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Posts Tagged ‘Strawberry’

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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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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Happy Holidays from the Garden

As the year 2013 winds itself down; I reflect on what was an interesting year and one which I am going to remember for many reasons. I close the year with a few lingering uncertainties; yet, I plan to begin the New Year with a positive outlook, walking (finally) on two feet, and in general good spirits. I look forward to a great year to come.

Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad!

Of all the happenings this year; it is the broken ankle that I think will live with me the longest amount of time. Not just the scar; which will serve as a reminder that I am not immune to injury, but just how humbling an injury like mine can be. I have always been a confident; sometimes to a fault, person and all to often ‘caution to wind’ was a recurring mantra; however, I am learning that ones journey through life should indeed be fun and free-spirited, yet the paths should be tread carefully and with more than the moment at mind.

Ouch! However, getting much better.

Ouch! However, getting much better.

I always look for silver linings in everything and from the ankle injury came the realization (or reminder) that I have a very strong and resilient personality when I set my mind firmly on a specific goal or task. This was definitely the case with my rehabilitating the ankle to regain as close as I will likely get to full range of motion following surgery on October 5, 2013. It was not without A LOT of hard work; including, exercise, maintaining a proper diet, following my doctor’s advice, and a non-stop regime of at home physical therapy and indoor cycle training as soon as I was cleared by my physician.

With hard work; rewards often follow. My reward: Getting the bike back on the road on December 15, 2013 and already putting about 70-miles behind me!

Il Toro~Blu again stretches her legs and runs!

Il Toro~Blu again stretches her legs and runs!

Dec. 23td Ride; I Am Back on the Road!

Dec. 23td Ride; I Am Back on the Road!

The garden continues her slow transitioning into a dormant land of hopes for next year’s garden. A few stubborn holdouts refuse the call to sleep and dot the patio with glints of bright color here and there. Mainly, my primrose plants continue their blooms unabated by weather and cold temperatures. The primrose must be being kept warm and happy by the lone Dragon still in residency on the patio!

Winter Primrose

Winter Primrose

Blue Primrose provide lovely dots of needed color

Blue Primrose provide lovely dots of needed color

A hardy Dragon lurks the Patio

A hardy Dragon lurks the Patio

Interestingly enough; I also have one lone strawberry that is trying her best to ripen! As far as a harvest, it might not be much to write home about; however, a tasty treat would be welcome if I can get it before Mr. Squirrel does!

Almost!

Almost!

Shutting the door on another year; I am thankful for many things: My wonderful family of course, the few good friends I am blessed with, my general good health, and of course, my sweet cat; Miss Gretchen. She has definitely made my apartment feel like home and rekindled some very needed energy that was lacking in the home.

Miss Gretchen stalks her outdoor lair!

Miss Gretchen stalks her outdoor lair!

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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