Sunday, December 12, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Gift certificates for Annie's Annuals (perhaps the best nursery in the Bay Area) are on sale for 15% off now through November 30. The certificates are good for purchases made online or in Annie's retail nursery so they can make gardeners everywhere happy. What a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer idea!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Save the date: Sunday, September 26, is the date of the Fall Plant Sale at the UC Botanical Garden. The public sale runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but if you’re lucky enough (or smart enough) to be a member, you can shop the sale and attend the members’ silent auction from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Click here for details and tips on how to make the most of the sale and a detailed plant availability list.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Most importantly, I've come back feeling somewhat refreshed and very inspired. I dug into my garden today with renewed enthusiasm, and I'm planning some new writing projects that I can't wait to get to. I also came back to the Bay Area with a new appreciation for the cool, foggy weather we've had all summer. (Turns out that Dallas in September is basically one big steambath. Great for tropical plants, not so great for people.)
But it's time to share some goodies. One lucky winner picked at random will receive a package containing P. Allen Smith's Container Gardens Deck (with 50 recipe cards for year-round container gardening), and two large packages of seeds from Botanical Interests--Cosmos Celebration in Pink (a fundraiser pack benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure) and a Save the Bees mix. Total value of the package: $25.
To enter, just leave a comment on this post saying what was the best garden city you've ever visited.
Update: I'm extending this giveaway for one more week. The contest will now close on Monday, Sept. 27 at midnight. The winner will be announced Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
But because I love to grow tomatoes (or attempt to grow them, as my efforts this year are rather pathetic), I try to find tomato recipes that I can enjoy. I posted earlier this year about a roasted tomato soup that I made. And now I've found a recipe in the NY Times Magazine I'd like to try--tomato sliders. These itty-bitty things come under the category of amuse-bouche--bite-size morsels that pack a lot of flavor so that restaurants can still charge shockingly high prices for what is really very little food. The article and recipe explain it very well, but as a preview, I'll tell you that it is basically little buns made with almond flour, tomatoes diced into something like a confit, and a layer of a mascarpone-goat cheese mixture. Yee gads, that sounds like something even a non-tomato-lover such as myself might love.
I might wait to see if I get any tomatoes from my garden to use in this recipe, but if anyone else makes this recipe, please report back--can they really be as tasty as they sound?
Monday, August 30, 2010
I started by checking in at Blotanical.com and surveying the map of garden blogs from Sweden. From the links I found there, I also began to follow blogroll links out to cover a vast network of Swedish garden blogs. There are surprisingly many, considering this is a place with such long winters. But Swedish gardeners seem to make the most of their growing season and perhaps the long days of summer make things grow at hyperspeed. The gardens look lush and vibrant and the settings are charming and quaint.
And yes, there is a language barrier since I speak not a word of Swedish and the blogs are mostly written in their native language (although it seems most Swedes seem to speak at least some English). But great garden pics work in any language. And somehow the gardeners' enthusiasm for their gardens translates as well.
Here are some of the Swedish garden blogs I've been enjoying:
Anyone else out there up for a garden tour of Sweden next summer???
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Does Alameda have an official flower? If it does, I can't find what it is. But I think it should have one. Maybe something that grows well here and loves our sandy soil, but isn't exactly ubiquitous. My vote would be for the Pacific Coast Iris (Iris douglasiana). Any other suggestions?
Sunday, August 15, 2010
But today is Bloom Day and instead of posting photos of everything that's blooming, I thought I'd just post the most amazing thing that's blooming:
Yep, sweet peas cut from my garden. In August. All you climate change-deniers out there, 'splain that if you can.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
I particularly missed having birds around. Because I had cats, I didn't want to attract a lot of sparrows and similar small birds to my yard by setting out bird feeders. I also knew that bird feeders were a good way to attract squirrels, and I didn't want to encourage the squirrel population explosion that we are experiencing in this area. But I was hopeful that I could get hummingbirds to stop by for a visit, given the right inducements. I knew that they were fast enough that would stand a better chance of evading the cats, and they would be attracted by plants alone without having to put out feeders and seed.
It took two to three years for the hummingbirds to become regular visitors, but now I can spot them almost every day in my garden. Although it is often said that hummingbirds are attracted to red, I've found that they're happy with flowers of any color, and since they have no sense of smell, fragrance is not an issue either. What does seem to matter is the shape of the flower. They are very attracted to flowers with a tubular shape and because of their agility they can seek out those flowers on tall vines as easily as they can in low potted shrubs.
Here are a few of the plants that they've responded to best in my garden:
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
How often do you get the chance to visit the thoroughly researched, re-created 19th century garden of a famous American poet? But now through mid-June, the New York Botanical Garden, together with the Poetry Society of America, is offering such an opportunity. You can wander through a replica of Dickinson's family property in Amherst, Massachusetts and view personal artifacts belonging to the poet. You can also tour the Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk, where 30 poetry boards and audio messages offer interpretations of the poems that were so inspired by Dickinson's love of nature and the garden.
It sounds like a lovely mixture of gardening, literature, and history and it pains me to miss out on seeing it. So if you happen to be in New York in the coming weeks, maybe you can check it out for me.
And have a black-and-white cookie for me too.
Monday, May 10, 2010
But the truth is, with the exception of our own home-grown compost, it's hard for us to know for sure what's in any of the compost we buy or otherwise acquire. Compost can be a bit of a leap of faith, when you come right down to it. But I did recently come across this easy home test for compost from Mother Earth News. Using just a couple of bean seedlings, you can test to see if your compost contains herbicide residues. Not a complete safety test, by any means, but it's a start.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
And don't forget you can order these gloves at 15% off from the Ethel Gloves site using the promo code SPRING15.