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Posts Tagged ‘Euphorbia’

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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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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Two of my three Amaryllis bulbs; v. (Hippeastrum) ‘Apple Blossom’, have decided that the patio’s climate has reached  the ‘just right‘ conditions they were looking for and are now making a break for the sunshine in the form of blossom stalks shooting skyward! The last time they blossomed; back in May 2012, the flowers were absolutely the biggest, most beautiful, pair of conjoined beauties that I have personally ever grown. Needless to say; with the bulbs emerging blossom stalks, I am really looking forward to watching them unfurl themselves and take their place on my patio’s center stage.

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) 'Apple Blossom' rises

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) ‘Apple Blossom’ bloom stalk rises

The Amaryllis is so far my only sojourn into the wild, wild world of flowering bulbs of any type and I gotta say; if you are going to join the bulb-crowd, the Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) hybrid is a dandy to start with. The 2012 blooms; easily in excess of 20cm in diameter, taught me a rather tragic lesson about this specimen – its Achilles’s heel – a weak stalk (notice the scape is already about to fail in this shot) which collapsed under the flowers weight far too early in their flower bloom. This year I will be ready; this year I will be staking the flowers with bamboo supports early to provide the extra strength needed to ensure that the flowers last longer than the last.

Amaryllis #2 sends a bloom scape forth

Amaryllis #2 – Also sends her bloom scape forth toward the sun

I remember how dazzling the last flowers were; with their soft pink and white petals sparkling under the filtered sunlight of the patio. How their beautiful fragrance bathed the patio with Spring incarnate.

Soon; my little friends, soon!!

Rise, Amaryllis, Rise!!

Rise, Amaryllis, Rise!!

Elsewhere in the garden; the ever interesting Euphorbia v. helioscopia continue with their reproduction dance unabated. I have enjoyed watching them produce their signature spheres of tiny flowers, seeds, and fruit, subtly whiling away the days subtly transforming their packets and hopefully laying seeds for future generations to come.

Euphorbia

Euphorbia v. helioscopia – tiny flowers hide tinier seeds

Euphoric Euphorbia

Euphoric Euphorbia – Dance little ones; dance!

More tiny Rock Daisies (Brachyscome multifida) have begun to set more and more flowers within the planter they share with the Giant Snowflake. The little daisies signature purple/periwinkle blue flowers add a very welcome contrast to the sea of white Snowflake (Sutera cordata, Bacopa) flowers flowing endlessly from their planter, across the 3-tier plant stand, and down onto the patio floor. Small in stature; the Rock Daisies flowers are no bigger than 1-cm to 2-cm in diameter; however, they definitely make a big impact nestled amongst the plethora of white snowflake flowers. I was thrilled that these little beauties decided to start setting flowers; they were a much missed old friend in my garden.

Rock Daisy;  Brachyscome multifida

Rock Daisy; Brachyscome multifida, enjoys a morning watering

A flash of purple and yellow beams from the field of deep green

A flash of purple and yellow beams from the field of deep green

Having been relocated indoors (As Mr. Squirrel definitely has strawberries on his menu); my strawberry plants (Fragaria “June-Bearing”) are doing great and have already started to set fruit! Looks like I will be enjoying fresh berries with my cereal in the coming weeks! These are the first plants that I have grown from runners that the ‘mother-plant‘ produced over the last year. The mother plant’s berry production had dwindled down to just a few mediocre berries; so it was either buy new plants or trying to raise the runners into adult plants. I had read a lot of very mixed reviews on whether one should keep or clip strawberry runners; most reviews leaned toward clipping them and buying new plants when production slowed. I guess I just have a natural tendency to go against the grain and decided that I would see what happens when runners are nurtured; would they become hearty plants and produce berries or would they be a waste of time and send me in search of new plants? I believe I now have my answer to that question!

Seven Strawberries in the Making! Mmmm!

Seven Strawberries in the Making! Mmmm!

My strawberry pot; possibly soon to runneth over?

My other strawberry planting; new flowers promise tasty berries!

The weather has been EPIC the last couple of weeks here in Oakland, CA. The weather in my Lake Merritt neighborhood has been sunny and warm; in stark contrast to the torrential rains which soaked the area to close out February. The sun has lured me out to the patio much more in recent weeks to tend to the garden’s fertilization, pruning, soil amending, and watering needs for the arrival of spring. Now; the patio is repaying my efforts as a place to just sit and enjoy the new flowers that appear each day.

A Happy Patio Garden Space

A Happy Patio Garden Space

Since the chore out on the patio are done, the sun is out, and the weather warm; I finished up with my last indoor planting, I decided to give tomatoes another try and set up two-six packs of Arkansas Travelers to sprout before I hit the road to put some miles in with a bike ride around town.

Tomato Arkansas Travelers - A Hillbilly Favorite

Tomato Arkansas Travelers – A Hillbilly Favorite

Finally today; I leave you with this parting shot from today’s bike ride; a panoramic view of Lake Merritt; with a throng of runners crossing the Lake Merritt Channel Bridge for today’s 2014 Oakland Marathon. Yep; I must say, I really like my neighborhood!

My neighborhood; it's good to be in Oakland!

Where I call home; Oakland, CA (Lake Merritt w/ Adam’s Point in the background)

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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…into Strawberries!! Yay!!

Berry-Licious Goodness

Berry-Licious Goodness in the Making!

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A strawberry flower emerges from the dense green foliage

I wasn’t actually expecting to get any strawberries out of these 3-year old plants; however, Mama Nature has decided that berries are going to be on the menu! This is totally okay in my book! Another year of playing out the waiting game with Mr. Squirrel begins anew!

Is it June yet?

Is it June yet?

My Primrose; especially the pink/yellow plants, continue to shower my little patio garden with brilliant color and textures. I have to say, these little plants have been by far, the best plant purchase to results, bang for my buck that I have in my collection. They make the Energizer Bunny look like a slacker!!

A Profusion of Pink and Yellow Primrose

A Profusion of Pink and Yellow Primrose

The Energizer Bunnies of the Garden; they just keep going and going...

The Energizer Bunnies of the Garden; they just keep going and going…

A Regal Stand of Blue/Yellow Primrose

A Regal Stand of Blue/Yellow Primrose

Princess Primrose is ready for her spotlight

Princess Primrose is ready for her spotlight

Elsewhere around the Garden’s at Casa de Froio

The Euphorbia v. helioscopia continue with their prolific production of their tiny flowers, seeds, and immature fruit; readying themselves for mass re-seeding I hope! I love the great textures of the euphoria plants throughout the year; and especially now when their flowers, seeds, and immature fruit are sent skywards. To me they are the most interesting looking reproduction vessels that I have going or seen since taking up gardening.

Euphorbia v. helioscopia

Euphorbia v. helioscopia

Their unique flower, seed, and immature fruit stalk rises out of the plants main summer foliage stalks; each growing until its size is matching that of their plants. A couple of mine have added a full 16-inches of growth to the parent plant; forming themselves into Star Wars / Space Invader looking globes carrying their tiny white flowers, seeds, and immature fruit protruding from a green shade which contain sinister looking red teeth like pincer’s at the center.

Euphorbia v. helioscopia flower / seed pods

Euphorbia v. helioscopia flowers, seeds, and immature fruit pods

Euphorbia v. helioscopia flower / seed pod mass

The Sun Spurge; Euphorbia v. helioscopia

I also finally got around to figuring out the actual name of the oft referred to ‘snowflakes’ which continually grace my patio; Snowstorm Giant Snowflake (by Proven Winners). The plants species is Sutera cordata (Bacopa ) v. ‘Danova-906‘, and are members of the family, Chaenostoma. While the species is generally considered to be an annual plant this variety adores gardens in zones 9 through 11. My patio garden, which is in zone 10a, seems particularly to her liking, she has outgrown all expectations and transformed herself into a perennial plants that continues to thrive year-after-year, producing hundreds and hundreds of her snow-white flowers, and spreading further and further out from the planter her roots enjoy – so far wiggling and winding her way well over 3-feet out along my patio’s main plant stand.

Sutera cordata, (Bacopa)

The Giant Snowflake; Sutera cordata, (Bacopa)

Growing, growing, growing!!

Growing, growing, growing!!

Snowflake Butterfly?

Snowflake Butterfly?

Finally; it appears that one of my (hopefully) Amaryllis is going to do her best to make an appearance this year. I can’t wait; the last bloom had been EPIC! If this one is anything like that one, I will be a happy gardener.

What will you be??

What will you be??

This was last year’s Amaryllis blossom; a beautiful pair (you can just see her sister peeking out from behind her) of GIANT flowers, which sadly proved to be too big for their shared stalk and she collapsed less than a week after her glorious opening. It would be spectacular if the rising bud/blossom in the picture above is even half as pretty as last year’s stunner!

Hello World!

I hope this one re-blooms this season!

That is about all there is to report from this corner of the Garden-verse, I hope that your gardens are green (or thawing, depending) and your soil rich!

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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Flowers, flowers, everywhere!

Today; I celebrate the goodness that comes from weeks of rain! Enjoy!

March04_Misc 009March04_Misc 007March04_Misc 028March04_Misc 011

And over there; not flowers per se; however, loveliness which the weeks of rains have bestowed.

March04_Misc 016March04_Misc 017March04_Misc 014March04_Misc 023March04_Misc 033

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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And boy; have I been turning a lot lately!!

The euphorbia continue their manic seed production stage

The Euphorbia continue their manic seed production stage

I have been…

Turning worries I cannot change into hope that good times lie ahead;

Turning any missed chances into just another opportunity to explore later; and,

Turning down the roads which I normally might not ventured to turn down before…

As the Hydrangea rise; I follow their lead

As the Hydrangea rise; I follow their lead

Soon; this spot will be ablaze in blue and purple hydrangea

Soon; this spot will be ablaze in blue and purple hydrangea

Professionally; my boat continues to ebb and flow with the great ocean that is submitting resumes and cover letters; following up on the sporadic interview opportunity; and ensuring that no matter what, I remain positive that I will be landing something soon. I am also doing my darndest to remain a step ahead my creditors, my landlord, and running out of funds. I am getting pretty adept at the juggling act while still keeping my eye out for a safe cove to bring myself ashore –  preferably a port near me that is awash with jobs for those who really want to contribute. So; bloodied but unbowed, I press ahead toward the bend ahead where I can get back to rebuilding my empire!

Optimism; my ever-present road dog! 

I think I can; I think I can; I think I can! I know I can!

An Amaryllis takes a tentative peek around

An Amaryllis takes a tentative peek around

Thankfully, the relentless resume & cover letter submissions have started to garner attention! Within the last 7-days, I had two really good interviews; of which, I should know the outcomes by end of this week. One in my line of work (Office Manager for a tech co. in San Francisco); the other, an alternate route (retail / customer service). Both jobs or either one would be welcome right now; a full-time job is an old friend I miss dearly. I genuinely miss the office atmosphere; I miss people; I miss the mental stimulation; and yes, I even miss the stress!! I can see light at the end of my tunnel, and that light will bring back the work/life balance I have missed. Working will be great and allow me to re-focus any non-working time to pursuing those things which bring me personal happiness; road cycling and of course, my muse: the garden.

The Primrose Bloom Continues Unabated

The Primrose Bloom Continues Unabated

Raindrops keep falling on my Primrose

Raindrops keep falling on my Primrose

And down onto the only snowflakes I am likely to see this season

And down onto the only snowflakes I am likely to see this season

The garden is happy and ready to welcome a new season; apropos for my story as well, I am definitely also ready to enjoy a new season, maybe new chapter would be a better ending to this part of the story of a gardener making his little corner of Oakland, CA, a nicer place to be.

Until Next Time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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