Showing posts from May, 2011


There are still places along the interstate where there are no chain stores, strip malls, housing tracts, or traffic lights. All of it is endangered; this highway heads straight for San Fransisco to the west and Sacramento to the east. The pressure for development is slumbering now, but it will rise again. 

 This morning I hit the road for a rural pocket to the east, shopping list in hand, destination Morningsun Herb Farm. The demonstration gardens are charming, not perfect-and thereby accessible, and heavy on the herbal side. This is where you learn that herbs are useful, and beautiful.

Drama--Cardoons and Lavender. I might have to go back in a couple of weeks- I wonder if this was planned.

Ooo-weee how I wish I had a spot for Phlomis.

This is a planting in a re-purposed wheelbarrow. Robust !

Some views from gardens,nothing mundane. 

Out to Dinner

Here in Wine Land , the restaurants stack up. Block after block, highways and back roads-I've visited major cities that don't come close to the dining choices here in our small valley. And many of them have gardens. What could be better ? This morning I dropped by 'Go Fish' in St Helena, 7:30am, hours before opening with the morning sunshine streaking through the plants.

 The al fresco area can just be seen here, the chairs upended for the night.

Old Timey

Sometimes you just need something gaudy, and un-cool.

Unfortunately the various Dan Hicks links I tried to put up failed. Sigh.

Rainy Bloom Day , May 2011

Bloom Day greetings to all..I bravely ventured out between cloudbursts ; through the calendar says May, we seem to be having an encore visit from March today. Blobby roses and aggressive snail attacks are sure to follow.

 This tagless Clematis makes a valiant effort to put out a half/dozen flowers a year in spite of horrible siting on the part of the gardener.


Remarkably, the Delphinium are still standing after the overnight rains.

Jean Giono


Drippy droopy roses

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens , our hostess for BloomDay...Be sure to visit !

Partial to Bunny Tails

After the full figured Eden rose , Pennisetum 'Bunny Tails' may seem uneventful. But, for whatever reason, I come home from work and go look at 'Bunny Tails'. I believe I may be a catkin-o-phile.

Aw Hell. Ok, Fine, You Can Stay...

...but just one more year, and I really mean it this time .

You aren't fooling me with this spring display, I know exactly what will happen by June. I need to see some substantial improvement in your performance or you're out. And you have to quit using Sally as a crutch. Shameless.

I'm documenting all of this. Every black spot, every blob of rust, all of it. One more year. Last chance.

(Eden, aka Pierre De Ronsard, planted here circa 1999)


When you have roses, lots of roses, the first bloom flush is a once a year event . Roses will rebloom-some with abandon , but you'll cool your heels till next spring to experience that combination of shiny, disease free  new foliage and stem upon stem of unfolding flowers. I swear I am cutting back on roses, but there are some that have won a permanent spot. For now.

 English Garden, a David Austin rose I rarely see for sale. By midsummer it will be engulfed by the energetic Eupatorium 'Gateway' . 

Sun Flare. 2 bushes. 1 standard , best disease resistance of the bunch.

Gruss an Auchen . I shake my fist and threaten, but the stay of excecution is reissued every May, just like clockwork. I just avert my eyes during rust season and pretend it's not there.


Golden Celebration. Nothing quite like it.