Gardening Time Again

q8~It’s that time of year again! The days are getting longer so it’s no longer dark out when I awake. Ah, that means breakfast out on the patio while watching and listening to my feathered friends. Since it’s not too cold and not too hot, it’s just right for puttering around in the garden when breakfast is finished. My poor garden hasn’t quite re-cooped from the lack of attention due to our 3 week visit to Hawaii. Bad me, I let the foxtails take over. My lovely daughter Darcey saved the day by sending the most awesome gardening gloves for Mother’s Day.

Foxgloves = 0; Q = 100

Foxgloves = 0; Q = 100

Take that foxgloves, I didn’t have any scratches!

Darcey bought the gloves through Red Envelope one of her favorite online shopping sites. To check out other deals look at her site: theDealyo. Fantastic, money saving, ongoing deals every day. Look  how the gloves match the gardening apron mom made for me.

The best gardening gloves ever.

The best gardening gloves ever.

It Was Worth the Wait!!!


– Last year my husband and I started to landscape the backyard. Check out our blog on 28 Jun 2012, “Create Your Backyard Paradise!backyardbeforeWe had planned on putting in the sod lawn last October, but since our summers are so hot the companies don’t sell sod during that time. Sod is sold from May to August. Here is my husband putting down the first piece. I sent Q a picture as soon as it was done. She was right! What a difference!

backyardafterI am loving it. It has only been a few hours, and I can’t get seem to get enough of it. 🙂 (Q – I love to walk bare-footed through lawn. I cannot wait to run through this!)

Take That Birds!

q8~We are bird watchers who love to feed the birds around our homes. A lot of the plants at my home were planted to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The various birds have a choice of oiled sunflower seed, a bird seed mix, and thistle. When I first put out the thistle the yellow-rumped warblers were all over it, but then the bully Lesser Green-backed Goldfinch moved in and took over. Every morning, a California Towhee is chipping at me out on the patio . This is the most curious bird, when I left the patio door open once, the bird hopped into the house, looked around, and hopped out. As I type this blog, the computer faces out onto the patio and I can see the reflection of my towhee hopping around.

When visiting Darcey in Texas, I purchased some Southwest, wildflower seed mixture at the Wildseed Farm in Fredericksburg. What a fun store! Anyway. I know it’s late in the season, but I just got around to planting the seeds. Knowing that they get handouts, I figured the birds would eat the seed so it was time to get inventive. I took a black, plant flat that I got from the Cuyamaca Community College Nursery and turned it upside down over the area the seeds were planted in. Success! With the holes its easy to water and the sunlight gets through. The flat is too high for the birds to fit their beaks into believe me, the towhee tried. I check on the progress of the seedlings every day, they’ve sprouted and are looking great.

Seed Cover

Seed Cover

Towhee jumping around trying to get to seeds

Towhee jumping around trying to get to seeds

Sprouting Seedlings

Sprouting Seedlings

And, does anyone know how to get rid of pesky crows? The crows moved in a few years ago and scare off the other birds.

Perfect For Gardening

q~For our last birthdays, Mom made all of her girls gardening aprons. I can’t believe I haven’t posted this already. I love the apron! Mom used a heavier canvas type of cotton which she purchased at Joann’s. It has 3 pockets for all of the various “stuff” I need to carry around the garden: tomato ties, clippers, seed packets, etc. I could put my gardening gloves in pocket but they are so dirty and gunky that it’s a big NO. The perfect apron! And, for those of you who follow the blog, you may recall that mom turned 91 in January. She and Betty White share the same birth day. Here’s a link to Gardening Apron such as mine.

Garden Apron by Mom

Garden Apron by Mom

Clever Ideas For Your Garden At The Bazaar!

~July 16, 1769 ~Mission San Diego de Alcala is officially founded on Presidio Hill, which, in turn became the City of San Diego. Odd place to start the city since water is not easily accessible at the top of this hill. The mission is later moved about 6 miles east and is located next to the San Diego River. One of our field trips will be to the first mission founded by Father Junípero Serra. The original mission was turned into a Presidio which held a garrison of men. It was not until the late 1820’s – 1830’s that Old Town San Diego was settled. This town was at the western foot of Presidio Hill. I still think it odd that San Diego did not start on the bay or ocean! It was a few miles inland. While the Eastern seaboard was in it’s struggle with the English, we were developing under Spanish rule. In 1969, the two-hundreth anniversary of it’s founding, Old Town became a California State Park.

There are only a few structures left from the original Old Town. This isn’t going to be a walking tour of the historic buildings. I’m a flower person and my eyes were drawn to the plants. The Hubs and I started our tour in one of my favorite places, the old Bazaar Del Mundo sold and renamed to Plaza del Pasado. Sorry, old-timer here it will always be the Bazaar in my mind. We arrived early before the shops opened, so it was nice an quiet except for the gardeners. The Bazaar was built around a very large courtyard and has quite a wonderful garden. I’m not going to put the pictures in collages as I usually do so that you can get ideas for your garden. All pictures were taken with my Canon PowerShot SX130IS since The Hubs had a class and got to use “the good camera”.

These fellows greet you upon entering the bazaar

There are so many wagons with plants. Wish I had the rooster in my garden!

This fellow kept following me! He bought lunch for me so I guess that was ok!

And so, from the bazaar, I say, “Adios”.

Amazing Begonia

~A few years ago we purchased a few beautiful begonias from Weidner’s nursery. If you live in the San Diego area, this is a can’t miss place. Fabulous flowers and the most amazing begonias. Not your typical nursery.

What is amazing is that this begonia has been blooming for OVER a year! It never stopped blooming in the winter, even though we did have some freezing days. Every other year it died back the way our other begonias did. This begonia must have decided it loves its location. Amazing Begonia. I wish I had taken a picture of it every month. 😎

Create Your Backyard Paradise

– Well the backyard is coming along fantastically. Thought I would share how I went about planning my backyard paradise.


After my husband finished the wood fence, the cement boarder, and the pergola, I took three different shots of my backyard (see above). The photographs were printed out on 8 x 10 paper. I taped the two pictures on the above left together (see below) and started creating my backyard. I used this technique before when planning the landscaping for a small area in the front yard. I started drawing in the plants as I had done before, but this just was not turning out the way I had envisioned.  I was in a quandary, what should I do? Then it hit me, why not use the catalogs from the flower companies. Cutting out the colors and sizes I wanted, I pasted them into correct place in the picture. This was a perfect rough draft for the layout of my garden!

The picture below the two taped pictures is the right side of the yard where the raised vegetable garden is going. Can you see the green blob on the right side of the picture? That’s the vegetable garden

After the plan looked exactly the way I wanted the garden, I pinned it up on the kitchen wall. My husband looked at it and thought I was nuts. He said, “Just tell me where to dig the holes.” Once the plants were in he understood what I was trying to do with the pictures. There was a method to my madness! 😎


What do you think? Cool or what. It is going to take a while for the plants to grow, and I still have some smaller plants to put in. I can add them anytime. Note: No grass. We will be putting that in when it gets cooler which is usually the end of September or October. You can see the outline of where the grass will be. We used drip line to water and put plastic down then wood chips on top. We are still creating the walk up to the pergola.



I planted succulents around the pergola and drought tolerant plants along the small fence area. The first picture is the ground cover around the pergola. The raised garden is in the works. Stay tuned. 😎

A Visit to Quail Gardens

~San Diego County is lucky to be on the list as having one of the 10 most important botanical gardens in the world, the San Diego Botanic Garden.  To those of us old-timers, it’s better know as Quail Gardens. Hubs and I paid a visit there recently on a field-trip with his photography class. The gardens is on 37 acres with 4 miles of trails. Luckily, when we went it was an overcast day.  Much better for photography and general comfort. 😎 Plenty of places to sit too!

The place is fabulous! The flowers and smell divine! I had great fun going through the garden saying, “I have that plant!” Hubs said I should have majored in Botany instead of Microbiology.  I do love flowers and gardening. I’m not even going to name all of the beautiful flowers, just share in their delight!

I was happy to see that we were greeted by our totem, Black Phoebe.


I did find that hubs and I need our own camera when out together!  He had a class to take photographs for, but I wanted to hog it for pictures for the blog.  Ok, I’ll learn how to share better! 😎

And, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Well, today did not turn out at all how I envisioned it would be; dyeing, knitting, and eating bonbons while watching Tom Selleck!  Sigh….. Instead the day was: fix the car’s brakes, do the banking, run other small chores, go to Walmart, etc.  That was the day, left around 9:30 and finally got home around 5.  Did have a small 1/2 hour break when I can home for a breather!  What a day.  It did help immensely that it is another beautiful day; sunny and warm.    I won’t be posting any fabulous knitting items today.  Sorry.

Instead, the small amount of time I was home, I went outside to enjoy the flowers.  My sweet freesias have all bloomed out.  Sadness.  The darn dog ate quite a few of my other favorite plants.  However, I still have enough flowers left to post pictures.  The violet is one of my favorites.  My grandmother adored violets and had violet perfume.  Whenever my violets bloom I feel my grandmother smiling!  My grandparents yard was always a riot of color! My big violets are out front where there is more sun and haven’t bloomed yet, these are my small, “shy” violets!

A surprise visitor to my garden this winter was this cactus!  I don’t have any in my yard, but this popped up in my pea plants.  Thanks to a bird I suppose.  I always have different feeders out for the birds so I get quite a bit of traffic.


I LOVE spinners and have them all over the back yard.  Sad to say one wooden spinner that I got in Okinawa was eaten by the dog.  Dang puppy!  The flower with the spinner is the largest monkey flower I have ever seen!  I grow them every year and none have EVER grown this large.

I love the uniqueness of this flower!  It is growing over the back retaining wall.  Grandma always called it Cat’s Claws.  The nursery sells it as Parrot’s Beak.  I’m going with Cat’s Claws, grandma was born in 1896 and gardened for a heck of a long time, she died at age 94, I think she’s right.  The colors are stunning and I want to dye some yarn in this colorway.  Can’t you just visualize the gradient?

I love having birds and butterflies in the yard, so most of the plants are planted to attract them. I don’t put out hummingbird feeders since I have so much salvia and other plants hummingbirds love.  We have a permanent Anna’s Hummingbird who has actually come to drink from the hose while I was holding it.  If I’m out gardening, he’s always close by.  I love it!  Just get rid of the crows who have scared away a lot of my birds.  I’m hoping to do  some natural dyeing this summer when my garden is in full bloom!