It was our turn for a heatwave, or so it seems, as our outdoor temperatures seared this week to about 114°Fahrenheit (about 45°Celsius). A hot autumn is normal here but the heat is getting hotter — with the North Bay city of Santa Rosa breaking an all time record of 115°F. Fortunately, the night tempsContinue reading “Hot Autumn Hibernation with Houseplants”
Stroll thru the summer garden with me and see some butterflies, help prune the winter squash, hand-pollinate the corn, save seeds for next year, put out some free cucumbers for neighbors, taste a ripe Asian pear, and ponder how to keep the squirrel from harvesting all the walnuts.
Monarch Butterfly Sighting Today I let slip a little scream of excitement when I spotted the first monarch butterfly here in our garden–at least the first one I can remember in the two decades we’ve been at our current location. Growing up in the Midwest many decades ago, we used to see Eastern Monarchs allContinue reading “First Monarch Butterfly Sighting, Saving Seed from California Poppies, & an Unfortunate Contaminant”
Lately it feels like the garden is taking more care of me than I am of it. The world of humans is so fraught with angst and urgent concerns (which we humans seem apt to self-create) that, again, I find myself in deep appreciation for the respite of the garden and simpler creatures. I’m leaningContinue reading “The Solace of the Wildlife Garden”
This year we did the best thing we’ve ever done in the garden. And actually, we didn’t do it. We hired a professional landscaper to install granite paths for us. I want to say a special thanks to the amazing crew at Anchordoguy Landscaping for their exceptional work! Not only is the result stunning, butContinue reading “Garden Paths of Decomposed Granite — keeping the garden accessible as I age”
The garden seems to be a popular place for ladybugs this year. I’m seeing many more than usual, even for spring. Online, the local gardeners seem to be saying the same thing, so maybe we’re having a bumper year for them here? Here are 6,000 photos of them for #sixonsaturday. Just kidding, only a fewContinue reading “Is It A Ladybug Picnic?”
In celebration of Mothers Day Just in time for Mother’s Day, the roses in my garden are starting to bloom. These are not fragile beauties; they are survivor superstars! The Old Roses — Wild, Exotically Perfumed and Robust I enjoy a traditional rose bouquet as much as anyone, but those are usually composed of HybridContinue reading “The Roses In My Garden — wild, exquisite, and tough as nails”
As gardeners, we learn to observe, don’t we? Our senses become attuned to the plants, the insects, the weather — life all around. And sometimes we notice life forms that need a bit of help. Two notable examples happened last week. An Encounter With a Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly | Battus philenor hirsuta The first happenedContinue reading “Winged Wildlife Rescues”
The petals are popping and the juice of spring is coursing through my veins like so many shots of espresso. The spring garden is a party not to be missed, and just to sit at my computer to post this blog, rather than be out with the surging sap and sunshine, is requiring a strongContinue reading “Petals Aplenty — six snapshots of spring from a Sonoma County garden”
Nature in the form of our garden is having a purge. First, a huge branch of a decades-old willow tree dropped, narrowly missing our most productive mulberry and blueberry patch. Next, a sizeable limb of an old red maple fell. And then one evening while knitting, I heard a splitting crack and felt the house shutter. Was it an earthquake? No, it was a pine tree up on the hill splitting at the base and hitting the ground with force. Our garden seems to be Marie Kondoing itself and has inspired us to have a thorough garden clean-up.