Sunday, December 15, 2013

Northern California December

A few random images from an especially beautiful day - and a productive hour or two of backyard chores: harvesting avocados, cutting down last season's asparagus fronds, and planting heirloom Italian fava beans. Seems like most of the outdoor succulents survived last weekend's overnight freeze unscathed, and even a flower could been found here and there.....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

35 Years Ago Today....

Helicopters overhead again tonight, just like then - the march from City Hall is ending in our neighborhood, and you are still very much missed...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mid September Home and Garden

Plants and projects - random images from a Monday morning....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Limelight Hydrangea

From this summer's garden - dried and arranged with antique millinery pears....
Late summer colors.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Burmese Honeysuckle

Is having a banner year, entirely covering the roof of the lath house at the end of the yard - to bring it into the house and use it as a cut flower requires the counterweight of a large, heavy vase.

I don't remember how this vase ended up in our home, but I really like the way it works with the Art Nouveau feel of the tile commode....

The Burmese honeysuckle (Lonicera hildebrandiana) looks like the common wild honeysuckle on steroids...
with a powerful fragrance to match its gargantuan size.

Follow me to Jane's blog to celebrate "Flowers in the House" from all over the world....

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Epiphyllum in Jadeite Bowl

Sharing a kitchen counter top with Begonia "Fiji".

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Foliage Follow-Up

Container plantings on the deck - bromeliads, a heuchera and true geranium.
The colors are especially vivid on foggy summer days......

 Joining in the July foliage celebration on Pam Penick's Digging blog.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Past Six Weeks -

Were spent frantically preparing for yesterday's garden tour...

For the past two weeks the weather has been sunny and mild, but yesterday the coastal fog never burned off in our part of the city, so it was a little cool to be outside - tolerable on the deck, but only the braver souls spent time in the yard.
Perfect light conditions for photos, though.
I got a chance to walk through the garden before visitors arrived - alone, except for Cooper, who can be seen leaving the premises after doing a quick, final inspection.

This week I'm joining in the Common Ground blog party.
See you there!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

California Lilac Sapphire Ceanothus

 The color of lox.....

That's what jumped into my head when I looked at a neighbor's house in this photo taken at the top of the street where I live.

Our home is near the top of the longest uninterrupted city block in San Francisco, almost all of it uphill. At the very end of the street is a STOP sign where you can either turn left, or make a -very- sharp right and drive up this poured concrete ramp to hook up with the street above ours. This is where the lox-colored house stands guard.

What I really wanted to share was the beautiful sight  of the ceanothus (also know as a California lilac) planted along the side of the ramp that is now in full blooming glory...
A deep sapphire blue that shimmers in its intensity even on foggy days, it is an irresistible draw for bees. Behind it's looming blueness stands a burgundy plum street tree now in leaf, and below it a gray feathery shrub, probably some sort of Australian native.

I actually look forward to running errands these days because I get to take in all this loveliness on my way (carefully) up the narrow concrete ramp...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Early Spring Easter Colors Pizza

We're so happy that the backyard garden has started offering up some fresh options for home-grown pizza toppings....
The asparagus spears are still frantically pushing up through the soil into the springtime sunlight, and while weeding the potato beds we unearthed a few Red Thumb fingerlings - don't they look just like radishes?
Sliced very thin and lightly shingled across the top of sun dried tomato sauce and fresh pizza dough, then placed in a 500 degree oven, they crisped into lovely little potato chips (peeking up through dots of melted cheese).

Welcome springtime, thank you garden!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cymbidium Season

Potted cymbidium orchid plants require very little care to thrive outdoors here in our mild climate, and with space always an issue in a city garden, the miniature varieties have always had a special appeal.

Unfortunately it hasn't been the most floriferous cymbidium season, but I discovered this spike tightly curled and hiding behind a cluster of strappy leaves in the potted plants on the deck. It's amazing that the snails and slugs hadn't chewed its plump buds to shreds, but I suppose it's one of the few advantages of having had such a remarkably dry winter this year.

Cymbidium spikes make especially fine cut flowers - they last for weeks, and one by one each of the buds unfurls and opens. The small branch of round green leaves framing this flower spike are from the neighbor's coprosma bush - its common name is "mirror plant" because the leaves are so waxy and shiny.

Have to confess that the sturdy stoneware vase usually sits next to the sink, offering a sweet distraction from dishwashing, always filled with whatever the garden can offer up during the year. I cheated and moved the vase over to the kitchen buffet to take these photos - couldn't seem to crop the faucet out of my original picture and it didn't quite add to the overall mood of the moment.

You might want to follow me and head over to Jane's blog to see what other blooming delights people have rustled up and brought into their homes......

Will be joining in over at Common Ground's Be Inspired gathering this week.....

Friday, March 8, 2013

Backyard Asparagus

Has made its annual appearance.
The asparagus crowns that send up these luscious spears every spring were planted in our backyard garden over 20 years ago.
Welcome Spring! - Good eating ahead.....