Monday, July 30, 2007

Another Lily. Garden log.

Here is another lily. I didn't have a chance yet to photograph the Casa Blanca in the back yard - clearly one of the finest. Huge white flowers, highly fragrant. This one has it's charms. No-name however.
Summer pruned the aprium. Last week I summer pruned Ning's short cherry trees. In each case, I removes all but 6" to 1ft of new growth on all branches. In many cases (especially the cherries) I removed more than 2 feet of new growth. I hope that I didnt remove next year's crop - I dont think so, the flowers seem to come from the first few inches of new stem.
Also pruned the new grown on trunk and lower branches of large flowering cherry. These short branches I have been pruning back to spurs each summer. They nbloom nicely, and look like pompoms stuck onto the sides of the old tree.
First 3 tomatoes today. One tiny tim, 2 sweet 100. The sweet 100s are definitely better tasting.
So far, about 5 cucumbers. Another one today.
Two crops of Ning's beans so far. First crop 2 weeks ago, second last weekend.
Tomorrow or wednesday: BREBA FIGS from petite negri. There are only 3. They are at the hang-mans noose stage, but no tears of the condemn or robes of the penitent. Better enjoy them. A few dozen maion crop, on the trees combined. Something to look forward to this fall.
Hummingbirds have been amazing this year. At least 4 different birds, maybe more. They like the crocosmia the best, the feeder second. They couldn't figure out the brugmansia.
ALl of the prunings have been chopped up for mulch, and are mosly on a side border. It's keeping it nice and clean, in a woodsy way. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 26, 2007


This little frog jumped onto the wall this morning. I've seen them before, but this was the first time to get a good photo. 
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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Destined for World Domination?

Looks like I'd rather be out turning the compost.

You Are Not Destined to Rule the World

You are destined for something else...

Like inventing a new type of cupcake.

You just don't have the stomach for brutality.

But watch out - because many people do!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


It doesn't look like the freesias that were planted here last year, although the leaves are similar. I could be a cmall crocosmia - similar leaf shape and flower structure, but much smaller that the other in the yard, and they are red. Came in with the compost?
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Unknown variety.
Unknown variety.
Henryii - it;s over 7 feet tall. Elegant combination of orange with olive green nectar. As I was taking this photo, a hummingbird visited and sipped nectar for several minutes. I was about 4 feet away, standing quietly.
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Epiphyllum 10pm

The elusive, night blooming cactus. Once annually. If you are not watching for it, it's gone.
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Epiphyllum oxypetalum flower

I think that one flower already bloomed last night and I missed it. The other one is blooming now. Amazing, this cactus lost so much mass due to illness this year, and bloomed anyway. What an amazing looking flower. First photo is 5 pm, second photo is at 9 pm.
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Progress notes, mid July

Too much going on to concentrate on my favorite activity - gardening. Fortunately is is semi-self-maintaining. Weeds are growing in the dormant lawn, so it's messy. I have been watering the 'at risk' life almost daily (tomatoes, contanerized plants) due to hot weather. Not watering most shrubs or roses. Without generous mulch, much of it applied over several years; increased humus from bark, compost, and leaves, and some selective pressure (plants not adapted to this situation don't make it), it would have be a disaster this year. As it is, it's messy but not beyond hope.

The plan for tomorrow is to bike to work. In retrospect, I could have today, but sometimes we have to give ourselves a break. Not that I dont love doing it - I do. But the body needs to regenerate a little from time to time. Just as I cant be a "fundamentalist organic gardener" or a "fundamentalist vegetarian" (although people accuse me of both), I can't be a "fundamentalist bike commuter" either. But as in many things, every little bit adds up.

So far we have had 4 zucchinis (yummy, buttery falvor), uncountable raspberries, uncountable strawberries, a few dozen apriums, and tonight I had the first of the Inchelium Red garlic (pasta, crushed raw garlic, olice oil, and parmesan. That's all. Makes me feel all warm inside). Also a few crops of Chinese Chives, made into dumplings; some bunches of cilantro.

Time for bed if I'm going to bike. Early=beats traffic (not that ther is much on my route anyway), cool morning breeze, not hectic.

This agapanthus was grown from seed, plated 5 years ago. It took about 3 years to the first blossom, and others planted at the same time were lost. There is something very cool about growing somethinglike this from seeds.
Cucumbers starting to climb the obelisk (with substantial help).
Is it Xmas yet? This Xmas cactus is blooming.
Despite all of the hybrids, the oriential species lilies are still my favorite - possible my favorite of all flowers (at least in July). This bunch started as one bag (3 bulbs?) about 4 years ago. It's fairly dry tolerant and is spreading a little every year.
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Monday, July 09, 2007

Could I be a vegetarian? I hope so - I have for 27 years)

You Could Definitely Be a Vegetarian

You would make a great vegetarian - if you aren't one already.

You're adventurous enough to try all sorts of new veggie foods...

And your commitment to animal welfare will motivate you to stay meat free!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bathroom Project. Month # 8

Of course, it shouldn't take 8 months to redo a bathroom, but I can only work on it about 1 or 2 days per month. Since the last blog entry on this project:

1. Floor is replaced with 3/4 inch outdoor grade plywood. On top of the plywood I laminated a 4-ml polyethylene barrier. Then 1/4 inch cement backer-board, thin-set and screwed into place with backerboard screws. It is ready to tile.

2. Walls are reframed. About 1/2 of the framing was recycled. The new drywall is mold resistant paperless drywall. Bathtub surround is 1/2" backer board. Insulation in the ceiling was changed from 3" to 7". New exhaust fan is installed.

Today I sanded the walls and ceiling, and painted with primer.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Have a Zucchini!

These have a buttery texture. Cut them when small - they taste better and you dont have to figure out what to do with a 10 pound wonder.
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Fast Growing Eucalyptus

Not only did it survive the winter, it is growing by leaps and bounds without supplemental watering! This tree has some potential. Of course, next winter might be colder, resulting in a dead eucalyptus, but that's part of the intrigue.
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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Epiphyllum flower buds

This cactus was nearly completely denuded by some type of illness that made most of the sections become brown and crispy. I removed the dead parts, which was most of the cactus. One of the few remaining sections looks like it might bloom. Does it have the energy?
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Kitchen garden

Tomatoes are starting to set fruit. Here is Lemon Boy with a marble sized fruit. The figs are also producing embryonic figs that I expect to harvest in late fall. here is Hardy Chicago. This tree is 3 feet tall and in it's 2nd year. An early producer.
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opuntia flower

Here is a better photo. Apparently the flowers last only one day., then change color to orange and fold up. Will there be edible fruit?
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Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Ville de Bruxelles
Oriental Lilies
Angel Face
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Monday, July 02, 2007


They like the crocosmia more than any other flower in the yard.
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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Banana recovery

This banana looked dead. The "dry overwinter" method was too much stress for it. "Yes, we have no bananas" this year. But it is recovering. I read that they need a lot of nitrogen and a lot of water. It got a dose of fish emulshion today.
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Yellow Clivia

This yellow clivia was purchased as a SEED whcih cost about $8.00 via mail order. That was 5 years ago. This is its first blossom.
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