able to find room for a few more...

    Be sure to visit Shirl's Scotland garden blog, and other celebrations of grasses on other blogs, through her comment section.

    Lil' birds visit 'en masse'

    A flock of these lil' birds visited yesterday --- not interested in our sunflower seeds, but eating the bugs from the leaves' undersides. (does everyone have this? aphid colonies on every leaf?)
    Anyways, they were fun to watch, check out this one hanging from the leaf's edge.

    I count 10 birds in this bottom shot. (granted I don't have the right camera for this).

    Friday, September 07, 2007

    a birthday bouquet

    This one goes out to Alice.
    Happy Birthday, Alice!!

    a few roses come along

    It's pretty dry & crispy out there now folks, but at last the heat has broken.
    The fog didn't burn off til 1pm today.

    A few roses are giving it a go--
    Yankee Doodle.
    Hot Cocoa.
    and Graham Thomas.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    Where bottles grow on trees...

    with pears inside! These bottles are destined to be filled with pear brandy, and they'll have a whole pear resting inside.
    Gabriel Farms, an asian pear and apple orchard, is less than a mile from our house, but it took our friends (Bob, Rebecca & Mieka) visiting for us to discover it. One of the few places locally where you can still pick your own.
    They're part of Farmtrails, which will be sponsoring a special weekend event on September 28 & 29th.

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