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.....