All the photos in this blog were taken by me. The information is taken from friends, books, magazines, conversations at nurseries, the internet and a few of my own amateur-gardener thoughts. Please feel free to share your own knowledge and experiences in the comment section that follows each posting.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Best Laid Plants... I mean, Plans...

Well, it didn't quite happen like I'd planned. I ran into one of my garden gurus, Elaine in the parking lot after tennis. Remember I told you about her? Well, she thought it was still too cold to plant vegetables, particularly tomatoes and peppers. We are expecting some cold weather again this week. I felt badly because I told you that I was planting and I wanted to send you an e-mail saying my plan was derailed, but then that would have been presumptuous. If you did plant, you'll probably be fine. You may want to shelter your seedlings from possible frost by putting a cardboard box over them. Their little struggling roots is a bad thought.

So I decided to refresh some pots and plant some more flowers. You really can never have enough of them. I bought some six packs of purple Petunias, Stock in a variety of colors, Alyssum, Marigolds, and Cosmos from  Green Thumb. Did you join their Facebook page yet? (see previous blog). I admit, I also bought some from Ace Hardware. I was there picking up some lightbulbs and couldn't resist. 'Tis the season. I'll let you know how they do.

Watering flowers can get a little out of control once our warm weather hits. I don't want to feel responsible for my flower pots like feeding the dogs. I have the solution: Succulents! They're amazing because there are so many different shapes, textures, and colors AND they do not need a lot of tending to. AND, many bloom amazing colorful flowers. I have some tucked in garden beds combined with other flowering, leafy plants throughout my yard. It makes it interesting.  Oh, here is another wonderful thing: You can take cuttings from many succulents, stick the stem in some dirt (or a pot) and voila, you have another plant! Big, big fan of succulents. Mine were a little beat up by the frosts we had this winter, but they seem to be reviving themselves. If your weather gets really cold or if you live in the snow, only plant in pots and bring them inside during the winter. It's worth the extra effort.

My friend, Chandra and I had so much fun planting over a hundred pots with succulents, displaying them at our homes and inviting our friends to come buy them. We did that twice (one Fall and one Spring) and then realized that our friends could only buy so many succulent pots and sales would likely decline. Our business is Buds 'n Blooms and someday more fun, creative ideas will bloom with my bud. We both love to dig in the dirt!

If you click on the picture, you can see the pots enlarged. There are some amazing ones, if I do say so myself.

This was our first show at Chandra's. We were so proud of our creations and had so much fun making each one that we never wanted anyone to buy them.
This is Chandra's back deck. Amazing view, eh? Okay, now look at the succulents!

If anyone would like to hire Buds 'n Blooms to refresh your pots or create new ones, just let me know.

Sad garden story: the artichoke I transplanted? Well, it's not dead, but it's not real happy either. I am going to cut it way back and hope that it comes back next year. For the time being, it's not the beautiful sculptural plant that I envisioned. In fact, it's so ugly, that I can't even photograph it for you. The even sadder truth is that there are two baby artichokes growing. I really stressed out this mama artichoke! Better luck next year.

Time to clean out the bird feeders and birdbath. I loyally feed my flock of yellow finches. They like Nyger seed and they go through a tube about every two weeks. Not quite as bad as the dogs, but a small feeling of responsibility. The birdbath is a pain because the water gets murky quickly, but its a nice feature in the garden and it's pretty awesome when you get to witness a bird playing in it. This is the best cleaner: SuperBac Nature Birdbath Scrub - "Melts Away Birdbath Scum". That about says it all.  I like it because the solution is safe for the birds and the brush is part of the bottle. I don't have to go find the brush each time (I'm big on convenience). You can buy it at the Wild Bird Center in King's Court Shopping Center, Los Gatos for $11.95. I had my first bottle for almost a year.

Gardening Tip: 
When you plant  flowers in the ground or a pot, pinch off some of the buds ( I just can't bring myself to pinch them all off) and then the plant will focus on growing its roots rather than blooming those buds!

I had an epiphany. I love having epiphanies. As I've mentioned, hopefully several times, I have a few gardening gurus who I've learned so much from. I decided to feature some of these wonderful people in my blog. My next blog will feature Carla, from Green Thumb. You know when you meet someone and you just hit if off immediately? Like old friends from way back? That's how I feel about Carla and she's a great gardener too! Wait till you see her backyard!

No dirty stories this week other than I discovered that some of my tennis gals can really dance it up! Even in our tennis outfits amongst a scene of well-dressed party-goers, who, no doubt ended up envious of our fun. The sun was shining that night. Or was it a full moon?

Speaking of full moon... Carla says,  "Italians plant by the full moon of April". That's this weekend.


  1. oooh ooh ooh! I love your blog! I also love Chandra, and she tipped me off. I've shopped your 'tique a couple of times, and often blog about my own backyard adventures. So happy to find you here!

    Adelle @

  2. You should have a category of "motivational" by your comment section. I do want to plant a bunch more succulents. We are thinking of redoing our pool area and perhaps that is the perfect place for succulents.


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