Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gentlemen, Stop Your Engines !

Behold the trusty broom, the latest in a long line of similar models . Inexpensive, uses little storage space, requires no petroleum products and is easy to start. This may be one of few in the neighborhood, as the preference seems to be the power blower . No argument here with the professional mower-blower dude, whose revenue stream depends on multiple jobs a day , and for whom the leisurely pace of manual sweeping is impractical.
 Some homeowners though prefer the do-it-yourself approach , wielding several pieces of gasoline power equipment to tame their postage stamp sized lawns and yards . I watched dumbfounded from my front porch bench as  two small Loropetalums were subdued into even smaller  cubes with a very loud gas hedger. This took a remarkably long time,particularly for a result that was not remotely attractive.  I have no doubt that I could have done the same thing in  about 5 minutes with my Corona hedge shears. At least the perpetrator was wearing hearing protection. I however, was not.
 Ok, I feel better now.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hung Up on the Cottage Stuff

Got succulents, grasses, and a voluminous collection of Oreganos, but I reserve a section of the garden for the old-timey stuff that opens a tiny door into the world of the classic English border. Can't help it. The Delphiniums are one thing, but Campanula 'Cups and Saucers' , grown this year after a15 year hiatus , are unfolding with their blowsy charm- I just go out and stare. A mixed 6 pack was purchased last summer, and maybe there will be some pink in the yet unopened plants. Pink will seal my fate- two more six packs purchased poste haste for next years display. So non-sustainable. But better than lawn, right ?


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Out on the Coast

 The drive to the frost free  but still climatically challenged North Coast is stomach -lurching for some , but  this 3 hour interlude  always lifts my spirits and leaves my digestive system intact.   Once the Interstate is left behind the traffic is sparse and the natural beauty can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
Spring was in full throttle in zone 17;  Ceonothus,Poppies, Phlomis, and fresh new growth on conifers of all kinds. There was no intent to visit the Botanical Garden as it was visited in October and will be visited again in June, but the car turned in none the less seduced by the banner reading "Rhododendrons Blooming Today" prominently displayed along the highway.

Hard to find nominees for 'Best Performance by a Parking Lot' but this one is the winner, and the above photo is a very minute sample.




Geranium maderense was in majestic full bloom, waist high and unfazed by it's full sun position . The bronze stems and the large palmate leaves make a nice counterpoint to the ballistic magenta



Were I to undertake growing Rhodies again, yellow would be the color of choice.



The Heather Garden is outstanding in any season.



Art installations change throughout the year and set off the plant combinations and a dynamic way with sensitive placement and echos of shapes and color. This made me envision the Phormium turned in upon itself ..

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Rose Time

Is there anything better than the first flush of roses ? They will never look better, bloom more, have cleaner foliage, or more petals. All rose foibles are forgiven.