Friday, January 30, 2009

Make it stop...

Amy at Garden Rant just posted about an article in the Seattle times announcing the demise of the San Francisco/Pacific Northwest Flower & Garden Shows. What's next, Sunset Magazine? My local Starbuck's? My neighborhood Border's? Whole Foods? Raley's? My little library? My son's school?

Top story in my local paper today is the lovely "Official: Sacramento could ax 500 city jobs to close deficit". What's in your paper today?

This is getting ridiculous. Gotta remember to breathe and to keep up the yoga practice. Forget Victory Gardens... I think we're heading toward Subsistence Gardens. Survival Gardens? Are we gonna have to eat our pets? Oh, man, and they're so cute! They're my babies! Wait... am I going to have to eat my child? My only child?!

Think vegetarian thoughts, Angela. Ask yourself, "What would Alice Waters do?". She would plant something obscure and complete-protein like quinoa. In her front yard. Oh, my neighbors are gonna love that. But maybe they don't care about that kind of nonsense anymore. Maybe they, too, are starting to "rethink the front lawn" in a way they never could have imagined would be necessary.

Interesting times we live in. Deep breath. More coffee... which I will grow myself if I have to. OK, so maybe that horticulture degree isn't as worthless as I thought. I think I can probably teach myself to make elderberry wine too, if necessary. If only I had some elderberries.

Wait, I can barter. That's what scrappy survivors like us do. I'll give you a dozen lemons for a basket of elderberries. These lemons will keep you from getting scurvy, you see. You need them. And I... well, I could use a nice, relaxing glass of elderberry wine. After 5:00, of course.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another home and garden magazine bites the dust

Domino magazine has folded. While I was never a subscriber, I really enjoyed reading The Germinatrix, Domino's online garden blog written by Ivette Soler. It was fresh, funny, plant-related and had photos. What's not to love?

It's not surprising to me that printed media is being replaced by digital media, but I'm a little surprised that Domino didn't try to make a go of it online. Perhaps their publishing company has other online mags they want to focus on...

The good news is that Ivette will reportedly have her new website,, up in about a month. And she's a landscape designer, right? So she still has her day job. Anyone who can say that these days is lucky.

Monday, January 26, 2009

NORCAL Trade Show

Hey, all you avid, avid gardeners...

Farmer Fred reminded me that the NORCAL Horticultural Trade Show-- which he says is "free...except for parking and the time & money to drive there..."-- is this Thursday in San Mateo.

Go... drool... dream... see what your nurseries are going to be carrying this Spring... and be sure to take pics.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Strybing Arboretum podcast

Did you know Strybing Arboretum has a podcast? I didn't, until just now when I got their newsletter. I'll give it a listen. If it's a video podcast, then just pinch me... but it's probably audio.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tule fog of the garden blog

Haven't done a dot of gardening lately. It's cold. It's wet. The dominant color in my garden is brown, excepting those evil little green baby weeds in the backyard beds and walkways.

I suppose I should hula hoe them... and prune my roses, and yet...

It may take awhile for something or someone to pull me out of this gardening funk. Right now I am uninspired and yet... restless. Luckily, the garden doesn't really need me right now. My houseplants do, though, so I continue to water my orchids and my new Stapelia cuttings and the cute little carnivorous plant a friend gave me.

Too bad that little meat eater hasn't gobbled up all the ants that are wintering in my orchids. I'm not fanatical about poison, so the most they have to put up with at the moment is an occasional surprise monsoon from my kitchen sprayer. I keep meaning to buy some ant bait.

I do have a few photos to share from a recent trip to the newly greenified Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Any place that checks you for butterfies on the way out of the elevator is cool in my book.

Take the Academy's advice to visit mid-week in the afternoon to avoid crowds. Planetarium and 3-D bug movie tickets are first come, first served.

4-story rainforest, which felt like being in a human terrarium. Dress accordingly.

5 butterflies

weirderrific plants...

Just your everyday albino alligator...

At the moment, I must scrounge up something edible for two unexpected guitar-wielding, teenage dinner guests. It's Finals Week, the kids get out early all week, and my son has friends over. Par... tay! Oops, I mean high school U.S. History finals rock!

I would have been frantically cramming all night back in the day. My son is a genius slacker. Slacker genius? Anyway, he almost never studies, which both frightens and impresses me.

To the new year... a new season... new life bursting forth from tight, dormant buds. Oh, and a new president! Can't wait to see what kind of rose is named after him. I bet they'll call it the 'Hope' rose. It better not be a bush rose. Make it a bicolor grandiflora or a hybrid tea, please.