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Posts Tagged ‘Primrose’

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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As I mentioned in my last post; a number of my garden’s plants had long outgrown their pots or for one of them, a volunteer who definitely decided to take up residence in exactly the wrong place for what I think it will eventually become.

Today’s post is their story…

No names have been changed to protect the innocent.

The rescue fuchsia's new home

The rescue fuchsia’s new home

The little fuchsia that could; this little baby is from a plant growing along a sidewalk in my neighborhood which I took a cutting from about a year ago. She has had a difficult time adjusting, with some really nice spurts of growth, flowering, and overall beauty; however, she has also had more than her fair share of bouts of near death. I am hoping that this new planter will suit her and allow her to get her roots settled and allow her to strengthen her main stalk. She looks happy right now though!

The bonsai pomegranate lost his blue bowl

The bonsai pomegranate lost his blue bowl

The fuchsia’s gain was made possible by the kind donation of my ‘bonsai’ pomegranate plant’s former home. I had planned on moving the pomegranate to a larger pot as I really am not a fan of bonsai – I think each plant should be allowed to just grow as it seems fit, with my intervention only to help them becoming what nature makes them. The pomegranate now resides in a much larger home, no longer restrained against becoming the big-boy his genetics wish him to become!

Miss Ginger and her sisters get an upgrade too!

Miss Ginger and her sisters get an upgrade too!

This little grouping of flowering ginger plants that a former colleague gave me just didn’t fit into the big yellow planter  when I originally received them. In the year + since adopting them they have sadly been constrained to the tiniest of pots, I could just tell that they were horribly unhappy, jealous of the rest of their families lavish planter, and just root-bound like no one’s business! Well, they are confined to a tiny planter no more; Miss Ginger and her Sisters have moved to their new home, where they now have more room to spread their roots and wiggle their toes in the fresh soil.

Then there is this guy?

Then there is this guy? Who are you, Mister?

Anyone recognize what type of tree this is?

Does anyone recognize what type of tree this is?

Then there is this fellow; A volunteer or more likely a seed/nut stashed by Mr. Squirrel; forgotten and left unclaimed for his winter-stores, which enjoyed the planter and regular watering and prompted some rapid growth. Within two to three-months, this little fellow shot up to a full 36″ above the planter! When I dug him out yesterday, his roots were absolutely HUGE!! The pot I moved him into is definitely not going to be a long-term solution; however, from the size of those roots, I am really glad that I decided to pull him from the Primrose’s planter. I could imagine the roots reaching closer and closer to strangling my poor primrose from clear across the 30″ wide planter! Yikes! It is better that he plays by himself for now.

Strawberries; moved indoors for their protection.

Strawberries; moved indoors for their protection.

My patio garden also includes a few plants that I can enjoy in the kitchen. The edibles are also some of my heartier plants; including my June bearing strawberries, now going on their third season of berry production. Yet another plant in the patio’s collection which has decided to not play by the general annual plant vs. perennial plant rules.

The now, 4-year old Rosemary and Thyme plants, are heavily used!

Rosemary and Thyme plants, definitely see heavy use around here!

Another well-loved, heavily used edible, are my now four-year old rosemary and Italian thyme plants. These two friends have been  living together since I picked them up at my local nursery and have consistently produced more than enough of their aromatic goodness for countless dishes that have emerged from my kitchen. One of my favorite uses for them is adding them to the dry mix for my tomato and herb foccaccia bread! Yummy!

Finally today, this guy!

Finally today, this guy wishes you all a GREAT day!

Until next week!

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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Looks like my patio garden didn’t quite feel like waiting until March 20th to get on with the annual Spring bloom. Our somewhat erratic weather patterns from late-February to present; with two to three-weeks of decent rains followed closely by a near heat wave this last week, has set off the signal for my patio’s plants to get to flowering.

Daisy; but not a Duke

The first of my tiny purple daisies opened this week!

The usually outstanding pink Primrose have been; by a long mile, out shined by her blue cousins this week with this dazzler of flower.

Hello Spring!

Hello Spring!

Of course; the Pink Primrose didn’t want to totally lose the spotlight and produced this attractive bouquet.

Primrose; showing off

Primrose; showing off

I also took advantage of this week’s great weather to again re-organize some of the plants out on the patio; add new soil to a few older plants; fertilize everyone for the spring; and give the patio surface a good sweeping.

The front of the patio; just outside the sliding glass door

The front of the patio; just outside the sliding glass door

The back of the patio; just outside my bedroom window

The back of the patio; just outside my bedroom window

Pennisetum and Aloe Vera

Pennisetum and Aloe Vera

I have a couple of plants to re-pot as they have either outgrown their current pot or they are just in the wrong planter and need to be relocated.

Not sure what this volunteer is; Mr. Squirrel missed a nut...

Not sure what this volunteer is; Mr. Squirrel missed a nut…

The other garden plant up for re-potting is a flowering ginger which will not even pop out of its current container due to a mass of roots which have formed a root sheet from the drainage holes in its current container.

Poor root bound ginger

My poor root bound ginger

Other than the usual job searching and finding random tasks through TaskRabbit.com, garden chores and getting out and enjoying the weather on my bicycle have been keep my mind pointing forward. I am trying not to dwell too much on the worsening job market and my sad financial picture as I am doing everything I can do reverse course – – – – it will all work out, right?

It is almost June, yes?

It is almost June, yes?

More next week; hopefully not about a location change, but it is getting possible. How does one move a 3-year old patio garden anyway?

Until then…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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…into Strawberries!! Yay!!

Berry-Licious Goodness

Berry-Licious Goodness in the Making!

March08 016

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.

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HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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