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, May 24, 2010

The Most Important Seedlings

What once was a peaceful environment has suddenly turned hostile. I have two crows, who think they are ravens dive bombing me every time I go outside. What are they doing that is making them claim MY garden as THEIR territory? The funny thing is, I am reading, The Art of Racing in the Rain. Enzo doesn't like crows either. I'm having a symbiotic moment with my book. Seriously, the crows are caaa-ing loudly everytime my dogs and I walk into the backyard. They angrily swoop down about two feet away from Charlie (my Doberman stuck in a Malti-Poo's body). Its unsettling to see this. One of my wisest friends, Lorna theorizes that these crows are protecting babies. Brilliant, Lorna and probably right on... but, a crow looks so masculine. Do they even have babies?

Let's talk succulents again. A few people were confused about the idea of breaking off a piece of the plant and starting a new one. It's really that easy.

I took these "pieces" off the plant and just stuck the stem right in the ground with a little potting soil because the ground is hard and dry under that gravel.

Can you see the plant I took them from? Its the darker one on the left. Just leave enough stem to plant it with three to four inches in the dirt (so it's firmly anchored in the ground).

This is taken from the other angle. Eventually that whole section will be large succulents growing up to the Ice Plant in the far end. By next year, those stems that I put in the ground will be quite large. I move rocks all the time. This time I moved them between the smaller newly planted stems. It breaks it up a bit so its not so boring. Look at the size of the succulent in the far right side of the picture!

Another way to fill in an area is by tucking a pot right in the bed. This is that same area bordering my pool, but the far end. The corner needed an interesting anchor after the frost had its way with my Agave plant. While I am letting the Agave grow back a bit, I moved this pot in front of it making the end of the bed interesting once again!

You can see the Agave peeking over, but you don't see all the frost damage. 


OMG! I met the my guru-est guru, Pam Peirce. She doesn't know she is a guru, but I did manage to tell her that I have a garden blog and get this: She asked me to write the blog address down. Can you imagine if she actually read it? I told her that I refer to her book as "the bible". So, if you live in the Bay Area and STILL haven't purchased Golden Gate Gardening, you really must. She was speaking about her most recent version of the book, which she "has made more appropriate for areas further from the coast." It was wonderful listening to her.

She read us a special opening and it went something like this: (Pam, if you read this and I have chopped it up, I apologize right now).

A garden is transformative. The gardener make the garden, while the garden makes the gardener. 
In a world of such consumerism, when we become a food gardener, we become a producer rather than a consumer. We transform our diets and live longer and healthier lives. 

I like it. Transform me.

Things I am now contemplating
Because of Pam
  1. Think year-round, not so much about Winter and Summer
  2. Study different varieties of plants and learn to purchase interesting seeds from catalogs rather than relying on what is available at the nursery. 
  3. Plant more edible things in and among other parts of my yard. For example, I can plant Nasturtium in another area and it's flowers will blend in with what I have planted.
  4. Experiment with a wider variety of leaf lettuces and edible flowers to make an interesting salad even more interesting. Look into things such as: Miner's lettuce, Mizuna and Ruby Streaks..
  5. Collect some horse manure from a nearby barn to use in my compost pile. It will heat it up. 
  6. Plant some African Blue Basil. Its a perennial basil that grows to 4' high. It doesn't seed because it is a cross species hybrid so you can go ahead and let it flower, which is great for attracting beneficial insects. 
These are obviously just a few things, but she got me thinking. Always good for the brain. Most of all, I appreciated her attitude about sharing, teaching and "hand-holding". She truly wants people to be happy gardening and she wants to share tips on how to do that.  I like her attitude and I want to be like her. In fact, come to think of it, all my gurus are like that! They just haven't written a book about it... yet.

I've been getting a little too wordy and I don't want to lose any readers so I'll end now by telling you that next week I will share my new Worm Composting Box I made with my friend, Polly and her husband Rob. (What did you do this weekend? Oh, I made a worm composting box.) And, I have pictures of my vegetable garden all planted and ready to grow!

This is the entrance to my Vegetable Garden. Next week, we'll go through the trellis.
Oh, one more thing...

These are my most cherished seedlings of all! 
Los Gatos High School Senior Prom for Jeffrey and a little hug for Carly. 

Back off crows. These are MY babies.


  1. Love that you got to go see your Guru. I am going to have to go buy her book. Your entrance to the garden is beautiful and the cool pot mixed with the HUGE beautiful succulents is a must have. I do like plain old clay pots in various designs. Simply stunning.

  2. Based on "Things that I am comteplating", I would like to grow fennel. I plan to eat the root and maybe dry the seeds. We had a beet and fennel salad in Maui and it was to die for YUMMY! Which seed catalog would you recommend? I actually have not checked out any of the local stores so I guess I should check there too.
    Love my heliotrope! It is sooo forgiving...I let it dry too much one day and it sprung right back. Can you believe I am thinking about some succulents???? Yours are amazing!


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