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Posts Tagged ‘Anthurium’

Today was “chore day”; which includes cleaning the apartment, getting the laundry done, and shopping for provisions to ensure that I have lunches for the work week which lies ahead. I can’t express how nice it is to be back to work after such a long job search period; and so far, I am really enjoying the new job. I have some excellent colleagues and as with any new job; there is a lot to learn about the company and how my role fits into the big picture, which is definitely keeping me busy!

Oakland City Hall; with my office in the background (505)

Oakland City Hall; my new office is in the bldg. to the left (505 – 14th St.)

Yesterday; I ventured up to Vallejo, CA, to give my ex-wife a hand in cutting / removing a large tree limb which apparently snapped with last weeks high winds and landed unceremoniously between the tree and her roof.

Snap!

Snap!

The damaged limb; which was about 15″ – 18″ in diameter, was dangling precariously above her backyard when I arrived. However; despite the limbs immense weight, I noticed that she was fortunate that the tree from which it broke ended up catching the limb and stopping it from landing on her roof or going through a back window. After getting most of the small branches cut away; I was able to get a closer look at the situation and was relieved to see that there basically no damage to her roof whatsoever – bullet dodged!!

Crackle!

Crackle!

I was able to get all of the broken limb down from the roof and out of tree by mid-afternoon; leaving my ex-wife’s roof safe and her with either some firewood or a bunch of branches which she can slowly dispose of over the next couple of weeks. I also made sure that her roof gutters were cleared and that the roof was in overall good shape; which it was. Thankfully; when we bought the house in 2000, the sellers had just installed a 20-year composite roof and it appears that it will definitely be good for at least another 6-years, if not more.

And, Pop!

And, Pop!

Back in my garden; new flowers are poking out of every nook and cranny of the patio, including my Calla Lily, which have set about four of her signature white flowers. Unfortunately, the Lily’s stems seem to be somewhat weak and can barely hold the weight the flower without toppling over. Grrrr!!

The Calla Lily finally decided to set her flowers!

The Calla Lily finally decided to set her flowers!

Silhouette of Calla

Silhouette of Calla

Elsewhere around the garden: The hydrangea blossoms continue to fill out nicely; looks like this year I will have pink and blue/purple hydrangea flowers! Yay!!

Dueling Pink Hydrangea Blossoms

Dueling pink hydrangea blossoms

A beautiful blue/purple blossom joins the party

A beautiful blue/purple blossom joins the party

The Arkansas Traveler tomato plants continue to grow taller and taller every day. My DIY twine trellis seem to be doing the trick in corralling the tomatoes – – thank you, Victory Garden!!

Arkansas Traveler's Reaching for the Sunshine

Arkansas Traveler’s Reaching for the Sunshine

Tomatoes; tomatoes, tomatoes

Tomatoes; tomatoes, tomatoes

I also did my usual rearranging of a couple of planters / pots which were either getting too much or not enough of the over abundant sunshine of the last week.

Sunny Northeast Corner

Sunny Northeast Corner

My little purple rock daisies are multiplying and have picked up as the Bacopa (Snowstorm Giant Snowflake) continue to wane with the rise in temperature.

The Dainty Daisy take center stage

The Dainty Daisy take center stage

One Daisy; Two Daisy; Three Daisy; More!!

One Daisy; Two Daisy; Three Daisy; More!!

I will leave you today with a shot of one of Oakland’s namesake Oak trees; this one is located in front of Oakland’s City Hall, in Frank Ogawa Plaza. I pass this marvelous tree everyday on my walk to and from the office; and just noticed that this is likely the same tree which appears on the flag of the City of Oakland.

Oakland's Iconic Oak Tree

Oakland’s Iconic Oak Tree, City Center / Frank Ogawa Plaza

City of Oakland

City of Oakland

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!!

~ Noah

 

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The mood here in the garden is one of happiness and hope this week…

A bonanza of citrus!

A bonanza of citrus!

Following a nearly 9-month job search; (which was sadly sidelined for 3.5 months to recuperate following the shattered ankle) this gardener is finally rejoining the world of the gainfully employed masses! The new job; an administrative position for a company here in Oakland, CA, starts Monday, May 12th. I am looking forward to getting into a steadier income stream so I can rebuild some savings, pick up the occasional addition to the patio garden, and save up for some much-needed upgrades for my bike.

Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom

Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom

Miss Gretchen should be quite happy to again have unfettered run of the house during the days while I am work. The one benefit of my unemployed stint was that she and I had plenty of time to bond with each other; a process and time which both she and I definitely needed. Miss G has been spending most of the sunshine filled days of the past week lounging out on the patio,  trying her best stealth cat impression by hiding under one of the patio chairs or tucked in behind a planter awaiting a mistake by the local fauna. I don’t have the heart to tell her that ALL of the critters KNOW that she is out there and keep their distance accordingly; which is for the best, I don’t want her hurting any of the local critters. Thankfully, she is not the super stealthy huntress that her genes would suggest; so either way, the critters are usually pretty safe regardless of where she is hiding.

Miss Gretchen Enjoying the Shade of a Patio Chair

Miss Gretchen Enjoying the Shade of a Patio Chair

Lazy days; it's good to be a cat!

Lazy days; it’s good to be a cat!

The mini heat wave we had here in the Bay Area last week were just the ticket to spur my Arkansas Traveler tomatoes first significant growth spurt! I will be thinning out the tomatoes this weekend and working on stringing together a trellis of twine for the plants to wrap themselves around and support the bounty of tomatoes in July and August!

My little seedlings will soon be reaching for support

My little seedlings will soon be reaching for support

Almost time for a second thinning of the seedlings

Almost time for a second thinning of the seedlings

Almost time for string trellis

Almost time for string trellis

My second Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom of the season tolerated the heat just dandy; however, it was the winds which followed the heat which proved to be too much for her. I went out to water the patio this morning and found that the wind gusts must have snapped her stalk!

All I can say is: Grrrrr!! Foiled Again!! Oh well; even though she only lasted about a week after flowering, it was great having such a beauty to look at while I fiddled with the patio.

My second Amaryllis flower

My second Amaryllis flower

Dueling Amaryllis

Dueling Amaryllis

Wind damage; an early end for Miss Amaryllis

OUCH!!  Wind damage; an early end for Miss Amaryllis

The Pacific Giant Blue Primrose have set out a flurry of their delicate blue/yellow flowers. There is apparently no weather which the primrose do not love and thrive in!

Pacific Giant Blue Primrose

Pacific Giant Blue Primrose

Elsewhere out on the patio; my little wandering fuchsia continues her steady crawl toward the edge of the patio table. I wonder if she knows where she is heading? I guess she will figure it out; of course, I will be there to lend a hand if need be.

My creeping fuschia

My creeping fuchsia continue to explore

My dainty little purple daisies continue to creep over the edge of the patio’s big round planter; having more than quadrupled in number over the past two-weeks. I wonder if they will follow the Snowflake’s (Bacopa) lead and self-seed themselves into a nearby planter? I suppose that time will tell…

Solitary Daisy Enjoys the Morning Haze

Solitary Daisy Enjoys the Morning Haze

Daisies continue to pour from the Calla Lily/Snowflake planter

Daisies continue to pour from the Calla Lily/Snowflake planter

Outside of the Garden; I made a somewhat radical change/upgrade to my beloved bicycle; Il Toro~Blu. I had the opportunity to pick up a new frameset for her; so yesterday I spent a few hours swapping out the heavy hi-tensile steel frame and forks for the new lightweight 55cm Specialized Langster aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork. The switch shed 8-lbs from the bike; leaving the new setup a rather svelte and lean 17.5 lbs.

Il Toro~Blu - then

Il Toro~Blu; then…

Il Toro~Nu

Il Toro~Nu; now…

I took her out for a 15-mile shakedown run this afternoon and I gotta say; climbing hills on the lighter frame was much, much easier than I remember the same hills being hauling the steel frame up them. Is there a real difference or just a psychosomatic response? I don’t know; however, the new set up definitely feels more nimble. All that is left to do is get the color scheme in order – the blend right now of blues, silvers, and blacks with slight touches of red is just a wee too busy for me. I suppose I could just paint the bike’s new frame and call it a day; or I could slowly replace parts over the coming months which follow a Silver & Black scheme and move the old blue themed parts back to the old frame as I go, which would be good as it means ending up with two bikes! Until then, Il Toro~Blu’s frameset will be a wall hanger – awaiting her rebirth.

Il Toro~Blu awaits rebirth

Il Toro~Blu awaits rebirth

Finally today; Mr. Hydrangea and his cohorts appear to be feeling a bit pinkish this season. I was hoping for blue/purple; however, pink is just fine as well.

Budding Hydrangea

Budding Hydrangea

Until Next Time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!!

~ Noah

 

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As April closes itself out; the day is gray with spots of rain and drizzle, a good day to survey the garden, tend to all the little garden chores which need to be done, and to plant some to‘maters out on the patio! As I look at the garden now; I see many promising signs that the coming month(s) will likely see bursts of vibrant color from one side of the patio to the other.

It is going to be a nice summer in the Gardens at Casa de Froio!

Ready for May?

Ready for May, left-side?

Yes; I think we are!

Yep; I think we are, right-side!

In the big round planter which includes the forever wandering Snowstorm Giant Snowflake (Bacopa Sutera cordata); Miss Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) continues to fill the middle section with large clumps of her broad, arrow shaped, dark green leaves. She has not produced any flowers since I planted her two-years ago; yet, I remain hopeful that this year I have her watering and nitrogen level needs correct and that Mother Nature will be cooperative to the sunshine needs of fickle Miss Lily! As with most things in the garden; only the passage of time will tell that tale.

Miss Lily, lovely to see you again

Miss Lily, lovely to see you again.

Verticality; Achieved!

Verticality; Achieved!

Also in the big round planter with the Calla Lily and Giant Snowflake; my tiny purple Cut-Leaf Daisies (Brachyscome multifida) are spreading out further and further. I am sure that they are jealous of the amount of territory the Snowflakes have occupied and are looking for their share. One price of a long winter dormancy period is the inevitable loss of ground to those who persist year-round.

A cascade of daisies look for new territory

A cascade of daisies look for new territory

Daisy; Daisy; Daisy

Daisy; Daisy; Daisy

Over in the Big Yellow Planter box; an Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom (Hippeastrum Amaryllidaceae cultivar) stands ready to open her flowers and greet the world. This will be the second flowering for this particular bulb since I received them about two and a half years ago. The first flowering was amazing; I had never seen Amaryllis flowers, or at least I never noticed them; however, the giant beauty captivated me and now they are probably the flowers which I most look forward to each season.

Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom; second bloom of the season!

Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom; second bloom of the season!

One Amaryllis flower gets her lean on!!

One Amaryllis flower gets her lean on!!

Slowly she turns; step by step...

Slowly she turns; step by step…

Next to the Amaryllis in the crowded and soon to be uber-colorful Big Yellow Planter box are the Big Leaf Hydrangea v. Cityline ‘Venice’ (Hydrangea macrophylla). This hardy variety of Hydrangea have grown and grown and grown since waking from their winter dormancy. I would estimate that the large grouping has more than doubled in size from where it was last season; sitting atop each of the grouping leaf-masses are the start of what will be their glorious blue/purple flower globes. I can’t wait!!

Almost.....

Almost…..

The remarkably prolific Polyanthus Primrose v. Pacific Giant Blue and Supernova Purple Bicolor (Primula x. polyantha cultivars) continue to provide the most amazing and vivid blue/yellow and pastel purple/yellow flowers; adding an often much-needed color splash when the rest of the garden’s flowers have spent themselves. For I believe under $5.00 for a six-pack of instant color at the local nursery; the Primrose plants have exceeded my expectations and continue to impress me. For two-years now; regardless of what the weather conditions have been: be it super hot, frigid cold, howling winds, or any combination thereof, the Primrose care not and have continuously pushed flowers out year after year.

Ms. Pink and her dazzling sister smile toward the sun

Supernova Purple Bicolor

A new primrose joins the party!

A new primrose joins the party!

Giant Blue

Pacific Giant Blue

Absolutely stunning color depth on the Pacific Blue

Absolutely stunning color depth on the Pacific Blue

Finally today; as I mentioned last week, today was moving day for my Arkansas Traveler Heirloom Tomato seedlings. This 100-year old heirloom tomato variety produces an indeterminate, regular-leaf, 6-foot tall plant, which should yield more than enough 8-oz. round rose-pink tomatoes to keep me in fresh tomatoes from July through end of August.

The tomatoes new home; they should get plenty of sun here!

The tomatoes new home; they should get plenty of sun here!

The seedling Arkansas Traveler tomatoes new home

All snug in their new home; grow well babies!

From what I have read; the Arkansas Traveler tomatoes are considered to be one of the best tasting tomato varieties, with a well-balanced sweet/tart flavor and are tough enough to cope with most adverse conditions; such as high heat, humidity, or drought – important here in California – they are also resistant to cracking and disease, another bonus!

Grow Little Fellow, Grow!!

Grow Little Fellow, Grow!!

Thinking happy thoughts for my tomatoes; I will do my best to make sure you all grow up to strong and healthy, enjoy your new home my little seedlings!

Planter #1

Planter #1

Planter #2

Planter #2

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

 

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My Arkansas Traveler heirloom tomato seedlings have been growing nicely and should be ready to make the transplant venture out to the patio next weekend! My luck with growing tomatoes here has been bad at best; only successfully growing two small Isis cherry tomatoes last year, this year I have planned well ahead and hope to have a great crop of garden fresh tommy’s throughout the growing season.

Arkansas Traveler Heirloom Tomato Seedlings

Arkansas Traveler Heirloom Tomato Seedlings

I have two planters ready to accept the seedlings; I moved everything around so they would be in the sunniest spot on the patio; and rigged together a bamboo tripod for the little seedlings to grow into without spending any money on single purposes cages.

Tray #1

Tray #1

Tray #2

The package of seeds came into my possession last November; as part of a birthday gift (a book on apartment gardening), and were stored in my refrigerator’s vegetable box for six-months until I started my seed trays on April 4th. I have long heard about storing seeds in the refrigerator; however, I had never tried it as I didn’t want something to go wrong and lose my seeds. Thankfully; I was watching an episode of the Victory Garden around the time I received the package, Michael Weishan had a segment on obtaining and storing seeds from your home garden; including tomato seeds, in which they mentioned that the fridge was a good place to store your seeds until the right planting season. If there is any garden advice I feel that you can trust, it is that of the Victory Garden and I am happy to report that the tip was spot on as each and every seed germinated and is growing quite well!

My seedlings all showing true tomato leaves; a good sign for transplanting!

I also have another Amaryllis v. Apple Blossom bulb which is just about to open its flower. This one is growing outside in the big yellow planter box and is the same bulb which provided my first Amaryllis flower back in 2012. This years flower appears to be significantly smaller in size than the 2012 bloom; however, I am willing to bet the flower will be just as big in the beauty department!

It's a Forest in Here!!

It’s a Forest in Here!!

A New Amaryllis

A New Amaryllis

Amaryllis' flowers pushing through!

Amaryllis’ flowers pushing through!

Elsewhere out on the patio; the Ornamental Ginger and the Hydrangea plants continue to dominate the big yellow planter in the southeast corner of my patio.

It sure is getting crowded in the big yellow planter box though!! With the Ornamental Ginger; Hydrangea; and the Creeping Rosemary pushing out at all corners; which is EXACTLY what I wanted for the view from my bedroom window! I can’t wait until the hydrangea are in full bloom and if I can ever coax a flower out of the ginger, the view should be spectacular!

The patio's southeast corner is filling out nicely!

The patio’s southeast corner is filling out nicely!

Though; it is definitely starting to look like both the hydrangea and ginger will need to be divided and replanted next year. I don’t want to risk impacting the Amaryllis bulbs ability to get sun or having the roots of both affecting the rosemary, ornamental strawberry (fragaria x. lipstick), and my happy little plant with the lovely little blue flowers!

The Ornamental Ginger plants continue to reach for the fence tops!

The Ornamental Ginger plants continue to reach for the fence tops!

Big Boy Avocado has really thrived since moving out onto the patio. The tree is now just over 4-years old and stands at 5′ – 6″ – which is nearly as tall as me! Not at all bad for a freebie which I grew from the seed pit of an organic avocado I picked up at Trader Joe’s!

Big Boy Avocado!

Big Boy Avocado!

Finally today; a trip indoors for a visit with the houseplants! The Dracena and Schefflera are battling each other to see who outgrows the house first! What exactly does one do when this happens?? I can cut the Schefflera down; however, the Dracena is all top growth and I don’t see where it could be pruned without destroying the plant?

The Dracena continue to head for the ceiling!

The Dracena continue to head for the ceiling!

The Schefflera is not far behind my Dracena!

The Schefflera is not far behind my Dracena!

Until Next Time….

 

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

 

~ Noah

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The title pretty much sums up my gardening mantra as of late! A couple of days of torrential downpours; then a couple of days of sunny and warm weather; only to retreat back under grey skies heavy with much-needed rainfall in our drought threatened State.

The garden; as always, takes the changes in stride.

The gardener; is learning to get used to it.

The Calla Lily have finally pushed through Snowflakes foliage

The Calla Lily have finally pushed through Snowflakes foliage

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…Another interesting couple of weeks from the Garden’s of Casa de Froio!

Mystery Fungi in the Schefflera

Fungi in the Schefflera

I found the above little grouping of fungi growing in the soil of my indoor Schefflera plant. I believe that the mushroom is an Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, or Flowerpot Parasol. The Schefflera’s soil has produced solitary individuals of this mushroom variety in the past; however, this is the first time that such an amazing grouping has emerged from the mycelium which lives below the soil.

Mushroom Caps Slowly Opening

Mushroom Caps Slowly Opening

Caps Fully Opened

Caps Fully Opened

As the title of this post suggests, I have been temporarily hobbled with a broken ankle which occurred on the 6th of September. This really sucks as outside of gardening my other all-consuming passion is road cycling; which as you might expect, will now be taking a 6 – 8 week hiatus! I am hopeful to be able to start tentative indoor cycle training by late October / early November and be back on the road again by late November.

Ouch!

Ouch!

The break is a Left Bimalleolar Tibial Fracture with a Displaced Fracture of the Left Tibia Present! Zoinks! What a mouthful! Oh well, what was the line from Bart Simpson in the episode where he tried to jump his skateboard across a gorge?

Bones Heal, Chicks Dig Scars, and America has the Number One Doctor to Daredevil Ratio in the World.

Seeing as the injury did not kill me; my take is that it can only be making me stronger!!

Onion Flower in Bloom

Onion Flower in Bloom

In other garden news; my test onion plant is in bloom and I expect to be able to harvest the onion(s) within the next couple of weeks. From my prior experience with growing onions and garlic; I just need to wait for the flowering head to begin to die back for the onion below to be fully grown. I will be sure to post pictures once the harvest is done with results and how the onion’s flavor compared to the store-bought onion from which these were grown.

Peace Lily Finally Opens

Peace Lily Finally Opens

Lily in Silouette

Lily in Silhouette

Anthurium Nearly Fully Opened

Anthurium Nearly Fully Opened

The race for complete opening between the outdoor Peace Lily and the indoor Anthurium has concluded with the Peace Lily just edging out the Anthurium for full opening. Both are beautiful and it was a great treat to be able to watch their slow unfurling into their present majestic beauty.

I leave you today with these final parting shots from the garden…

Pennisetum's Tail

Pennisetum’s Tail

Miss Helen Mount Viola

Miss Helen Mount Viola

Until Next Time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December,

But the days grow short when you reach September,

When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame,

One hasn’t got time for the waiting game.

– Frank Sinatra, 1965

Primula; Pretty in Pink

Primula; Pretty in Pink

September is upon us and it is time to start thinking about wintering the garden. Thankfully; here in Northern California, this doesn’t have nearly the sinister implications facing gardeners in the colder climates of the world. We don’t get any ground freezing and the temperatures are usually mild in comparison; our winters just mean lots and lots of rain, which for me is a good thing, less watering and happier soil!

Onion crop is coming along!

Onion crop is coming along!

Onion's flower is about to open!

Onion’s flower is about to open!

My test onion crop appears to be doing well, the first couple of flower heads have formed and look to be about ready to open. The onion bodies look to be large and well-formed and I am hopeful that I can turn my one sprouted onion into the start of a recurring onion bed.

First ripe strawberry

First ripe strawberry

I was also able to harvest and enjoy the first strawberries of my garden season. These were transplants from runners emanating from starters which I picked up at my local garden center 2-years ago. I wasn’t totally hopeful in getting any berries, but thought I would give them a go. The berries are not huge; yet, they are just as tasty as any other berry I have ever grown. Next year, I will definitely be picking new starter plants as this one is just not putting out berries nearly as proficiently as a healthy new starter plant does. That’s gardening though, experiment, see what works, see what does not, and plan accordingly next season.

Primrose

Primrose; dazzling in hot pink!!

More Primrose!!

More Primrose!!

Dahlia v. Mystic Haze

Dahlia v. Mystic Haze

August was wonderful for flowers; including another rebound of my Primrose plants, speckling the patio with brilliant glints of color here and there. My first foray into the world of Dahlia’s, with the variety Mystic Haze, couldn’t have gone better! She continues to put out a profuse showing of her beautiful scarlet red and yellow flowers to the delight of the local bees and hummingbirds!

Peace Lily continues to keep herself wrapped tight!

Peace Lily continues to keep herself wrapped tight!

Ms. Anthurium also likes the rolled-up look!

Ms. Anthurium also likes the rolled-up look!

Even in late Summer, Early Winter; some plants in my collection continue to produce amazing new flowers and bracts! My Peace Lily; which lives outside on the patio has finally thrown up two new flowers, both of which are still tightly rolled, possibly still trying to keep warm! My indoor Anthurium must have seen the Peace Lily and didn’t want to miss out on the game has also shot up a new bract, just as tightly rolled up as the Lily. It will be a race to see who opens first!

I will leave you today with my garden companion; who appears to be getting bigger and bigger: Miss Kate E. Did

Miss Kate E. Did

Miss Kate E. Did

Until next time….

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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