Tuesday, August 30, 2005

City Slicker Learns Something New

Turns out Peabody, mother to Sweetpea, is called a peahen, not a peacock. In my defense, Wikipedia states that "In common English usage, however, "peacock" is used to mean any peafowl."

Doesn't this beg the question, why the rather masculine-sounding "Peabody"? Why not "Penelope", "Petunia" or "Prudence"?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Peacock Adopts Baby Chick(en)

My friend Cheryl's peacock (let me make it clear that she did not go out and buy a peacock... it just appeared in her yard one day because things like this happen in Carmichael) is raising one of her almost-breakfast eggs from one of her chickens! It's so cute to watch the little "furry golf ball", as Cheryl put it, running behind it's "mama".

I tried to catch this adorable family on video, but who knew poultry (are peacocks poultry?) could run so fast? Bad videography aside, it's still pretty cute.

Click the photo or this link to watch video.

Cybergarden Maintenance

If I seem a little behind in weekly updates to SacramentoGardening.com, it's because I'm in the process of switching computers and moving my new computer from "Command Central", a location sandwiched between my kitchen and family room, to a corner of an upstairs guest room. Hey, it ain't much, but it'll afford me the quiet and privacy (and ability to focus) I've been so desperately craving.

On the garden front... I'm looking forward to putting in some fall color. I still get really excited when I see pansies showing up in nurseries after a long, hot summer. Along with pansies, I'm eagerly anticipating nursery displays of Japanese anemones, mums, pumpkins and more!

In a garden bed that will one day be home to closely-planted fruit shrubs, I planted pumpkins and lemon cucumbers. The pumpkin is 'Big Max', a typically 18-inch pumpkin, but with my minimal care the largest pumpkin is only about 14 inches in diameter. Still, it's a really cool pumpkin which is already developing a nice orange tint! Here, let me show you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Plants I bought in Mendo

I never did find the driftwood thingy I was looking for, but did manage to go to North Star Nursery (across from the Mendo. Bot. Gardens in Fort Bragg) and pick up some fun plants. I let intuition be my guide and came home with a bit o' this and a bit o' that.

Some of the new plants ended up in my cobalt pot from Berkeley Hort.

Plants include: Gaillardia 'Fanfare', Mimulus Calypso Mix, Nemesia 'Sunsation Peach', and 'Raspberry Ruffles' coleus.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hello from Mendocino

Reclining in this rental house's Barcalounger with a laptop warming my legs, I need only lift my eyes from the screen to get a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and rugged bluffs. It was sunny this morning, but the fog's rolling in early. That's ok by me because I know it'll be around 102 in Sacramento today.

Want to know what's blooming in Mendocino? Passion vine, nasturtium, sweet peas, penstemon, lupine, naked ladies, poppies, alstroemeria and more... Because of the fog, the quality of light here is incredible and flower colors don't fade. A photographer's dream.

I hope to hit a nursery and driftwood store today.

I'll be back in Pyrethrumtown tomorrow night. Until then...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Last chance for a summer getaway

Since my son starts 7th grade in a few short weeks (with a new inhumane start-time of 7:30am), this is our last chance to leave town before school starts. I'm torn between a desire to get caught up around the house and garden (summer garden, I hardly knew ya) and a desire to escape to the coast. Yep, I'm going back to Mendo. On this trip, I intend to really relax and finish reading Harry Potter. I want to hit some local nurseries too. I was planning on a trip to Portland, OR, but the timing didn't work out.

In the garden:

My monstrous tithonia (Mex. sunflower) snapped under its own weight! The day before it snapped, I thought it might be leaning a little and made a mental note to stake it. I snoozed, I lost. Before it snapped, it was spectacular at 6-7 feet tall. I never knew tithonia made such a great cut flower until I used them in an arrangement. The blooms lasted a long time and the stems stayed nice and straight. Luckily, I've got 2 smaller plants coming along nicely. Whiteflies love my tithonias, by the way. I never really noticed whiteflies in my garden before and I'm wondering if their presence is related to all that mild weather and moisture we had in spring.

My lavender is between blooms but looking good. Sedum, cosmos, black-eyed susan, gomphrena, portulaca and others are blooming bravely in this heat. Other plants shut down when the heatwave hit.

Gotta go deadhead now. I need to MULCH! Oh, to clone myself so I could be in two places at once.

Little getaway to Monterey

Went to Monterey for the weekend. Remembered why I've always gone on off-season weekdays in the past-- too many people on weekends in August!!! At the aquarium, it seemed like every time I stopped to look at an exhibit (not that I could see through all the human flesh pressed up against the glass), someone behind me with a stroller would say, "Excuse me!" in a not-so-patient voice. Aren't aquariums supposed to induce placidity? I did manage to get some video footage of the trip. It's 10MB, so dial-up users might not want to bother downloading. I love "videoing" my trips because when you're actively looking for interesting things, you tend to see the world through fresh eyes. Better than watching it all go by without noticing.