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Posts Tagged ‘Pruning’

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 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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…in the dirt; even if that dirt is separated from the actual earth by a collection of random containers strewn about a patio in Oakland, CA!!!

The Ornamental Strawberry (Fragaria x. Lipstick) rebounds

The Ornamental Strawberry (Fragaria x. Lipstick) rebounds

This week brought the realization that I just might have let my bike riding (training for my first ever bike race!!) completely sway my attention from my garden for a day or two, too long and the cost of such inattentiveness was the death of nearly all of my annuals. I found them parched, withering, and dying out! I tried my best to revive them; alas, the damage was done. The Pansies, Violas, and most of the Primrose, are goners! Which was; simply a Bummer! I guess that I will look at this lapse in attention as both a reminder and an opportunity to find some new garden color!

The Jade Family are Enjoying the Morning

The Jade Family Enjoying the Morning

The garden is currently in one her transitional periods; with Snapdragon shoots rising higher and higher from their planters and at their tips are numerous buds which tell me that soon there will be an explosion of pastel dragons taking over the patio! The three bulbs I was given by my ex-wife last year have all sprung to life and are sending up a lot of new shoots which I hope mean that their flower spikes will soon follow (One of the bulbs is a large Amaryllis; however, I am not sure about the other two as they have yet to produce a flower). My herbs have also sprung to life and I am blessed with enough fresh Rosemary and Thyme for months of baking fresh focaccia bread!

Snapdragon shooting upwards toward the Sun

Snapdragon shooting upwards toward the Sun

Some Dragons have arrived early

Some Dragons have arrived early

Elsewhere in the garden; the hydrangea and ginger are thriving in their shady domain of the large yellow planter. The hydrangea has begun forming her first buds of the season, the ginger; meh, she will do whatever it is that she wants I suppose, and intertwined amongst them, creeping rosemary creeps about!

The first hydrangea buds of my season

The first hydrangea buds of my season

Hydrangea, Ginger, Rosemary, oh my!

Hydrangea, Ginger, Rosemary, oh my!

On the other side of the garden; Mr. Big Boy Avocado, the last of the three avo-seedlingss which I attempted to grow as a project to occupy my free time the last time I was unemployed; and which were the original impetus for this blog, continues to thrive in his new home outside on the patio. He is finally growing noticeably taller as well and is now standing at just over 3-feet tall and currently leafing out quite nicely. Will Big Boy Avocado ever bear edible fruit? Definitely not on his own; I would need to get another avocado tree to ensure the process of cross-pollination has even a remote chance; however, as there could be more  avocado trees nearby, dumb luck might take a stab at pollination resulting in fruiting – doubtful, but it could happen. I will know in about four years if he will be ornamental only or a producer.

Big Boy Avocado enjoying the outdoor life!

Big Boy Avocado enjoying the outdoor life!

Well friends, that is about all there is to tell from this side of the garden-verse. Happy Earth Day Everyone, I hope that your gardens are thriving and bringing you joy!

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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Sunday’s flowers ~ Photos from the Patio!

I really wanted this weekend to last just a little bit longer! The weather here in Oakland has been lovely and it was a joy to spend some time out on the patio this weekend! Oh well, work is necessary to make our past-times and hobbies possible!

In garden news this week… not really a whole lot!! Just lots of flowers coming and going into bloom – a few pansy, a smattering of viola, some snapdragon, and a light dusting of snowflakes – looks like all of the pruning that I did a couple of weeks back is now paying off with some quite colorful dividends.

So friends, for today, just some photos that I liked from the weekend. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

A Dragon Surveys the Land

Another delicate pansy graces the garden

Snowflakes in Oakland – Indeed!

Lone yellow primrose in a sea of green

The potato patch looks promising! Yukon Golds = Yummy!!

The Euphorbia continue their sprawl outward and upward

That is about it for today friends! Until next time – HAPPY GARDENING!!

~ Noah

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September in the garden!

The garden is looking substantially happier this weekend following the last couple of weeks of  pruning, re-soiling, and removal of spent annuals. It is amazing what a little TLC will do for a garden! I also repositioned many of the pots to form somewhat more coherent planting groups – as opposed to the haphazard ‘put ’em where they fit‘ arrangement that I had gone with for most of the plants I have acquired over the past year or so.

Ms. Jade looking very happy!!

There has been an unfortunate change of plans for the Euphorbia plants I recently purchased as additions to my slow-growing houseplant collection. My cat Gretchen has shown a culinary interest in its leaves, which are not at all good for companion animals, so that planter had to be moved outdoors. Thankfully, Euphorbia do quite well outdoors and the planter fits well with the rest of the outdoor family.

The Euphorbia family’s new home

On the indoor plant front, the June bearing strawberry is doing well and continues to produce a few tasty treats here and there (there are 4 growing right now) to provide that little extra something for breakfast. My schefflera continues to grow wonderfully, albeit one of the main limbs is growing in a decidedly not northerly direction and will soon become a barrier to my kitchen!! Looks like it’s time to prune the neighboring bamboo trees to provide Mr. Schefflera some support!

Strawberry flower

turn to Strawberries!!

Mr. Schefflera peeks into the kitchen

I am currently planning the next stage of the patio garden and my thinking is that I am going with a red/orange theme (this may also include painting of the patio wall!) to give the patio nice warm tones for the impending fall/winter season here in Northern California. Although we don’t get any snow here in the Bay Area, we do get a bunch of rain and fog and gloomy grey, and being able to look out on to the patio to see a field of fiery-colored flowers and foliage will be the cure to the winter-blahs!!

The plants that I am thinking of adding are;

  • Tulips
  • Nasturtium
  • Lilly
  • Digitalis (foxglove)
  • Container Roses

Will keep you posted as things progress! That’s all for today friends, definitely time to start that 3-day Labor Day weekend veg-out plan!! I leave you today with the following Parting Shot: The original muse for my blog, my now nearly 2-year old avocado tree!

Big Boy Avocado

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~Noah

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Howdy All!! Sorry for the 2-week hiatus from posting!! Between re-potting, cleaning, clearing, and my patio garden’s desire to not really do a whole lot regarding post-worthy growth, the last couple of weeks have been wholly unremarkable for this gardener!

Factors which existed outside of the garden also kept my posting time to a minimum – particularly two week’s of departmental leadership meetings that were being held in my office which ensured that seeing my house in the daylight was a scarce luxury!

Mr. Euphorbia with his new friends!

As you may be able to ascertain from the title of this post as well as the above photo, I have become a fan of the Euphorbia family of plants!! Which could potentially be a dangerous and costly decision as they are the largest family of plants on this big blue marble of ours – – Yikes!! If you are a regular follower of my little corner of the internet, you may recall that I went down a coleus road last year so this year’s detour is taking me to Euphorbiaville, population: Me!

Euphoric about Euphorbia, one becomes three, and a new planter to boot!

The strawberries continue to produce just enough fresh berries each couple of weeks to be a special treat. The fragaria x. lipstick ornamental strawberry produces great flowers; however, unlike their first year in the garden, they have not set out a fruiting body worthy of speaking of. Though this is likely not a problem as every site that I have read states that even when they do set fruit, the resulting berry is generally disappointing with respect to its flavor vs. the traditional June bearing variety. On the plus side though, they make a very nice lowering effect for the large planter, which is now being dominated by the huge hydrangea and the towering flowering ginger!!

A pair of soon-to-be breakfast additions!

Happy patch of strawberry foliage

Not all the garden fun is happening outdoors on the patio though, my Orchids appear to be setting many more roots and growing out new foliage, which I hope are a precursor to another flowering! I have only had one of them flower (the paphiopedillum-callosum from last October), so, I am very much looking forward to any blooming that occurs.

Grow baby, grow!!

The voila, snapdragon, and pansies continue to provide the vibrant pops of color that help to soften the sea of green, as well as hopefully make the garden more aesthetically pleasing. I do enjoy their beauty; however, being the ever fickle gardener that I am, I am definitely ready to ditch them all and find some other color statement for the patio. I am thinking a palate of reds and oranges will be great for summer and will compliment the lotus varietal, Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak, when she finally wakes up from her multiple transplant induced slumber.

Mother Nature, you can throw down some color!!

Little golden rays of happiness in bloom!

The primrose never cease to amaze with their beautiful little blooms

That is about all that I have to share today friends! As usual though, let me leave you with today’s parting shot:

Big Boy Avocado’s new growth – still trying to be a tree!!

Big Boy Avocado

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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Every gardener; I suspect, goes through the moment of dread which reveals itself when the realization that merely pruning and tending to their plants above-ground foliage is no longer enough to sustain their container garden’s health.

Thankfully – this one is not in need of re-potting!!

Well friends, I am starting to realize that I find myself quite near just such a time with my own patio garden and houseplants. I guess after two-years, I should not be surprised that the soil that once provided all of the nutrients which my plants thrived upon, has just lost some of its oomph!  This point was driven home this morning as I finished watering my indoors plants – most clearly evidenced by my dracaena’s weight (or lack thereof) after the deep soaking which a few minutes under the shower head provides. The good thing, I still have LOTS of soil from the over-purchase to fill the new yellow planter bed which now holds my hydrangea and ginger plants! The bad thing, I don’t have lots of free time. Oh well, the plants need me, so it is time to clear the calendar for next weekend!

Even with the sad state of my garden’s soil, I am still being blessed with some beautiful flowers and fresh strawberries! To close out today’s update, I will leave you with the following photos of the garden!

A new strawberry in the making!

A beautiful snapdragon blooms

The pansies continue to bloom wonderfully!

Blue on Dark Blue Pansy

The Euphorbia v. rigidia (rigid spurge) continues to grow and reach toward the sun

Euphorbia v. rigidia

Well friends, until next week, may your gardens be all you dreamed and most of all, bring you joy!

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS

~ Noah

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