Summer’s End

September 10, 2015

It’s that time of year–late summer–for a walk around my perennial garden. Enjoy the tour.











Message in an Egg

August 11, 2015


I had a difficult time peeling off the shell of this hardboiled egg without tearing away chucks of egg white, also called albumen. By the time I finished, the white was thin and lumpy.

Because I had already peeled a lot of eggs that day–easily and perfectly smoothed ones–I nearly tossed this one into the sink. There wasn’t much left of it. Then I considered how hard my hen had worked to produce the egg. So I took hold of my knife, sliced down the longest length of the egg and opened it to remove the yolk.

Surprise! The hen had left a message of love with a heart-shaped yolk.

I like to think this had nothing to do with the boiling process or air pockets, but rather a message of appreciation for the scratch I provide, for the fresh water, food scraps, free range pasture, and a safe place to roost at night.

Now, no matter how difficult a hardboiled egg may be to peel or how badly it appears, I always look for a message in my hens’ eggs. After all, it is what’s inside that matters the most.

Check out The Food Lab’s great tips on boiling eggs.



Garden Pop Ups

July 27, 2015

Pop Up #1: Remember the Cosmos seedlings that I planted and they did not survive? Well, surprise! The dead annuals kindly sprinkled seeds before I took their little bodies away. I have Cosmos popping up near and far from where the seedlings were planted. This confirms my theory. Cosmos grows better from seed. Here are the first blooms. I am eager for more of these whimsical flowers to explode.





Pop Up #2: Wow! I did not plant Lysimachia ‘Goldii’ in this location. It must have been the garden fairies who sprinkled seeds from where it is growing. The fairies knew what they were doing. ‘Goldii’ is thriving in this location and I am pleased with the appearance and how it filled in a bare area. DSC00786_edited-1


Pop Up #3: This little guy or gal pops up to say hello to anyone approaching our front door. His voice is a little croaky and deep, but he or she is friendly just the same. 




Shrimp in the Garden: what’s that about?

July 17, 2015

Nell Foster, gardener extraordinaire, has done it again. This time she shares her spectacular shrimp plant in full bloom. I have to admit this is the first time I have heard of shrimp plant. Since it grows in my zone 9 (8b – 11) this beauty is certainly going on my must-have plant list. I am going to bookmark Nell’s article and her video how I prune my Shrimp Plants.



Photo courtesy of joyusgarden.com


It’s Sunday, June 21st and I am . . .

June 21, 2015

Father's Day.3


Spring Bloom Tour

June 9, 2015

Before spring blooms come to an end, here’s a look at some of the flowering plants in my perennial garden.


First up is Buddleia, a whimsical deciduous (or evergreen depending on your zone) shrub or tree. I love these because they attract butterflies and humming birds. I have six Buddleias, three in a row on two sides of the garden. Although they serve as an enclosure, I can see through them because of their wispy-like branches.


This Hydrangea was a grocery-store gift from hubby. Last fall, I transplanted it from a container to the garden. What a wonderful pop of color these white clusters add to the garden.


Cosmos . . . and my only blossom. I planted seedlings in three different locations. Snails loved these and quickly devoured the Cosmos in the bed near the front door. No explanation for losing the others. Perhaps the soil is too rich which the Sunset Western Garden Book says to avoid.


Aww, red! Dwarf Callistemon (bottlebrush). I have to admit there are two things I don’t like about this plant. Even though the leaves are tiny, they shed throughout the year and create quite a mess. Also, the blossoms are not self-cleaning and have to be deadheaded.


Spiraea is a small deciduous shrub with beautiful flower clusters that also have to be deadheaded. But I enjoy this plant so much, I don’t mind the work. Mine are fifteen years old and only waist high. So there’s no reaching or climbing a ladder when it is time to trim.


Tall Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) is my favorite perennial. I LOVE the architectural structure. Little purple clusters sit on thin, six-foot tall stems. The view of neighboring plants isn’t blocked! The stems are so strong no staking is needed. Tall Verbena is difficult to photograph, but in person it is the STAR of the garden. Drought Tolerant. Attracts butterflies.



That’s the end of the tour. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know there are other spring-flowering plants in my garden (begonias, variegated iris, Santa Barbara Daisies, saliva, snow in summer, and a few more), but I figured you have probably seen enough of those!

I would love to hear what spring blooms you have photographed and which flowers are you favorite?

Oh, I have updated my “About” page. Take a look.




Last Trip

May 22, 2015

Do you recall when I took a trip to Dragonfly Peony Farm last year? This month, I returned to purchase my last peony from owner Julia Moore who is closing the farm due to health issues.




Julia opened the farm earlier, so the blooms were fewer than last year . . .DSC00461_edited-1

. . . and it rained the evening before.



But Julia always has a photo by each variety section so customers can view the shape and color. I purchased Do Tell.



A few weeks later mine bloomed. The color looks different than the peony photo posted at the farm.


Still, it’s a beauty.



I wish you the best, Julia. Thank you for the peonies, tips, and hugs.


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