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Posts Tagged ‘Peace Lily’

Wow!! I didn’t realize that it has been two full months – my Memorial Day post – since I have been able to update my little corner of the inter-webs!!

My little fuchsia is blossom happy!!

My little fuchsia is blossom happy!!

An unfortunate and unplanned two month hiatus from the world wide web was thrust upon me as I found myself without internet, television, or telephone at home at the end of May. Unfortunately; my finances were still struggling to recover from nine months of unemployment; three of which without the assistance of State Unemployment Insurance (thank you Mr. and Ms. Congress!) and I had to pick and choose carefully how I budgeted the little income I was able to make through taking odd jobs through TaskRabbit.com.

Lithodora diffusa 'Heavenly Blue'

Lithodora diffusa ‘Heavenly Blue’

The decision of course was that I had to refocus all of my income toward those thing which are absolute essentials; paying my rent and food for myself and my cat. I realized that everything else was a luxury; and that I would have to live without the internet and cable television for a short spell. Thankfully; now that I am three months into my new job, my finances are getting much better and it looks like I won’t have to rely on the garden to provide my food, which is a good thing as a diet which consists solely of pomegranates, strawberries, tomatoes, and some herbs seems somewhat nutritionally deficient for the amount of calories I expend cycling.

A pomegranate in the making

A pomegranate in the making

Pomegranate flowers are crazy looking!

Pomegranate flowers are crazy looking!

So what did I do with all of the ‘extra’ time I suddenly found after checking out of the ‘connected’ world?

For the most part; I spent a lot of time on the bike and starting rebuilding my old bike. I had noticed that since I broke my ankle last September that I had let getting saddle time on the bike take a deep dive. That issue needed to be rectified, and pronto! I created a training schedule for myself; taped it to the front door; and starting tracking my results, it was the motivation I needed.

A training schedule on the front door = motivation

A training schedule taped to the front door = Motivation!

I had been letting the ankle injury, and its impact on my mental state, guide how I approached cycling. This overly cautious approach was fine in the first couple of months following being cleared to ride again by my doctor; however, I never moved past caution. My ankle is healed; I needed get my brain to be okay with that concept and get back to cycling again. So; I decided to challenge myself, I set two goals for myself: 1) Try to ride 400-miles a month / 2) Complete a 100-mile charity ride/race by November 3, 2014 (my b-day). On June 6th, I got to work getting back to focusing on riding and not my ankle. I didn’t quite hit my goal of 400-miles in June – but I was close!!

June 6 - July 8, 2014 | 298.57 miles

June 6 – July 8, 2014 | 298.57 miles

Another benefit of the loss of connectivity was the realization of how much of a life vacuum the internet and television really are. I never really noticed just how much time I spent until I was suddenly without – it was a lot of time! Now that I have identified spending too much time online and in front of the tube as a barrier to living the life that I choose; I have moved fixing it for good right to the top of the list of things to work on about myself.

I kept busy though! 298.57 miles from 6-6 to 7-8-2014

I kept busy though! 298.57 miles from 6-6 to 7-8-2014

N+1; Achieved!

N+1; Achieved! New Bike meet Old Bike

Il Toro~Blu rides again! As I mentioned; I also set to work on putting my old bike back together by slowly gathering parts over the past two months. Right now, she is about 95% complete, I just need to find a means of putting power to the wheels – a track crankset, pedals, and a chain – to get her road worthy! I just couldn’t stand to look at her frame sitting on my dresser any longer, she has way too much sentimental value to me to end up a wall-hanger!

Il Toro~Blu (the Blue Bull)

Il Toro~Blu (the Blue Bull)

Gathering parts for the rebuild

Gathering parts for the rebuild

Finally; she is able to roll again!

Finally; she is able to roll again!

Of course, I also spent a lot of time in the garden. Mainly caring for my tomatoes and experimenting with how to support the plants without using the traditional ‘mater cages as I just didn’t want to introduce them into my patio – their aesthetic is dismal! I remember on an episode of The Victory Garden; the host visited a commercial tomato farm where they used a system of wires hanging down from a horizontal beam above the planters. The farm’s gardeners would wrap the tomatoes around the wires, which almost reached the soil, and the tension of the vines grabbing the wires apparently supports even the most tomato laden plant. So far, the system is working like a charm!

My Arkansas Travelers are growing nicely

My Arkansas Travelers are growing nicely

About 3-weeks from my first harvest

About 3-weeks from my first harvest

A bountiful harvest to come

A bountiful harvest to come

Grow babies, Grow!

Grow babies, Grow!

Now, it’s time to go out and enjoy life outdoors; the weather here in Oakland is glorious and I feel like pedaling! My next installment will definitely be more garden-centric; hopefully I will have found and planted a good array of late summer annuals to add some pop and color to the patio, right now, it’s kind of monochromatic and the focus is clearly the tomatoes. Another thing which I will have address. 🙂 Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Happy Weekend Friends!

Happy Weekend Friends!

Until next time…

 HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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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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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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Since breaking my ankle last month, I must say that gardening has been at best, a chore and at worst, an impossibility. Gardening for the past 5-weeks has really been limited to watering the plants every couple of days. My inability to properly maintain the patio garden has invariably resulted in new blooms being few and far between and an abundance of sad scraggly looking plants, which definitely do not scream to me; “Oh! This would make some great garden blog post fodder!”

A blue primrose peeks out from the shadows

A blue primrose peeks out from the shadows

However, every now and again, the garden tosses a bright point of beauty into the drab landscape. Natures gentle reminder that even though things may look bad right now, that good things often lurk just below the surface, you just have to look for them and they will appear. I like that my garden and I are on the same page! This is definitely the position that I have been taking on the ankle situation, sure, the ankle both looks and feels like crap; however, I know this is temporary and that  good things are really just around the corner.

A snapdragon seemed apropos for a snapped ankle post!

A snapdragon seemed apropos for a snapped ankle post!

I still have a little ways to go on the ankle front as the broken bone unfortunately did not set correctly. My doctor scheduled surgery to fix the problem for Monday, October 21, 2013. The doctors have advised that my ankle will eventually heal; however, it will likely never be back to 100% due to the severity of  the break. The operation; a left ankle open reduction and internal fixation, will be to remove the damaged bone and replace it with a metal plate, which should get the ankle for the most part back in working order. My doctor advised that it would be about 6-months before I can get back to near where I was before the accident. Which is not bad, I will miss the winter months on the bicycle and emerge in April with the last of rains to begin building the strength back to what it was! Yay!

Sunny Days

Sunny Days Ahead

The upside to the injury is that I have been able to enjoy the epic weather we have been having here in Oakland the last couple of weeks. Although I haven’t been able to do a lot of routine garden work, pruning, re-potting, and preparing the garden for coming winter, just getting out into the garden has been a blessing which has helped this temporarily shut-in gardener immensely!

Mrs. Jade Looking Good

Mrs. Jade Looking Good

Not too much has been changing in the garden; the onion plant is still going strong, my anthurium is sending up another flower, and a couple of other old garden friends also begin to send new foliage and flowers skyward.

Onion Flower

Onion Flower

Onions getting Bigger!

Onions getting Bigger!

Anthurium's New Flower

Anthurium’s New Flower

Wiggling Its Way Through the Stems

Wiggling Its Way Through the Stems

Primula making a comeback

Primula making a comeback

Hydrangea's interesting foliage

Hydrangea’s interesting foliage

Until next time …

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS

~Naoh

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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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…A Beautiful Day for New Growth, Oh, Won’t It Be Nice? Won’t It Be Nice? Won’t You Keep Growing, New Flowers!!!

Peace Lily flower about to unfurl

Peace Lily flower about to unfurl

As the homage to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood suggests; my patio garden is exploding in new flower growth. My little strawberry plants are finally setting their first fruits and my experimental onion has set her first flower.

Amazon Sunset; Parrot's Beak

Amazon Sunset; Parrot’s Beak

Anthurium's New Bract

Anthurium’s New Bract

Mr. Onion's first flower

Mr. Onion’s first flower

First Strawberry!!

First Strawberry!!

Of course, it is not all new growth which keeps my garden being the place I retreat to and enjoy a nice rest after a long bike ride. Many of my garden’s long-time favorites are also keeping busy trying to keep up with the upstart flower buds! My little daisies are putting on a magnificent show and continue to add a wonderful contrast to the stark whiteness of the snowflake’s delicate flowers. My newest addition; Dahlia v. Mystic Haze, continues to flower profusely, showering my yard in her deep crimson blossoms and attracting hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.

My Dainty Daisy’s

Daisy's Part II

Daisy’s Part II

Miss Dahlia's Newest Flower

Miss Dahlia’s Newest Flower

Finally today; I leave you with a short tale, as told by Miss. Snapdragon and her Sister, and a cute garden critter caught making his daily visit to the garden!

Orange and Yellow Dragons!

Orange and Yellow Dragons!

Compete with Pink Dragons!

Compete with Pink Dragons for Attention!

While Hoping to Avoid Mr. Squirrel's Digging Attention!

All the While Hoping to Avoid Mr. Squirrel’s Digging Attention!

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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