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Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

Geranium Resurrection

When we bought this house one of the things we loved was the mature landscaping, including a large geranium which climbed a trellis, forming a wall next to the stairs of our deck. It bloomed nearly year round, blossoms periwinkle and a pale pink.

Looking for pictures of it now, I realize how much we took it for granted. In the first decade we lived here I can find pictures of our trees, the natal lilies, the roses, and both butterfly bushes (which tended to grow crazy fast, blossom profusely, then die off just as suddenly). But hardly anything of that wall of geraniums. (more…)

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Winter Orchids

In late November, at the beginning of this winter’s drought, I noticed that some old, half-forgotten orchids set back in our side yard were sending out floral spikes. Orchids respond beautifully to water-deprivation. During the summer I water our lawn, so the yard also gets frequent/ocasional splashes of water, but during the fall I water much less, so they had gone without for a while. Voilà!

I mentioned them to the missus, who moved them out from their reclusive nook to one of our raised beds, but as we were preparing to travel they didn’t get much attention. Except that, whenever I was out in our yard, I’d look over and admire them.

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And on Groundhog’s Day, too.  California is in the midst of an awful drought. Not so bad for the humans, so far, but very threatening to agriculture, which will affect us eventually, and far more serious for wildlife and the environment.

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Gardening, two

We’re enjoying spending time in the garden lately, and it’s so pleasant to see young plants taking root and growing. This rosebush has dozens of buds that are reaching up above the fenceline. (more…)

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Gardening 2013

A friend is suffering through the cold in the upper midwest, wanted to see some greenery, then sent a reminder this week that it would be nice to see the garden. so I took the camera out into the backyard yesterday and this morning, and spent some time cropping the picures so they don’t suck up too much space. (more…)

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Plan Bee

Did you know that most bees do not lose their stingers when stinging other insects, but will lose them when stinging large mammals? It’s something to do with responding appropriately to the threat. Other insects can be repelled, but a large mammal can cause real destruction to the hive, so the stinger is instinctively driven so deep it’s barb breaks off as deeply into the invader’s hide as possible and all the venom is injected into the perceived threat.

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When the missus first proposed adding a beehive to the back of our long backyard, it was somehow abstract.

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