Monday, September 30, 2013

Birds in the morning

There is a large cosmos plant in the rock bed.  It is twisted trying to reach sideways for a glimpse of sun.  I was contemplating pulling it out to plant a small group of cool season annuals.  But,  I had a change of heart. I stopped for a moment to sit on the patio and gaze at all the birds and the lovely crispness of the morning. Then suddenly I was amazed to see three little birds swinging on the cosmos' stems to eat the flower's seeds. They seemed to be having the best time swinging, eating, and singing.  So, no, I won't pull this cosmos now. I just feel lucky to have witnessed such a charming scene in my very own backyard.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Miss. Shadow and the Pea

Shadow says, "May I have a pea, please?"
Miss Shadow is a kitchen garden dog.  She loves snap peas and asparagus.  Shadow will sit close to the pea vine and hum; ordering me to find her some peas.  Sometimes, I'll see later that she has pulled down a pea vine and helped herself.   Her sister, Miss Lady Dog enjoys snap peas, asparagus, and radishes.  I have watched Lady bring in a radish to the house and eat it in her bed, leaving only the top green leaves.   

Lady and Shadow waiting for asparagus.

Mother Nature is a great teacher

Mr. P installed a unique scalloped trellis against the side block wall in the garden. I've dreamed of vines, tomatoes, squash, or peas growing up this fence line. There was even that thought of planting a succession of blueberry bushes.

Vine growing up Sunflower Stalk
None of those dreams actually manifested themselves in that corner of the garden. Instead, what occurred was far more interesting. I planted a row of sunflowers along the trellis. Then later I planted a row of black eyed Susan vine seeds. The sunflowers grew large and towering. From the kitchen window, I could see little birds hanging happily up-side down trying to eat the sunflower seeds.

Late last year the sunflowers became dried tree stalks as I neglected to remove them from the garden. By the end of the season, I was weary of the garden and let Mother Nature do her magic. I thought I would never see those little black-eyed flowers creep up the chain of the trellis and around the sunflower stalks. Then the nasturtium seeds from all the previous years started to follow the lead of the black eyed vine. And there you have it. The fence line created my Mother Nature with help from Mrs. P by the Sea! (and Mr. P too)

Volunteer Nasturtium and Black Eyed Susan Vine

Kitchen Bed and Utility Bed with the wall by Mother Nature in the background.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

VC Fair '12 Results for Floriculture

Zinnia Zowie Yelow Flame in the garden
This colorful and unusual zinna won "Best of Division" at the Ventura County Fair.  I entered it in the annuals, Zinnas, variegated category. (Div. 344, Class 18, planted from seed).  I was so amazed to win the lovely plaque especially when I was rushing and cutting the annuals in my garden at the last moment, early in the morning.

Here are some of the other flowers I entered in Floriculture for the 2012 Ventura County Fair. There are more pictures of my fair entries on flickr.
  • Scabiosa Pin Cushion Flower (344,18) Annual, Framed Flower. (First place)
  • Chantilly Snapdragon (344,17) Annual, annual any other. (Second Place)
  • Polar Bear Zinna (344,12) Annual, Zinnia any other (Honorable Mention)
  • Marigold (344,7) Annual, Marigold, any other (Second Place)
  • Retro Red Marigold (344,7), Annual, Marigold, any other (Third Place)
  • Mexican Tulip Poppy (345,27), Perennials, framed flower (Honorable Mention)

Monday, August 6, 2012

VC Fair '12 Floriculture Entries

For this year's Ventura County Fair, I entered two arrangements in the Floriculture department.  I was hoping that I would have poppy blooms to enter.  I was so surprised to see so many poppy blooms - I had to fight the bees to pluck those flowers for the fair!  I wanted to remind those bees that I'm the gardener that planted them! The poppies were stunning - I hope they lasted for the judging.  My dear Mr. P. helped me transport them to the fairgrounds.  See you at the fair!
Recycled Container (Second Place)
All Home Grown Flowers
(Honorable Mention)

Sunflowers are magical

I love the way they tower over the garden with big and bold colors! Soon all these sunflowers will be open in a row!

Morning in the Garden

Every morning I come outside to see the new blooms in the garden. Morning is the best time to see the poppies just begin to open. Everything is so crisp, clean, and new in the morning.