Friday, May 20, 2005

Brown Rot hits my cherries

This is how they look now... pretty much ruined by brown rot. My 'Stella' has always put out great cherries without fungicides, but this extra rain we got well into spring did in this year's crop. C'est la vie! Here's another great info. page from UC IPM called How to Manage Pests: Cherry.

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Cherries ripening nicely... so it seems

This is how my cherries looked a few days ago...
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Monday, May 16, 2005

Ads, Vlogs and Such

You may have noticed the sudden appearance of ads on the bulletin board. I had hoped to get the archived messages switched over to my new web host, but the conversion program for switching to a new format without losing old messages doesn't work with new versions of EZBoard. Those sneaky devils.

What prompted my desire to swith board hosts was the knowledge that some people didn't find EZBoard so EZ to use. Add to that the fact that my new web host offers a "free" phpBB, um, bb. Not wanting to lose the archived messages on the old board, I'm going to stick with EZBoard until I can find a good way to convert to the new board. What I am firm on, though, is not wanting to continue paying for ad removal on EZBoard, considering how reluctant people are to post. Lots of people read the board, but few brave souls post. I never wanted the board to be my personal soapbox. I wanted it to be a lively forum for avid local gardeners, including me. So your punishment for not posting is ads. Har har. But, seriously... While the local bb contemplates life, check out GardenWeb's California forum and the Dave's Garden California forum. The folks on Dave's Garden are a lively bunch. GardenWeb has some great threads as well... there's just more weeding and waiting before getting to the good stuff.

On other fronts, I've recently figured out how to post video blogs, a.k.a. "vlogs", to this blog thanks to an excellent online tutorial by some smart, young, urban whippersnappers. Gardening is a very visual pursuit so of course I want to move in this direction. I'm excited about having complete creative control (cue Dr. Evil laugh). Plus, I can keep it more real than, say, TV. For instance, I can do a rose pruning tutorial in my pajamas. Oh, you don't think I would? Try me. Or I can yammer on with friends while we undertake some new gardening craft project. If I hurt myself, I might even cuss and then bleep myself. Or I can leave it unbleeped and call it "Gardening Uncensored... Dirty Hands, Dirty Mouth." This is tooooooooooooo much fun.

And then there's the to-do list: mow lawn, catch up on weeding out front, pick up stray pots in the yard left over from recent planting extravaganzas, undo damage done by Dan and Annie (my rathuahuas), install dog door, finish hooking up drip irrigation, build fence to exclude Dan & Annie from the lawn and flowerbeds unless accompanied by a human... oh yeah, and keep my house sparkling clean inside while being the perfect gourmet chef/chauffeur/tutor/nurse/
maid/babysitter/companion/ other words... mom.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Events Calender is baaaaack...

I ditched the at-first charming but eventually demonic calendar program I was using for listing garden events and have gone back to my simple page of event listings. I toyed with the idea of linking to the Bee's garden events calendar (as a time-saver for me), but:

a) The online Bee calendar doesn't show very far in advance.
b) It mimics the Saturday paper in the sense that it says an event is occurring "today." Well, what do you do when "today" becomes "tomorrow"? Too much risk of sending folks to an event on the wrong day.
c) It needs to be re-linked every week. Harumph.
d) There's so much going on that the Bee doesn't list!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Smith & Hawken "Outlet" in Berkeley

Having shopped there in the past, where good deals and a parking lot nursery made a visit worthwhile, a recent stop sooooooo disappointed. Gone are the parking lot plants, gone are the outlet prices. In fact, most of the "outlet" has been converted to an expensive showroom. The outlet portion has been reduced to little more than a few broken tables, banged up birdbaths and a sparse smattering of odd or broken glassware. Honestly, I felt like I was in a garden thrift store... and not a very good one at that. What a shame! This is just a heads up in case you were planning on making it a stop on your next East Bay gardening adventure. Skip it and hit the nurseries and gardens instead.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Interesting Nor. Cal.Nursery thread on GardenWeb

In particular, this post since I've been East Baying it lately...

RE: and now, nurseries and gardens worth visiting in Northern Cal
Posted by: mich_in_zonal_denial (My Page) on Tue, May 3, 05 at 11:37

I predominately purchase my plants through wholesale nurseries but on frequent occasion I have to run into a retail nursery to pick up one of this or two of that.
I also work primarily in the Marin area so I have come to know all the various retail nurseries in this area and many in the East Bay and Sonoma counties.

For sheer horticultural variety and volume of their grounds , Magic Gardens and Berkeley Hort are my long term favorites.

The Dry Garden comes in second, only because he does not have the space that Magic or Berk Hort has ., but Richard ( Dry Garden ) does have a knack for ordering the rare horticultural gem that no one else has the talent or knowledge to pick plants off a wholesalers availability list.

Marin is somewhat barren when it comes to super great nurseries, We have Sloats , that depending on the individual management , it can be Ok to pretty good, but it is never great. And we have the new kid on the block, Armstrong, which is also just OK.

Sunnyside does a very good job , as does Bayside in Tiburon , but still the horticultural aptitude of the Marin buyers is just not here as it is in the East Bay.

I will mention Green Jeans, but only because they have the absolute worst customer service and piss poor attitude in all of the Western United States and their prices are stupidly high .

In Sonoma I think the crown jewel of beautifully styled nurseries is Cottage Garden Growers in Petaluma. They have a nice selection of plants that are extremely well groomed . They order in some unusual plants , but again, they don't have the horticultural prowess that the East Bay Nurseries do.

Emerissa is excellent for 4 inch size perennials. They reign supreme in that realm.

Western Hort (think he meant Western Hills, which is reportedly closing) is wonderful, but it is not a fully stocked nursery , but certainly you can find the rarest of the rare , but only in limited amounts and at certain times of year when they can order it in from the wholesalers or if they have propagated it themselves.

With gasoline being so expensive, I would economize and drive over to the East Bay and visit Berkeley Hort, The Dry Garden and Magic Gardens to get the biggest bang for my horticultural spending dollar.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Building at the back of the nursery, from across the street. On this Sunday, it was easy to find parking on this street behind the nursery. There is no nursery parking lot and street parking can be tricky.
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Berk. Hort. gallon-sized sun perennials
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Berkeley Hort. Continued

Wavy trellis at Berkeley Hort. Display only and apparently they're not being made any more. Bummer!
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Scarlet flax

Scarlet flax also came back. Vivid!
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Globe gilia

Globe gilia wildflowers came back on their own in my front yard...
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'Drama Queen' poppy

'Drama Queen' poppy from Annie's Annuals... not what her picture promised, but still pretty and it's as tall as I am!
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Umbrella Mosquito Netting

I wanted a bee/wasp/fly/mosquito-free eating area and this is it. Btw, it's out front! I think it looks festive and my son thinks it looks trashy. Perhaps it's festively trashy or trashily festive... It's from Gardener's Eden, by the way.
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Keeyla Meadows Ladder

Chartreuse ladder. Love it, love it, love it.
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Keeyla paving

creative paving and planting ideas
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Keeyla patio

Demo patio at the real estate office where her demo garden's located
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Keeyla sculptures

A closer view of sculptures
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Her flowers always seem to play off the colors in her sculptures. Genius.
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Across the street and around the corner from Berkeley Hort is a Keeyla Meadows demo garden. Her designs are very inspirational... and expensive.
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A very tall cineraria and fun wall terra cotta
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What can I say? Gorgeous...
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Sunny outdoor perennials and veggies in foreground, shadier stuff under cover in background
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Cool use of pot clips, which are sold at the nursery
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Demo garden at the front of the nursery
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Another Trip to Berkeley Hort.

Outdoor covered portion of the nursery, for shade-lovers...
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