Saturday, March 29, 2008

Incentive to hand wash the dishes

The secret to growing orchids? A sunny corner kitchen window. This magic orchid-growing window faces south and west. I water every few days with a quick squirt from the kitchen sprayer. For added humidity, the pots sit on pebble-filled drainage trays and I leave the accumulated water.

Every month or so, I rinse off my plants and give them a little liquid orchid food. I believe I've had the same container of orchid food my whole life. I should probably feed these guys more often, but likely won't. I would like to divide them soon; things are getting crowded, especially since I don't tie up my orchids like the pros do.

Hard to see, but on the lower right, my little Tillandsia plant is about to bloom! Other than these, I don't do houseplants.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Snippets of Spring

My first plum crop on my "Backyard Orchard Culture"... um... orchard. Tastings to follow, I hope. I planted three varieties 18 inches apart and each tree has lots of little plums. Fingers crossed!

Edible violas in my window box


Nasturtiums abound...

'Rainbow' Swiss chard is being enjoyed stir-fried by me, and raw by my little friend.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

When life gives you olives...

make olive oil!

UCD celebrates another year of turning olive mess into moneymaker
By Jim Downing -
Last Updated 12:13 am PDT Thursday, March 20, 2008
Story appeared in Sacramento Bee BUSINESS section, Page D1

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2008 SF Flower & Garden Show

Another great annual return to the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show! Came home with two new orchids... the very ones I wanted to buy last year but didn't! Ah, orchid closure. Well, almost. There was a peachy, pinky cousin of these two that I had to leave behind until next year.

Masdevallia (veitchiana 'Pacific Giant' x 'veitchiana 'Bolin')

Masdevallia (Pixie Lavender 'Fine' x FalconSunrise 'Scarlet')

Of the display gardens at this year's show, the Zen Spa Garden was the most impressive (to me). Not only was it a welcome drop of Zen in a sea of Cow Palace excitement, but unlike many show gardens, this is one you would actually install in a real backyard here on planet Earth. Derviss + Chavez did a fabulous job and it was really interesting watching the project's progress on Derviss' blog.

The crowds weren't tooooooooooo bad for a Friday, but I still made a mental note to save the display gardens for last next year. There's nothing more frustrating than visiting an an exhibit that can only be glimpsed through a wall of people. Yes, Monterey Bay Aquarium, I'm talking about you too. Oh, to be able to vaporize peop... um... nevermind.

My new plan of attack will be to hit the vendors/seminars for a bit upon arrival, then have lunch, then hit the vendors/seminars some more, and finally... enjoy the gardens at a leisurely pace once the crowds begin to wane. Perhaps it'll be best to take a break for chocolate and coffee as well.

I always end up with sensory overload at the end of my Show visit, but it's a good kind of sensory overload... the kind that later inspires new touches in my own garden. And new orchids on my kitchen windowsill.

SLIDESHOW: Click slideshow below to launch.

VIDEO SLIDESHOW-- stills and a couple video clips to music (takes awhile to download)

Watch the video

Music: Demolition Man by The Police

It's hard to believe the Cow Palace might be torn down soon. For whatever it's worth, you can go to and sign the online petition. I did.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vegetable-powered homes? Hmmm...

(photo from

UC Davis Frontiers: Energy from table scraps

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bigfoot... he not dead?!!!

I'm so excited that Graham Roumieu has a new bigfoot book coming out on April 29. If you haven't had the pleasure... be sure to start with some of his older titles.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who knew?

(photo from

... back in the early eighties when I was blissfully screaming my head off to AC/DC and The Police at the Cow Palace, that I wouldn't return to that fine rock & roll and livestock venue until I was all grown up and attending the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show each year like a proper dork. I mean grownup.

This Friday. I'll bring my dorky camera too.