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Garden Bloggers Bloom Day for April 2021

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   April is shining it's spring light down the road to the end of the tunnel. I'm starting to fantasize about what it will be like to go to the grocery store or a public garden without a mask. As of today it has been the requisite two weeks since my 2nd vaccine and my first non self-inflicted haircut since last February is on the horizon.  Since Boom Day this month falls on a busy workday I have only a small selection of the blooms in my garden to share.  We have had no rain here in the Napa Valley since mid-March , and the total for that month was a meager 1.85". I fully expect water restrictions to be enacted this summer as we are unlikely to get more than a couple inches between now and June. If that. The only upside is that the snail population is practically non-existent .    The roses are just coming on , an event I always enjoy. My population is less than half what it was 10 years ago and I'm about ready to suspend the removal efforts for awhile. I think I am ha

Mangave Follies

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   I've acquired a modest collection of Mangaves over the last few years-most of them are still in pots  but I am slowly transitioning some of them to the ground. The advantage with pots is that it's easier to move them out of harms way in winter, which as it turns out is a must-do for some cultivars. Some are also apparently a gourmet treat for snails. I bought most of those that I have collected from the UC Davis Arboretum plant sales-they had them back when nobody else did. This year though I opted to hold off buying any more until I  have a better plan for winter . I saw inconsistent reactions to rain and cold  so a year to just to shift plants around and  observe the results seemed like a wise choice.   The rainy season of 20-21 has featured (so far) only 8.19 inches of rain (season normal in the 25" range) and lots of frost with typical early morning temperatures in the 29 to 32 range. The coldest temp I registered here was 24f . It's not unusual for us to get ra

Garden Bloggers Bloomday March 2021

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  It feels good to write 2021. And it feels good to have had my first Moderna vaccine. By April Bloomday I will be fully vaccinated. What could be better than getting your life back ? This winter has been interesting. The lack of rain results in night after night of frost. This week rain is predicted for the next few days and though we will not catch up to normal (25"vs. 7.48")  I am collecting what I can for the containers. What I really need is a rain barrel. And what California needs are enterprises that install rain catchment systems for homeowners.     Leocodendron 'Little Bit'. I love this plant, it was  my first success with the genus. Though technically not blooms, the cones are decorative enough to pass .  Thalia. I tend towards the white Daffs, and I think I'll tuck in a few more of this one in fall. This has been a banner year for the Hellebores . I have many that are mature now and bloom heavily. And over the last two years I've probably acquired a

A visit to UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

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  When January rolled around it occurred to me that I had not been more than 50 miles from my house since August. I typically make a weekend or more out of a road trip to Santa Cruz , but the post holiday Covid surge in California did not endear me to staying in a hotel-though I do long for a weekend away. I decided to just drive to the arboretum and come back the same day. Two hours down and back, on a Sunday morning, thereby avoiding the Silicon Valley weekday traffic. Cued up a bunch of gardening podcasts for the drive, packed my camera gear and a snack and off I went. Driving through the maze of freeways in the east and south bay early on Sunday is about as painless as that drive can be, and even the dreadful Highway 17 provided a pleasant country outing vibe. I felt liberated -it seemed as though I was on vacation, just for one day.    The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum is 135 acres and has an open park like feeling and an outstanding collection of Aussie, New Zealand and South African p