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Posts Tagged ‘Viola’

Mmmm! Pollen's Good!

Mmmm! Pollen’s Good!

After yesterday’s bike ride (training for Long Beach Marathon’s Bike Race); I was exhausted and sought out the refuge of my patio garden, a cold beer, and minimal movement! After just relaxing and soaking in some sun, it was then that I noticed that one of the snapdragon blooms was moving in an odd way. There was definitely not enough wind which could be causing this movement – and then I got my answer… this little bee came crawling out of the flower!!

Surprise!! I'm a bee

Surprise!! I’m a bee

Pollen, Pollen, Pollen, want more Pollen

Pollen, Pollen, Pollen, want more Pollen

Oops, color good = but no pollen on the Coleus :(

Oops, color good = but no pollen on the Coleus 😦

I believe that I should give thanks to my happy little visitors and their dutiful pollination efforts! To say that my garden is a happy mass of flowering wonderland would be a slight understatement. The bees have been busy, I have been busy with pruning and fertilizing, and Mother Nature has been extremely cooperative with her recent super-sunny weather. The ‘Perfect Non-Storm‘ as it were…

The view from my relaxed perch yesterday

The view from my relaxed perch yesterday

I cleaned up the patio table display on Saturday

I cleaned up the patio table display on Saturday

Elsewhere in the garden… well, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Helen Mount's continue to grace my patio

Helen Mount’s continue to grace my patio

A Pretty Vibrant Scarlet Snapdragon

A Pretty Vibrant Scarlet Snapdragon

And, her equally vibrant yellow counterpart!

And, her equally vibrant yellow counterpart!

Croton v. Super California

Croton v. Super California

Finally today; I will leave you with my little super-trooper Fuchsia… she’s almost ready to open those blooms I think!

Open, open, open

Open, open, open

Until Next Time….

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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Lithodora Diffusa shadow the road ahead

Lithodora Diffusa v. Heavenly Blue cast his shadow on the road ahead

The inevitable tightening of the belt string has begun in earnest; I have balanced the household budget between the must pay (rent, utilities, credit cards, etc.), the should pay (cell phone), and the probably a good idea to buy (food!) items and it will be tight but I should be just dandy until I can land another position. Most of last week was spent on the aforementioned budget and plugging away at finding a likely candidate for Noah’s Career v. 3.2. 

On Fire!! Amazon Sunset, Parrot's Beak

On Fire!! Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak

I have been filling what precious little time is left doing what having a day job usually puts a serious damper upon; namely, pedaling my bicycle where ever it is that I feel like going or just hitting the local driving range and getting a $5.00/bucket of range balls and working on my golf game. I continue to eagerly await the happy voice mail or  email from a Human Resources professional near me real soon with my orders to come in from the cold.

Happy Hydrangea - a sign of good things to come!

Happy Hydrangea – a sign of good things to come!

I will continue to apply for those positions which I am qualified, adding to the six lucky companies who last week were graced the opportunity to hire me!

Patience Kwai Chang, Patience – I must continue to remind myself that it has only been one-week!!

What is it they say? When the going gets tough, the tough purchase a Dahlia? Meet Mrs. Dahlia v. Mystic Haze, apropos to my state of mind over the last week. Ha ha!

Welcome Dahlia v. Mystic Haze

Welcome Dahlia v. Mystic Haze

My latest addition is definitely a bright beauty in a dark-ish week

My latest addition is definitely a bright beauty in a dark(ish) week

Elsewhere around the garden; the hydrangea are exploding into their full spring bloom. The Helen Mount viola have also made a remarkable comeback from the brink of death from dehydration!

Helen Mount Voila

Helen Mount Voila

A viola here, a viola there, viola, viola, everywhere!

A viola here, a viola there, viola, viola, everywhere!

I will leave you today with the following shot; I thought that the flower stalk of the coleus set against the pink flower of the Ornamental Strawberry (fragaria x. lipstick) was interesting and I wanted to share. Until next week friends.

Happy Gardening Everyone!!

Happy Gardening Everyone!!

~ Noah

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Decoration Day

Decoration Day

In memory of those who came before us and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms too many now take for granted.

It should be noted that Memorial Day is not a holiday. Memorial Day is, and should always be, a day of  National Mourning, a date to remember, mourn, and to be grateful, to those who did not make it home in defense of our Country.

5 May 1868: In response to the overwhelming loss of life on the battlefields of the United States during the American Civil War, a Union Army veterans group; the Grand Army of the Republic; acting under General Order No. 11 (Gen. J.A. Logan, Cmdr in Chief) which proclaimed May 30, as Decoration (Memorial) Day, observed what is generally accepted as the first public honoring of those who died in battle by ‘strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

Rememberence

In Remembrance

THE MUFFLED drum’s sad roll has beat The soldier’s last tattoo;

No more on Life’s parade shall meet;

That brave and fallen few.

On Fame’s eternal camping-ground;

Their silent tents are spread;

And Glory guards;

with solemn round;

The bivouac of the dead.

Bivouac Of The Dead, by Theodore O’Hara

Half_Staff

¤————§———§———§————¤

So, what is happening in the garden this week?

Hydrangea Blooms

Hydrangea Blooms

Ornamental Strawberry Flowers

Ornamental Strawberry Flowers

Euphorbia flowers

Euphorbia Flowers

Nature at Work

Nature at Work

The Garden at Peace

The Garden at Peace

Nothing too different from the last few weeks; I will leave it at this for today…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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…just another day in the City across the way from the City by the Bay!

Hello!!

Hello There!!

Ms. Gretchen seems to be enjoying the newest item I have growing; Rosy’s Kitty Grass from the folks at Woodrose Gardens in Sebastopol, CA. This was a gift from a former co-worker which was mailed to me last week; a 3.3 oz. package of their 100% organic seeds that I planted immediately upon receiving them. The shoots are not actually a grass; such as you would have in yard, they are a blend of young sprouted grain which provide a significant amount of fiber into your companion animals diet, as well as other vitamins, minerals, and live enzymes. I can testify that Ms. Gretchen is a fan! It is also an easy to grow project and one that would likely get the younger folks interested in the fun of gardening given that it also has the benefit that their kittens would also enjoy the resulting grass immensely!

3-days after planting

3-days after planting

5-days after planting

5-days after planting

In non-cat related gardening news! The profusion of color which the numerous snapdragon blossoms have delivered shows no signs of abating anytime soon. More and more flowering stalks are popping up in all of the planters that I could stuff the dragons into when I did the Winter Garden refresh back in January.

This is definitely my favorite so far! Love the color!

This is definitely my favorite so far! Love the deep crimson color!

Three snapdragon blooms really brighten things up!

Three snapdragon blooms really brighten things up!

Ms. Bee buzzing around the blooms

Ms. Bee buzzing around the blooms

The Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak, Lotus vine variety also continues to put out a profuse amount of her orange/red fiery blooms. She is VERY thirsty though, requiring at least one watering a day and sometimes two if the temperatures get above the mid-70’s!!

Amazon Sunset, Parrot's Beak

Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak

Cascading blooms from the fiery Lotus variety

Cascading blooms from the fiery Lotus variety

Today was also a day for cycling and training for my first bike race in over 25-years! I signed up for the 2013 PETA Pack bicycle race;  with the marquee bike race being the VW Think Blue Bike Race, which precedes the 2013 Long Beach Marathon on October 13, 2013. Knowing that I have been off of a bike for 20+ years and that I would doing the race on my steel framed, single speed bike, I have been training hard well ahead of the formal training which begins in July. Today, I did 25-miles, marking the 2nd time I have ever cycled a quarter-century.

Long and Beautiful Bike Ride Today!

Long and Beautiful Bike Ride Today!

That is about all of the news that’s fit to print from this side of the gardening world! As usual, today I will leave you with a couple of pictures that I liked which didn’t really fit into the dialog of this blog.

A snails eye view

A snails eye view

Mr. Big Boy Avocado, enjoy a day of sunshine

Mr. Big Boy Avocado, enjoy a day of sunshine

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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It is not always the biggest flowers that I enjoy the most

It is not always the biggest flowers that I enjoy the most

I gotta tell you, I am really starting to enjoy the weekends much more than I have for quite some time! Sunday’s have historically been a day for getting the chores done (laundry, grocery getting, house cleaning, etc.); however, since I purchased my bicycle in January, Saturday’s and Sunday’s have become a day for getting out, getting some exercise, and just having fun without worrying about parking, gas, or traffic.

Cineraria in incredibly VIVID purple!

Cineraria in incredibly VIVID purple!

Since getting the bike; I have been trying to ride somewhere in the 15 – 20 mile range during the weekends. I have come to terms with the reality that 20+ years of driving had taken its toll on my stamina, leg strength, and overall cardiovascular system; by the time I get home after a long ride, I am usually far too tired to think about doing chores!  This is not a terrible thing as I now find that I spend even more time out on the patio just enjoying the garden from a comfy garden chair (to rest my weary old bones upon). The chores which formerly dominated my weekend are easily pawned off on an unsuspecting work week, ensuring that my weekends are again valued as a precious resource –  not to be squandered on the tedious, but to enjoy at a full throttle pace in pursuit of fun!

Il Toro Blu - my 2012 SE Draft - Froio's Custom Edition

‘Il Toro Blu’ – 2012 SE Draft – Froio’s Custom Edition

My bicycle has followed the same theme as my garden; replace and refresh until I find something  I like – with the garden; it was January’s Winter Patio Refresh ; taking what I had learned from 2-years of gardening here in Oakland and turning that into what is now the garden I envisioned when I moved in and realized that the patio was screaming to be reborn. The patio was a dirty, unkempt, and generally dingy concrete slab, devoid of anything interesting which I quickly set about addressing.

From the barren wasteland that you see outside the window in this early blog image (Mr. Big Boy Avocado and an avocado that didn’t quite make it)

My plant collection, January 2011

My plant collection, January 2011

To what I enjoy today (Mr. Big Boy Avocado still very much a part of the landscape)

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere

So too my bicycle has undergone a metamorphosis; from the plain stock version that arrived in January. I quickly set about upgrading this, changing out that, and before I knew it; the only parts remaining from the factory are the frame, forks, front brake caliper, and chain. Starting with the pedals, I have replaced everything on the bike at least once, some twice (handlebars, cranks, & grips).

Jan. 16, 2013 - Factory Fresh

Jan. 16, 2013 – Factory Fresh

Now; after much searching for just the right part to accomplish an image that was never clear in my mind until it unfolded before me, my bike is a track monster which I have dubbed; ‘Il Toro Blu’; Italian for the Blue Bull, after the 2nd set of new handlebars (Cannondale C3 Bullhorn Aero Bars) and the bikes theme color (blue).

Il Toro Blue (the Blue Bull) - March 24, 2012

Il Toro Blue (the Blue Bull) – March 24, 2013

Note to self: find another frameset to put all of the parts that I replaced onto

While writing this post earlier today I realized something about myself; I am not sure if it is a good thing, a bad thing, or just an ‘it is what it is‘ thing. Either way; I think I know why I have often butted heads with those in my life that want me to conform to their ideals, I am a stubborn, bull-headed, learn-it-by-myself, or don’t learn it kind of guy.

The hydrangea readies itself for summertime blooms

The hydrangea readies itself for summertime blooms

The way I look at it, I know what I want in life (same as with gardens and bicycles), I generally know a way to get there, and once locked in, I won’t compromise that methodology in pursuit of something that doesn’t ring true with me. I am sorry if my methods don’t always make sense to those around me, my methods and directions always make perfect sense to at least one person, myself.

Ms. Jade's new planter mates are settling in nicely

Ms. Jade’s new planter mates are settling in nicely

This stubbornness has definitely caused a lot of familial stress and relationship stress.

  • Is it my fault for not bending like the young willow?
  • Is it the other party’s fault  for not realizing that I am who I am and leaving well enough alone?

I don’t know the answer to either question; however, I do know that I miss my family. I also know that I won’t be the one with the olive branch extended this time around, I didn’t do anything wrong this time. I guess I will just continue to till my own soil and beat my own path my own way. Overall; the good has outweighed the bad – What bad there has been, I have dealt with myself and have come out the other side a-okay.

I will leave the answers to such questions on the table for now, that deck will have to wait for another day to be dealt out.

For today, it is late, and I shall just leave with these parting shots – enjoy…

Last year's Amaryllis bulb has awoken

Last year’s Amaryllis bulb has awoken

Looking up through the Euphorbia

Looking up through the Euphorbia

Pastel Blue Cineraria

Pastel Blue Cineraria

Until next time….

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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…the patio plants remarked in unison as they peered through the sliding glass door which separates the outdoor patio garden and the land of the houseplants.

Purple and White Cineraria springs from its planter

Purple and White Cineraria springs from its planter

Indeed, historically the stand-out flowers of my garden have lived outside on the patio and not indoors. There have been a couple of exceptions; the Paphiopedillum Callosum Orchid being the most notable of such exceptions; however, she only bloomed once, though I would love if she would grace me with another her glorious slippers! With the recent addition of Cineraria and Primula to my indoor plant collection though, the outdoor patio now has a serious contender for stand-out flowers at Casa de Froio!

The window box in glorious bloom

The window box in glorious bloom

Primula and Cineraria apparently really like each others company!

Primula and Cineraria apparently really like each others company!

Pastel blue Cineraria

Pastel blue and Sparking White Cineraria

Still, one should never count out the patio garden’s potential and this week; as in weeks past, the patio garden did not disappoint! The Pansy, Viola, and Primrose continue to be a long-lasting source of beauty which entices me outside quite often. There is also a wonderful anticipation waiting for me outside in the shape of what I hope to be right around the corner; a sea of glorious Snapdragon blooms!!

The snapdragon plants now tower above the pansy and viola

The snapdragon plants now tower above the pansy and viola

There are still no buds on the snapdragon stalks, so my anticipation may be premature as my past snapdragon have usually waited until mid-summertime to start blooming. Although with the unseasonably warmer temperatures that Oakland had this spring, I do hold out some hope for early blooms! Looking back through my post from last year, I may have to wait until July; however, I am hopeful for May or June – I suppose that only time will tell!

Elsewhere around the garden the Pansy (Supreme Clear Scarlet and Majestic Giants II – White/Blotch), the Viola (Helen Mount, Penny Yellow, and Pandora’s Box), and the Primrose (Pacific Giant Blue and Purple Supernova) continue to thrive and poke and peer from every corner of the patio.

Supreme Clear Scarlett and Majestic Giant Pansy

Supreme Clear Scarlett and Majestic Giant Pansy

Slightly smaller; yet still impressive, Supreme Clear Scarlet pansy

Slightly smaller; yet still impressive, Supreme Clear Scarlet pansy

Helen Mount Viola surround a Majestic Giant

Helen Mount Viola surround a Majestic Giant

Ms. Jade continues on her road to full recovery from her unceremonious dumping and is thriving in her new redwood planter box! It appears that the Primula that I added to her planter like it as much as she does!

Ms. Jade continues her road to recovery!

Ms. Jade continues her road to recovery!

Ms. Jade's new neighbor, Primula Acaulis White

Ms. Jade’s new neighbor, Primula Acaulis White

Down at the far end of the garden in the big yellow planter box; the Hydrangea are leafing out nicely and should be ready to bloom right about the same time the Snapdragon are blooming, which will be a wonderful color-explosion for Summer that I am very much looking forward to. In addition, the bulbs that I received from my ex-wife last year have just begun to send up their first shoots of the season and I am hopeful that I will have another guest appearance of the glorious Amaryllis bloom of last year. That Amaryllis was hands down, no contenders need apply, easily the most beautiful flower I have ever seen, let alone was able to grow!

The Hydrangea Return

The Hydrangea Return

A bulb bursts to life!

A bulb bursts to life!

The Euphorbia continues her  flowering stage

The Euphorbia continues her flowering stage

Finally today, I leave you with these parting shots; I just really liked them and thought that I would share!

Purple Supernova Primrose

Looking up through the Purple Supernova Primrose

Unknown Purple Daisy

Unknown Purple Daisy

Until next update –

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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Cineraria, v. multifloria

Cineraria, v. multiflora

That’s Why I’m Easy…

I’m easy like Sunday morning

New Primula in the Jade Bed

New Primula in the Jade Bed

Sunday is coming to a close and I am just sorting through my photos of the patio garden taken earlier in the day. The seemingly never-ending blooms that grace my patio are more than I could have hoped for and now, I am blessed with an all new blooming fest with my indoor planters! The Primula and Cineraria that I recently picked up at my local nursery are now bringing the brilliance I have enjoyed on the patio into the indoor living space – and with their blooms; happiness ensues!!

New Cineraria blooms are emerging everywhere!

New Cineraria blooms are emerging everywhere!

Pastel blues and purples invade the window box

Pastel blues and purples invade the window box

Primula globes and Cineraria explode in the window box

Primula globes and Cineraria, an explosion of indoor color

Let's visit the outside, shall we?

Let’s visit the outside, shall we?

Outside, the patio is just keeps giving and giving! When I was planning the Winter Garden Refresh in January I knew what I wanted; a garden awash in colorful blooms and someplace that was relaxing to unwind after a long bike ride or hard day at work – I think I nailed it!

These planters make me smile each time I look at them

These planters make me smile each time I look at them

The patio table, no longer great for playing cards!

The patio table, no longer great for playing cards!

My baker's shelf garden

My baker’s shelf garden

The rescued jade has recovered wonderfully!

The rescued jade has recovered wonderfully!

The ginger / hydrangea / ornamental strawberry patch

The ginger / hydrangea / ornamental strawberry patch

Well friends, that is about all of the news that is fit to print this week. I have no plans for any new plants in the immediate future (though, one never knows!) and I am still painfully hemming and hawing about the paint for the patio’s cinder block wall. Part of me wants to go with a rich blue; however, another part of me thinks it would end of looking oddly mismatched to the garden. I just don’t know, what I do know is that the fear of ruining the garden with hideous paint is debilitating!

Anyway, I leave you with some of the images I liked the most from today, enjoy!

The Euphorbia's flowering stalks continue their upward ascent!

The Euphorbia’s flowering stalks continue their upward ascent!

A lone daisy beckons her friends to come out!

A lone daisy beckons her friends to come out!

My favorite flower; the scarlet pansy just make me happy!

My favorite flower; the scarlet pansy just make me happy!

Until next week friends…

HAPPY GARDENING!

~ Noah

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