Monday, September 29, 2014

Musings on a Monday Morning

Myrtle berries ripening

 The lower nighttime temperatures have brought out some redder coloring
 to the leaves, flowers and stems of certain plants

The sweet almond is bursting with flower and fragrance.

 The mystery item suggested to be the pupa of a giant swallowtail is changing color.

Write your own caption here. This is a take-off on the Portland Garden Bloggers' Fling. I saw so many postings of orange things and orange as the new black (as in pot) and using garbage pails, paint pots, etc. from the hardware store as containers I couldn't resist.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Autumn is ...

Guest photo #1 from All About Birds
 when the white-crowned sparrow returns singing the sweetest song in the world

Guest photo #2 taken by Tom Chester, September 19, 2014, at the trailhead for Blue Ridge Trail, San Gabriel Mountains near Wrightwood, California
 when the rabbitbrush is blooming in the mountains

when the nighttime temperature falls below 60 F and I feel cool at last

 when I can smell the pineapple sage, Salvia rutilans

and taste the pumpkin chocolate chip cookie

Just for fun, let's add a mystery. Who is this going to be? Or who was it?

Update from I think you can safely conclude that it is the pupa of a Giant swallowtail - Heraclides cresphontes. Should be a citrus tree nearby or some cultivated rue. Dave Rogers, 27 September, 2014 - 7:20pm

Friday, September 26, 2014

Eating Something from My Garden Every Day

Usually it's a luscious lemon

But today I am making herb/vegetable/bean soup with

Capsicum annuum, Yatsufusa pepper, a hot specialty pepper that originated in Japan and is also known as chilies Japones and has a flavor similar to cayenne or Thai peppers.

Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten' is a cultivar of the culinary sage familiar to most cooks. It is grown both for its ornamental qualities (attractive blue-gray foliage) and its culinary properties.

Laurus nobilis, bay leaf, is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with green, glossy leaves, native to the Mediterranean region.

Oreganum vulgare, rigani, Greek oregano
Greek oregano originates on the mountain slopes of Greece. Its roots reduce soil erosion on mountain slopes. Greek hillsides covered with summer's growth of wild oregano in bloom are a fantastic excursion for eyes, feet, and nose! The name "oregano" means "joy of the mountain" and has its origins in the ancient Greek "oros" (mountain) and "ganos" (joy). According to Greek mythology, the sweet, spicy scent of oregano was created by the goddess Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness. --from
No, I didn't eat the asters. They are only for pretty.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Delicious Autumn

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." -- George Eliot

Guest Photo #1
53.3870° N, 6.3800° W
Dublin, Ireland
Weather: 58°F (14°C), Wind 0 mph (0 km/h), 71% Humidity
Local time: Wednesday 8:56 PM (picture taken earlier)
Image by TJE

Guest Photo #2
 43.0667° N, 89.4000° W
a panoramic view of beautiful Lake Mendota, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
where I went last year for fall color
Weather: 70°F (21°C), Wind S at 10 mph (16 km/h), 43% Humidity
Local time: Wednesday 3:03 PM (picture taken earlier at 6:45:03)
Image Courtesy UW-Madison Soil Sciences

'Anna' apple, second crop

'Fuji' apple, ready to pick and remove worms

'Fuyu' persimmon, not ready yet, come back later
34.0492° N, 118.1356° W
Monterey Park, California, USA
Weather: 94°F (34°C), Wind W at 3 mph (5 km/h), 26% Humidity
Local time: Wednesday 1:15 PM
My photos

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Gardener's Weather

Today's weather report. Los Angeles and Ventura County: Coastal and nearby valley areas are socked in under a pretty solid marine layer stratus cloud cover this morning.

Comfortably overcast today. Took this opportunity to do some garden cleanup after being "incarcerated" inside the house for the past several weeks because of the protracted heat spells that always occur this time of year.

The purple fountain grass has had a haircut and awaits the rain for rejuvenation as does the guara which already has a few new sprouts.

The 'Taboo' rose thrives amazingly on neglect. It is hidden behind the large Euphorbia cotinifolia and doesn't get watered.

Another beauty thriving on total neglect, maybe 'Buff Beauty' or 'Just Joey'. Can't remember.   I like apricot-colored roses.

Speaking of watering I have changed my irrigation pattern. Instead of soaking the bases of the plants I have begun to do light overhead sprinkling as advocated by the late Bert Wilson at, Myths about California Native Plants . Even though these are not California native plants, they are not wet, moist climate plants either and his advice still applies. Garden is looking much better.

Surprising late summer bloom of rosemary.

Leaves coloring up and falling off too early on crape myrtle. These trees are clearly not happy.

 The Zephrantes, rain lilies are happy.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pretty Plant Pairings

Cosmos 'Sonata' series and Pelargonium sidoides: Purple color and velvety texture

Smokebush and white Indian hawthorne: Similar color and 'bloom' on leaves and berries

Gloriosa daisy 'Prairie Sun' and  'Safari' Red Marigold: Golden centers

New England aster and Thai basil: Similar petal color

Pink guara and purple fountain grass: Similar stem color and form

Pentas and caladium: Similar color of leaves and flowers

Agave and rue: Similar gray-green color of leaves but vastly different texture, tough vs delicate

Sand cherry and salvia 'Love and Wishes': Similar color and stems

Agave and Snow-on-the-Mountain euphorbia: Similar gray-green median stripe with white margins, but again vastly different form

Two purple-leaved euphorbias and purple fountain grass: Similar color with different form

Salvia 'Ember's Wish' with maple-leaved hibiscus

This maple-leaved hibiscus cultivar is called 'Haight-Asbury'. Haight-Asbury was the center of the hippie subculture in San Francisco in the 1960s. The leaf looks just like a red marijuana leaf. Big California joke.