I love this series of “hard truths” of gardening via Sunset Magazine.
“Buying a plant for its flowers is like choosing a wife for her bonnet.”
Untitled photograph by Dorothea Lange
I have a raised bed in the back yard for vegetables. Last year it was mostly lettuces, and this year it’s all tomatoes and corn. While I was gone this summer tons of arugula (the most resilient of lettuces and lettuce-like plants?) sprouted up in the bed amongst the tomatoes and corn. By the time I got home it had already flowered and was on the brink of going to seed. I pulled all the arugula today, cut the leaves for tonight’s salad, and used the flowers to decorate the bedside table.
Everyone’s talking about eggplant these days. It’s eggplant season! Chef Canales has them all over the menu at Oliveto from antipasti to secondi (watch Chef Canales shop the Berkeley Farmers Market for tomatoes and eggplant here). Meanwhile in Pasadena, mother’s eggplant is nearing maturity. Isn’t she a beaut?
I think I’ll just have to make both.
I’ll be running around all day today since I leave for a long trip tomorrow.
The bad news is I may or may not get to go on that trip as planned because rushmypassport.com (recommended by Forbes and CNN) has taken my money and not returned my passport in the time they advertise (I initiated my order on 6/16 making this the 6th business day of processing time for a service called “Priority” that the company’s website states takes 3-4 business days).
The good news is that my tomatoes have already started to bear fruit. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve barely been checking since I didn’t expect them till August. Here’s one of my first (of my six plants I have three or so immature green little tomatoes):
The good and the bad news is that I just might get to sit at home for all of July and watch them grow to maturity.
For some reason I have never been a huge azalea fan, but the azaleas around Rockridge this year changed my mind. I just kept walking and driving by these bushes absolutely bursting with color, and I couldn’t resist any longer. Unfortunately, my (former) distaste meant I waited a little too long to start photographing the blooms, so I missed my change to capture a few of my favorites (there is an amazing orange-pink one a few doors down from me that has since lost its blooms). I did manage to catch a few though. The orange and white at the bottom are some of my favorites.
I learned more about azaleas (such as the fact that all azaleas are rhododendrons but not all rhododendrons are azaleas, similar to the fact that all daffodils are narcissus, but not all narssisus are daffodils) from the Azalea Society of America. They have a great FAQ section. Some azaleas are native to Japan, and azaleas, similar to cherry blossoms, are quite celebrated in Japan. There are some great photographs of an azalea festival in Shiofune-Kannon (Ome, Tokyo) on Yumi’s flicker page.
On a related note, you should definitely look at this slideshow from the NY Times on Philadelphia gardens. Great pictures of alliums, primroses, poppies, peonies, and of course…azaleas!
The women behind Home and Oats aren’t prissy. They are the frontier women of Brooklyn–coaxing a little green out of a lot of brown and gray. It’s not an easy job! And while I love watching their seedlings grow, I’ve been even more excited by the beauty they’ve brought inside:
This makes me want wallpaper so badly. Framed or unframed. I’ll take it! click here for original post
And this is just perfection:
Makes me want to start a whole blog devoted to textiles. I’m slightly less covetous since it doesn’t actually exist in the homes of Home and Oats, but exists in the realm of their dreams. Keep us dreaming H&O!
Seeds: (clockwise from upper left) Black Watchman Old Fashioned Hollyhocks, Love in a Mist Mulberry Rose Nigella, Heirloom Pepperbox Poppy, Scented Nicotiana Jasmine Alata, and Parisian Pink French Larkspur
And a song for all of you:
Oh Happy Day sung by the Oh Happy Day Spirituals from their album the Oh Happy Day Spirituals!
I kind of dropped the ball on lilac season here in Rockridge (everyone seems to have harvested all of their lilac) so I wanted to make sure to get to the dogwood before the season is over. Just look at this glorious dogwood tree around the corner from my house:
I was spotted by the resident while snapping pictures. Apparently, there is a trip line just in front of where I was standing, put there to catch dogwood poachers(!) Apparently several have been caught. In spite of the apprehension of perpetrators the woman said that she had almost stopped being able to enjoy the tree over the years because of the constant poaching. Isn’t that awful? On the other hand I don’t know why I was so surprised. I’ll never forget my first month in Rockridge with all my roses flourishing only to go outside one day to find them all chopped off the top of the bush. So sad.
Here are two more beautiful examples of dogwood I found in Rockridge:
My mother reminded me of the legend of dogwood, which is particularly appropriate for the coming week. According to legend, the cross of the Crucifixion was made of dogwood. Ever after, dogwood trees had blossoms in the shape of a cross, two long petals and two short. The outer edge of the petals are indented and brown due to nail prints and rust, and the center is made to represent a crown of thorns.
For more pictures of dogwood,