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Posts Tagged ‘Cineraria’

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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Decoration Day

Decoration Day

In memory of those who came before us and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms too many now take for granted.

It should be noted that Memorial Day is not a holiday. Memorial Day is, and should always be, a day of  National Mourning, a date to remember, mourn, and to be grateful, to those who did not make it home in defense of our Country.

5 May 1868: In response to the overwhelming loss of life on the battlefields of the United States during the American Civil War, a Union Army veterans group; the Grand Army of the Republic; acting under General Order No. 11 (Gen. J.A. Logan, Cmdr in Chief) which proclaimed May 30, as Decoration (Memorial) Day, observed what is generally accepted as the first public honoring of those who died in battle by ‘strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

Rememberence

In Remembrance

THE MUFFLED drum’s sad roll has beat The soldier’s last tattoo;

No more on Life’s parade shall meet;

That brave and fallen few.

On Fame’s eternal camping-ground;

Their silent tents are spread;

And Glory guards;

with solemn round;

The bivouac of the dead.

Bivouac Of The Dead, by Theodore O’Hara

Half_Staff

¤————§———§———§————¤

So, what is happening in the garden this week?

Hydrangea Blooms

Hydrangea Blooms

Ornamental Strawberry Flowers

Ornamental Strawberry Flowers

Euphorbia flowers

Euphorbia Flowers

Nature at Work

Nature at Work

The Garden at Peace

The Garden at Peace

Nothing too different from the last few weeks; I will leave it at this for today…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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…just another day in the City across the way from the City by the Bay!

Hello!!

Hello There!!

Ms. Gretchen seems to be enjoying the newest item I have growing; Rosy’s Kitty Grass from the folks at Woodrose Gardens in Sebastopol, CA. This was a gift from a former co-worker which was mailed to me last week; a 3.3 oz. package of their 100% organic seeds that I planted immediately upon receiving them. The shoots are not actually a grass; such as you would have in yard, they are a blend of young sprouted grain which provide a significant amount of fiber into your companion animals diet, as well as other vitamins, minerals, and live enzymes. I can testify that Ms. Gretchen is a fan! It is also an easy to grow project and one that would likely get the younger folks interested in the fun of gardening given that it also has the benefit that their kittens would also enjoy the resulting grass immensely!

3-days after planting

3-days after planting

5-days after planting

5-days after planting

In non-cat related gardening news! The profusion of color which the numerous snapdragon blossoms have delivered shows no signs of abating anytime soon. More and more flowering stalks are popping up in all of the planters that I could stuff the dragons into when I did the Winter Garden refresh back in January.

This is definitely my favorite so far! Love the color!

This is definitely my favorite so far! Love the deep crimson color!

Three snapdragon blooms really brighten things up!

Three snapdragon blooms really brighten things up!

Ms. Bee buzzing around the blooms

Ms. Bee buzzing around the blooms

The Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak, Lotus vine variety also continues to put out a profuse amount of her orange/red fiery blooms. She is VERY thirsty though, requiring at least one watering a day and sometimes two if the temperatures get above the mid-70’s!!

Amazon Sunset, Parrot's Beak

Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak

Cascading blooms from the fiery Lotus variety

Cascading blooms from the fiery Lotus variety

Today was also a day for cycling and training for my first bike race in over 25-years! I signed up for the 2013 PETA Pack bicycle race;  with the marquee bike race being the VW Think Blue Bike Race, which precedes the 2013 Long Beach Marathon on October 13, 2013. Knowing that I have been off of a bike for 20+ years and that I would doing the race on my steel framed, single speed bike, I have been training hard well ahead of the formal training which begins in July. Today, I did 25-miles, marking the 2nd time I have ever cycled a quarter-century.

Long and Beautiful Bike Ride Today!

Long and Beautiful Bike Ride Today!

That is about all of the news that’s fit to print from this side of the gardening world! As usual, today I will leave you with a couple of pictures that I liked which didn’t really fit into the dialog of this blog.

A snails eye view

A snails eye view

Mr. Big Boy Avocado, enjoy a day of sunshine

Mr. Big Boy Avocado, enjoy a day of sunshine

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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The garden’s dragons are starting to wake up and spread their wings

A dragon preparing to fly

A dragon preparing to fly

After last week’s loss of most of the new annuals to the unusual heat wave that Oakland and the rest of the Bay Area has been enjoying, I was tickled purple, white, yellow, and orange with this week’s arrival of my garden’s seasonal dragon festival.

Another flight of dragon's prepares itself to greet the garden!

Another flight of dragon’s prepares itself to greet the garden!

Of the two new snapdragon varieties I added this season; Rocket Mix Snapdragon and Speedy White Sonnet Snapdragon, only the Speedy White’s had shown any inclination to setting blooms as of last week. I guess the heat of the last weeks and possibly the additional water required to keep the soil moist sparked the Rocket’s to radio Houston Control and prepare for lift-off!

Continuation of last week's Speedy White Sonnet blooms

Continuation of last week’s Speedy White Sonnet blooms

Houston; we have lift off!! Rocket's Mix snapdragon

Houston; we have lift off!! Rocket’s Mix snapdragon

The snapdragon’s arrival appears to have ushered in a cascade of new blooms and growth all around the patio. One of my all time favorites;  a Lotus vine hybrid; Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak (Lotus maculatus) which I have learned is a cross between Lotus Berthelottii ‘Red Flash’  and Lotus Maculata, has finally re-bloomed. Apparently, this cross is somewhat uncommon and of limited availability. I guess I just dumb lucked into them at Whole Foods about 2-years ago and have been super glad that something about the plant caught my eye (it was not in bloom when I picked it up).

Lotus vine variety; Amazon Sunset, Parrot's Beak

Lotus vine variety; Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak

Vibrant red and yellow beaks look upward as if waiting for mother to feed them

Vibrant red and yellow beaks look upward as if waiting for mother to feed them

New blooms have yet to gain the vivid coloring of the others

New blooms have yet to gain the vivid coloring of the others

The hydrangea plants are now setting more bulb clusters and I am looking forward to this year’s blooms. I have always had a soft spot for hydrangea and the blue and purple blooms that I have been getting really add a wonderful burst of color for the garden.

Hydrangea enjoying the dappled rays of the mid-day sunshine on my partio

Hydrangea enjoying the dappled rays of the mid-day sunshine on my patio

One of many bulb clusters forming on the hydrangea

One of many bulb clusters forming on the hydrangea

The little purple daisy plant continues to pour out more of her dainty and beautiful little flowers, which contrast nicely with the snowflake she shares a container with. The Calla Lily in the same container seem to be trying to make a comeback; however, still nothing 2 + years after their first blooming.

Dainty Daisy

Dainty Daisy

Finally, today I will leave you all with just a couple of images that I really liked!!

Cineraria - beautiful

Cineraria – beautiful

Introducing my two passions to each other; cycling meet garden

Introducing my two passions to each other; cycling meet gardening

Time for dinner and to rest and enjoy the rest of the weekend, I hope you all had a great weekend!

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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A wonderful surprise awaited my return to Oakland after a weekend out-of-town; Dragons!!

Well; to be more precise, the first snapdragon blooms of the season!

Season's first snapdragon blooms!

Season’s first snapdragon blooms!

This variety is called; ‘Speedy White Sonnet’ Snapdragon, the name makes so much more sense now – they were indeed quick speedy in blooming! I picked out two varieties of snapdragon when I did the Winter Patio Refresh; the other variety – ‘Rocket Mix’ Snapdragon,  should provide the signature snapdragon pastel colors later in the season.

A wee closer view!

A wee closer view!

Garden_3-31-2013_ 012

More Blooms in the Making!

The flower profusion has finally started to subside or maybe switch gears? The delicate little purple daisy that are mixed in with the equally dainty snowflake have burst into their full glory!

A lovely array of snowflakes and purple daisy greet me

A lovely array of snowflakes and purple daisy greet me

Everything growing in nicely!

Everything growing in nicely!

The Euphorbia continue to shoot up flower spikes in ridiculous amounts – they are actually pretty interesting the closer I have inspected them. Still have to look these up and see what I should be doing with them?

Weirdest Flowers Ever!

Weirdest Flowers Ever!

Other than the new snapdragon, the patio continues to be just a wonderful, wild place, that attracts plenty of birds, bugs, and squirrels – all much to the delight of my kitty, Ms. Gretchen! She is not allowed outside; however, I know that she enjoys mentally stalking them and chewing them up!

The cineraria continue to put out marvelously colored petals

The cineraria continue to put out marvelously colored petals

The mystery blue flowers return for their 3rd season

The mystery blue flowers return for their 3rd season

Anyway friends; it was a long weekend, I hope that you are all well and that your gardens are what you want them to be.

Until next time….

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS

~ Noah

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It is not always the biggest flowers that I enjoy the most

It is not always the biggest flowers that I enjoy the most

I gotta tell you, I am really starting to enjoy the weekends much more than I have for quite some time! Sunday’s have historically been a day for getting the chores done (laundry, grocery getting, house cleaning, etc.); however, since I purchased my bicycle in January, Saturday’s and Sunday’s have become a day for getting out, getting some exercise, and just having fun without worrying about parking, gas, or traffic.

Cineraria in incredibly VIVID purple!

Cineraria in incredibly VIVID purple!

Since getting the bike; I have been trying to ride somewhere in the 15 – 20 mile range during the weekends. I have come to terms with the reality that 20+ years of driving had taken its toll on my stamina, leg strength, and overall cardiovascular system; by the time I get home after a long ride, I am usually far too tired to think about doing chores!  This is not a terrible thing as I now find that I spend even more time out on the patio just enjoying the garden from a comfy garden chair (to rest my weary old bones upon). The chores which formerly dominated my weekend are easily pawned off on an unsuspecting work week, ensuring that my weekends are again valued as a precious resource –  not to be squandered on the tedious, but to enjoy at a full throttle pace in pursuit of fun!

Il Toro Blu - my 2012 SE Draft - Froio's Custom Edition

‘Il Toro Blu’ – 2012 SE Draft – Froio’s Custom Edition

My bicycle has followed the same theme as my garden; replace and refresh until I find something  I like – with the garden; it was January’s Winter Patio Refresh ; taking what I had learned from 2-years of gardening here in Oakland and turning that into what is now the garden I envisioned when I moved in and realized that the patio was screaming to be reborn. The patio was a dirty, unkempt, and generally dingy concrete slab, devoid of anything interesting which I quickly set about addressing.

From the barren wasteland that you see outside the window in this early blog image (Mr. Big Boy Avocado and an avocado that didn’t quite make it)

My plant collection, January 2011

My plant collection, January 2011

To what I enjoy today (Mr. Big Boy Avocado still very much a part of the landscape)

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere

So too my bicycle has undergone a metamorphosis; from the plain stock version that arrived in January. I quickly set about upgrading this, changing out that, and before I knew it; the only parts remaining from the factory are the frame, forks, front brake caliper, and chain. Starting with the pedals, I have replaced everything on the bike at least once, some twice (handlebars, cranks, & grips).

Jan. 16, 2013 - Factory Fresh

Jan. 16, 2013 – Factory Fresh

Now; after much searching for just the right part to accomplish an image that was never clear in my mind until it unfolded before me, my bike is a track monster which I have dubbed; ‘Il Toro Blu’; Italian for the Blue Bull, after the 2nd set of new handlebars (Cannondale C3 Bullhorn Aero Bars) and the bikes theme color (blue).

Il Toro Blue (the Blue Bull) - March 24, 2012

Il Toro Blue (the Blue Bull) – March 24, 2013

Note to self: find another frameset to put all of the parts that I replaced onto

While writing this post earlier today I realized something about myself; I am not sure if it is a good thing, a bad thing, or just an ‘it is what it is‘ thing. Either way; I think I know why I have often butted heads with those in my life that want me to conform to their ideals, I am a stubborn, bull-headed, learn-it-by-myself, or don’t learn it kind of guy.

The hydrangea readies itself for summertime blooms

The hydrangea readies itself for summertime blooms

The way I look at it, I know what I want in life (same as with gardens and bicycles), I generally know a way to get there, and once locked in, I won’t compromise that methodology in pursuit of something that doesn’t ring true with me. I am sorry if my methods don’t always make sense to those around me, my methods and directions always make perfect sense to at least one person, myself.

Ms. Jade's new planter mates are settling in nicely

Ms. Jade’s new planter mates are settling in nicely

This stubbornness has definitely caused a lot of familial stress and relationship stress.

  • Is it my fault for not bending like the young willow?
  • Is it the other party’s fault  for not realizing that I am who I am and leaving well enough alone?

I don’t know the answer to either question; however, I do know that I miss my family. I also know that I won’t be the one with the olive branch extended this time around, I didn’t do anything wrong this time. I guess I will just continue to till my own soil and beat my own path my own way. Overall; the good has outweighed the bad – What bad there has been, I have dealt with myself and have come out the other side a-okay.

I will leave the answers to such questions on the table for now, that deck will have to wait for another day to be dealt out.

For today, it is late, and I shall just leave with these parting shots – enjoy…

Last year's Amaryllis bulb has awoken

Last year’s Amaryllis bulb has awoken

Looking up through the Euphorbia

Looking up through the Euphorbia

Pastel Blue Cineraria

Pastel Blue Cineraria

Until next time….

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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…the patio plants remarked in unison as they peered through the sliding glass door which separates the outdoor patio garden and the land of the houseplants.

Purple and White Cineraria springs from its planter

Purple and White Cineraria springs from its planter

Indeed, historically the stand-out flowers of my garden have lived outside on the patio and not indoors. There have been a couple of exceptions; the Paphiopedillum Callosum Orchid being the most notable of such exceptions; however, she only bloomed once, though I would love if she would grace me with another her glorious slippers! With the recent addition of Cineraria and Primula to my indoor plant collection though, the outdoor patio now has a serious contender for stand-out flowers at Casa de Froio!

The window box in glorious bloom

The window box in glorious bloom

Primula and Cineraria apparently really like each others company!

Primula and Cineraria apparently really like each others company!

Pastel blue Cineraria

Pastel blue and Sparking White Cineraria

Still, one should never count out the patio garden’s potential and this week; as in weeks past, the patio garden did not disappoint! The Pansy, Viola, and Primrose continue to be a long-lasting source of beauty which entices me outside quite often. There is also a wonderful anticipation waiting for me outside in the shape of what I hope to be right around the corner; a sea of glorious Snapdragon blooms!!

The snapdragon plants now tower above the pansy and viola

The snapdragon plants now tower above the pansy and viola

There are still no buds on the snapdragon stalks, so my anticipation may be premature as my past snapdragon have usually waited until mid-summertime to start blooming. Although with the unseasonably warmer temperatures that Oakland had this spring, I do hold out some hope for early blooms! Looking back through my post from last year, I may have to wait until July; however, I am hopeful for May or June – I suppose that only time will tell!

Elsewhere around the garden the Pansy (Supreme Clear Scarlet and Majestic Giants II – White/Blotch), the Viola (Helen Mount, Penny Yellow, and Pandora’s Box), and the Primrose (Pacific Giant Blue and Purple Supernova) continue to thrive and poke and peer from every corner of the patio.

Supreme Clear Scarlett and Majestic Giant Pansy

Supreme Clear Scarlett and Majestic Giant Pansy

Slightly smaller; yet still impressive, Supreme Clear Scarlet pansy

Slightly smaller; yet still impressive, Supreme Clear Scarlet pansy

Helen Mount Viola surround a Majestic Giant

Helen Mount Viola surround a Majestic Giant

Ms. Jade continues on her road to full recovery from her unceremonious dumping and is thriving in her new redwood planter box! It appears that the Primula that I added to her planter like it as much as she does!

Ms. Jade continues her road to recovery!

Ms. Jade continues her road to recovery!

Ms. Jade's new neighbor, Primula Acaulis White

Ms. Jade’s new neighbor, Primula Acaulis White

Down at the far end of the garden in the big yellow planter box; the Hydrangea are leafing out nicely and should be ready to bloom right about the same time the Snapdragon are blooming, which will be a wonderful color-explosion for Summer that I am very much looking forward to. In addition, the bulbs that I received from my ex-wife last year have just begun to send up their first shoots of the season and I am hopeful that I will have another guest appearance of the glorious Amaryllis bloom of last year. That Amaryllis was hands down, no contenders need apply, easily the most beautiful flower I have ever seen, let alone was able to grow!

The Hydrangea Return

The Hydrangea Return

A bulb bursts to life!

A bulb bursts to life!

The Euphorbia continues her  flowering stage

The Euphorbia continues her flowering stage

Finally today, I leave you with these parting shots; I just really liked them and thought that I would share!

Purple Supernova Primrose

Looking up through the Purple Supernova Primrose

Unknown Purple Daisy

Unknown Purple Daisy

Until next update –

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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