Photo: Orange blossoms about to open

I grabbed this picture of orange blossoms on a neighbor’s tree during my walk yesterday. We are just about to the time when the Valley fills with the overpowering scent of citrus. It is always amazing to me how heady the atmosphere can become.

Orange Blossoms

I Like This – March 4, 2011

Video: Activity of local wild bee hive

Watch in full screen to see the bees at bottom of sign.

Lots of activity today at my local wild bee hive that lives in a sign post next to a busy section of Van Nuys Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. Not sure exactly what is happening. Bees seemed more agressive and agitated than usual. Perhaps there was some robbing going on. There is a lot in bloom right now so they might have simply been taking advantage of the big harvest. I have seen them bearding out during the hot summer days, but this activity looked different.

Passiflora seen on my walk today

Caught this first Passiflora bloom on my walk today. I always enjoy the blooms on this huge vine which cover the front wall of a home on my usual walking root. There were a few buds about to break, but this was the only one fully open.

I always love the almost alien complexity of these flowers. They are so structural and three dimensional.

Passiflora

I haven’t had much luck growing Passiflora here in my garden. I started one from seed, but the caterpillars that specifically love the vine seemed to strip it of leaves faster than could grow them and it eventually died. I need to gather some seeds from this plant, or another one in the neighborhood and try again.

I thought the photo also looked good as a sketch out of Toonpaint for the iPhone.

Passiflora

Moleskine Gardening Journal – Want, not need (SMILE)


While you certainly don’t NEED this specialized gardening journal, wouldn’t it be cool? This combines some of my favorite things, blank books, journals, writing, gardening, drawing. Who could ask for more?!

I don’t keep a separate garden journal at the moment. I combine it with my general, “take everywhere” journal and a Google Calendar, but I could see myself using something like this. I love Moleskine journals in general. Everything, from the cover to the paper to the binding, is superior to the average $2 journal you might pick up. I am hardest on the binding of a book, usually breaking and repairing it multiple times, but I have never had to do this with a Moleskine.

You can pick up yours today at your favorite bookseller or directly from A Gardener’s Notebook via Amazon.com.

Buy Moleskine Passions Gardening Journal form Amazon.com


Originally seen on Moleskinerie: Legends and Stories

Possible Frost in Van Nuys tonight

The National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory overnight for our area of the San Fernando Valley. I already see temperatures dipping into the upper 30’s, although I still show 41° here in my garden at the moment. (11:11pm)

Several years ago we had some fairly severe damage after several nights of freezing temperatures. Our hibiscus plants were severely damaged, ficus trees weren’t heavily frosted and our large aralia died almost overnight.

I’ll keep a watch on the garden tomorrow to see if anything shows frost damage and post some picture here.

Photo: Cyclamen in pot by front steps

Cyclamen in pot by front steps, originally uploaded by dewelch.

A friend brought us this cyclamen more than a year ago. It eventually ended up planed in this large terracotta pot by the front steps. Keeping pots moist over the summer months is an almost impossible job, so I figured we had killed this one, but once the rains arrived it jumped back up and today rewarded us with these flower. This, and the amazing state of our roses, show how much water our plants would like to get. I don’t know how we could possibly provide that much, though, without spending all our time in the garden and risking our bank account. That said, I will try to keep things better watered this year, especially when our temperature rise into the 100+ range.

I Like This – February 25, 2011

    A collection of career items I found interesting this week.

  • Group grow the Community Container Garden – February 24, 2011 – This is great idea. Sort of like reading the same book at the same time, except you will be growing the same plants at the same time. I might have to steal this idea to do with a few of my local friends.
  • Moleskine Launches Gardening Journal – February 21, 2011

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Photo: Daffodils at Sunset

Daffodils at Sunset

Spring is coming…I promise! You need no more proof than these lovely daffodils. You might notice that some of these are already fading, as they have been blooming for over 2 weeks now.

I promise that the snow will eventually melt — the bulbs will emerge (if they haven’t already) and before you know it you will be complaining about the humidity and the mosquitos. I know this, as I will never lose the memories of growing up in rural Ohio and doing just that. (SMILE)