Category Archives: what’s blooming

Things around here

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Things are starting to shape up around here. If you can change your mindset to overlook the vast amount of weeding and yard work we still have yet to do, and focus on things that fit into a small camera view, things look quite beautiful.
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(do you know what kind of flowering tree this is?)
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(mushroom hunting has gotten a little too close to home! ‘Fix patch of dry rot’ has all of a sudden moved up on the priority list!)
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Have a good weekend! I’ll be back next week, we have a lot to catch up on!

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Making Summer Flower Wreaths on a Winter Day

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Besides that little patch of rain the other week most of our days have looked pretty much exactly like the above, sunny and beautiful. It’s hard to believe it’s not spring. I think the plants are having a hard time believing it’s not spring too. This picture was taken between Christmas and New Years when I had a rare moment of quiet. Usually I fill those up with household chores or work projects, but this day I indulged in doing something I’ve been wanting to do for a long while. Make a wreath.

Last summer I was so amazed by all the beautiful flowers we had here. I cut many and put them in all sorts of arrangements around the house. I left many outside to admire, but I also cut this stash above, hung them upside down and left them in the garage to dry. I’d never made a dried flower wreath before but I went off of instinct and bunched up little mini bouquets, wrapped them in floral wire and attached them to a grapevine wreath base. I realized about half way through that I didn’t have enough flowers to make the wreath as full as I wanted too, but I didn’t wallow in my imperfection. I just tried my best to enjoy my hour outside being creative with the winter sun on my back.
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Mixed up in there are purple and white statice, yarrow, love in a mist seed pods, lavender, and scabiosa seed pods.
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I plan on drying a lot more flowers next summer to play around with more wreaths. I even planted a new kind of poppy seed that are grown for their decorative seed pods. We’ll see how they grow.

Do any of you have any bookmarked images for dried wreath designs? Or know of any other flower that looks great dried? I’d love a little inspiration.

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Spring Blooms

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Spring has begun to flower out here in Sonoma! Always the first to make it’s appearance is the cherry plum tree, but the nectarine and plum aren’t far behind.
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This year we are hell bent on not having peach leaf curl on our trees, like last year. Last year we were bad about spraying through winter and our nectarine tree took the brunt of the peach leaf curl the worst. All the leaves were affected and all curled up and fell off. With great luck a new batch of leaves grew out and were fine, however the fruit we received was smaller than usual and had some damage to it.
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We spray with a copper spray, which is probably the most inorganic thing we do in our yard, however peach leaf curl has become something of an enemy to us, so we’ve loosened our reigns on our ‘only organic’ stance on that nasty fungus. The rule of thumb is to spray on the three winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentines. We missed Thanksgiving, but we got Christmas in and Valentines. Just in time too because the trees are just about to burst forward in bloom and you want to get your spraying in before that happens.

Did you spray this winter?

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Calming

It’s been one of those weeks. One of those weeks where my shoulders have been firmly planted right around my ears, where I feel tension in back muscles I didn’t even know I had. My To-Do list is approximately as long as the drip irrigation that I’d like to install (have you checked out what my dear friend Julie has been doing? Good grief, she’s incredible). I’ve been around long enough to know that this too will soon pass, but in the meantime, I’d like to share with you a few photos that make me breath a little deeper…. in case your shoulders are a little higher than they should be too.
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the rununcula look alikes that are my favorite spring flower
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remember the awful iris’ I had last year? replaced!
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sunlight through lavender
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the giant valley oak that gives us morning shade.

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The First Spring Weekend

Oh what a glorious way to enter into spring. The first tulip bloomed on the first day of spring. There were rain showers, blue, blue skies, billowy white clouds, March breezes, drinks with a new friend, dinner with an old, dear friend and days spent together outside.
First day of Spring, First open tulip
Spring Tulip
Spring Mustard
The mustard is just starting to fade.
Soon to be Cherries
Soon to be cherries.
Soon to be peaches
Soon to be peaches.
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Muscari growing wild below our apple trees.
Did you have a good first weekend of spring too?

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Filed under fruit trees, Life in Sonoma, our weekends, state of the garden, what's blooming

Nectarine Blossom

Nectarine Bloom
I just wanted to interrupt Citrus Week for a moment to show you what is now blooming on our mantle. A beautiful nectarine blossom. As if this odd 70 degree weather isn’t a reminder, this blossom let’s us know that while we are in the heart of January now, spring will soon be on it’s way.

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Confession

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The thing about gardening is that once you figure out a few things and start to think that maybe you’ve got a handle on this whole ‘growing food’ thing, you get humbled. Then you start a blog and make your random musings public and then you find out you’re wrong and you really feel like you have mud on your face. So it’s confessional time.
Pollenated
Let’s start out with the zucchini’s. I was totally wrong. Those little lady flowers do need to be pollenated by bees that have also visited the male flowers. I found this out soon after my posting when I on my ‘useless male’ high horse went out and clipped off all the male flowers for quesadillas. The next day I found a poor shriveled four inch dying zucchini. The thing with these squash are that they grow really fast, so those woman flowers don’t get a chance to open up until the zucchini are already five or so inches long. If it doesn’t get pollenated it shrivels and dies, if it does get pollenated, it keeps getting bigger.

Want to hear about our garlic failure too? Remember all that lovely hardneck garlic we picked? Yep, well, we picked it too early and half of it rotted. That was a very grim discovery. There’s so much moisture in those garlic heads that you really do need to wait until the plant dries up and browns before you pick it, or, it rots.
Fenugreek
Next up. Fenugreek. I don’t know what we did wrong with it. It looked great when it first sprouted, lovely green with pink edged leaves. Then it got kind of spindly, then kind of brown. Were we giving it too much water? Too little? Did we plant them too close together? Are they supposed to look spindly? Anyway, somehow it’s unhappy, but there are a handful of big seed pods forming so at least we’ll have a little bit for making Indian food.

So there you go. Just a few garden failures of many I suppose. Scott attended a weed class this past weekend (more on that soon) and the woman teaching was announced as having 22 years of experience. It sounds like a lot, but the teacher said, “Really, it’s not that much experience, it means I’ve only grown tomatoes 22 times.” When you put it that way, it really doesn’t sound like that much. I guess we’re all just learning as we go, really.

Any gardening confessionals you need to make?

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