Tag Archives: gardening

Great Textiles–but they garden too!

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:

osborne

This makes me want wallpaper so badly.  Framed or unframed.  I’ll take it!  click here for original post

And this is just perfection:

josef frank

This last one is designed by Josef Frank.  Who doesn’t love them some good Scandi design??  click here for original post

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!

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Warmest Day of 2009 in Rockridge so far!

gardening1Strong midday sun upper left, dappled sun and wisteria blossoms on the deck, a new terra cotta pot and seeds

seedsSeeds: (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!

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Dogwood Devotion

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:

big-dogwood-long1

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:

baby-dogwood1

Green Dogwood

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Pink Dogwood

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, 

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More Spring Awakening

Spending the first evening of day light savings time gardening already payed off!  Or, more likely, last year’s efforts.  Here is an old, old, OLD, rose that I thought about taking out of the front garden because it was so sickly and dead, and because it produced strangely mottled-colored roses last year (that ranged from pale yellow to pale pink, not in a good way):

rosesyellow

Look at all those buds!  I see seven just in this weird-angle shot.  In spite of the one mildewed trio of leaves I missed when I was pruning on Sunday, most of the foliage is the deep bright green of new growth.  The red tint is still there when the buds emerge, but the roses are a much more robust, healthy dark yellow than they have ever been.  And so many already!  I’m so excited the rose garden will be in bloom again soon.  Nothing is better than harvesting your own materials for casual posies around the home.

roses1

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No Green Guilt and No Traveling and Scavenging for “Local” Food

This looks potentially soothing:

feastbayYour own private mini-field of crops!

Feast Bay Farming

Imagine looking out of your window looking at a thriving food forest, an environmentally friendly landscape. This what Feast Bay Farming is committed to offer the residents of Alameda county.

I already have a small patch of my own, but managing and optimizing a home kitchen garden is no simple task.  I’ve worked at it, and consulted such sources as the beautifully illustrated and highly-specific Self-Sufficient Gardener by John Seymour, but to do it well takes more man hours than my full time graduate school/work schedule allows.  As it stands now, my little raised bed has gone to seed.  

If I get lucky (and a spare hour or two one of these weeks) I’m hoping to consult with FBF to turn my little plot into the local feast of Michael Pollan’s dreams.  My dream crop: escarole. 

Related:

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Your Daily Soothe-Ranunculus Season!

ranunculus1

This wasn’t meant to be redundant, but is a tad after last week’s illustration

All I know is that it’s unfortunate, but I simply do not have the time to do any arranging these days.  A bunch of ranunculus are the perfect treat to keep my spirits up as I plow through the tidal wave of work I’m drowning in.  A fresh cut and a mason jar was all I needed.

I spent a great weekend in Lake Tahoe in spite of my hectic schedule.  It’s these forced breaks that loved ones argue will keep me sane until June, though I’m not totally sure they are right because I now have an even huger pile of grading to do.  We celebrated a close friend’s birthday and ate ate ate.  Tortilla Espanol, chicken sandwiches on the trail, banh mi, meat pie, chocolate whisky cake, and tonkatsu.  Honestly.  

Even though I was exhausted after all the eating and celebrating over the weekend, I was so thrilled about the extra hour of daylight last night I couldn’t resist running out and sprucing up the front garden.  My poor roses had gotten horrible mildew in all the rain and the lavender bushes were getting positively out of control.  I spent from 5PM-7PM clipping and snipping and couldn’t have been happier.  

Reality was a stinging slap in the face this morning at 5:30.  But with a clean garden and a perky bunch of ranunculus how can I complain?

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Pasadena 4PM

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