Monday, March 15, 2010

Garden Journal--Garden-Tok

I am searching for a garden journal to record what bloomed when in my garden and what was planted. A few Daffodils came up this spring, I want to make note of their locations so I can plant some more for next spring. My pink dogwood and Akebono Cherry have begun to bloom. I can't remember exactly when various plants and trees bloomed last year.

Akebono Cherry Tree Reaching for the Sky!

Close Up Showing the Young Blossoms that will become Snowy Pink

We had a couple of storms that did a fair amount of damage, especially to our Salvia Leucantha. Then we had quite a few nights with freezing temperatures. Our two Lemon bushes survived, thanks to plastic drop cloths. Some of our Coreopsis Verticillata Moonbeam did not make it. I had nine of the lacy little plants along the sidewalk, they were much admired by friendly neighbors on their daily walks.

My neighbor and I are researching organic fertilizers. I read that seaweed helps plants repel aphids. My Gaura Lindheimeri plants were constantly covered with aphids last summer. The wretched bugs only laughed at my attempts to knock them out with the high pressure nozzle. I also tried organic insecticidal soap, then when that didn't work I tried neem oil.

I decided to get Dr. Earth Life All Purpose Fertilizer that can be broadcast. I have successfully used specific Dr. Earth fertilizers, such as blended fertilizers for roses or one for acid loving plants like Hydrangeas and Japanese Maples.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Whew, What a Storm!!

We are having high winds and horizontal rain! Sitting at my desk, I am watching trees strain against the strong gusts. I think I just saw Margaret Hamilton fly by on her bicycle.

I drove the "barely a mile" to Whole Foods during lunchtime and was amazed at how many huge tree limbs were scattered along the road and on front yards of most houses. On my return home, I found that our house was a recipient of a very large branch from our Liquidambar styraciflua across the sidewalk. In fact, most of the downed branches on our street are from Liquidambar trees or also know as Sweetgum--this is a tree that is not well liked in our neighborhood. Also, earlier in the day, a couple of plywood boards blew over and on top of my favorite rose bush, flattening it.

Ganymede finds the storm terribly exciting as he keeps watch through our rear sliding door, monitoring the squirrels and birds who have been feeding non-stop throughout the day. The news online is calling this the strongest October storm since 1962 in this area, there are even evacuations due to possible mud slides.

It would be an excellent day to begin my fall knitting, if only I could find my knitting supplies! I think I will put my rain gear back on and see how high the creek is out back behind the house.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Making a House a Home

What should have been one of the happiest moments of our life, the time of moving into our house has been stressful. If it weren't for the pure joy expressed by our two year old Siamese cats, Jupiter and Ganymede, I don't know what we'd do. They love exploring their house, sliding on the hardwood floors and romping in the atrium is so much fun. And we have squirrels.

Ganymede has a new hobby: Bird watching. I am so glad he has taken such an enthusiastic interest in nature. The kitties are indoors only, with the exception of the going out in the atrium. Once the temperature is too toasty, they are told to come inside. Every morning at 6:30am, our precious Ganymede takes his post by the sliding door for the bird and squirrel show.

Just the other night, we were all sitting in our library on the rug, looking at a book, Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song. This book gets four cat thumbs up--the boys found it most entertaining. You push the button corresponding to a particular bird in the book and a beautiful representation of that bird's song is heard. Gans and Jups knew instantly what that sound was, no mistake. Jupiter nibbled gently on the corner of the book after each chirp and twitter!

I love this video about a baby squirrel, especially the message of this video, which I found by accident, or was it an accident. The song has stayed in my head since yesterday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jupiter!

Jupiter is two-years old today! To celebrate, Jupiter had his favorite cantaloupe, but he does everyday when it is in season. Ganymede's birthday is in two more days.

What a big boy he is!

We are planning to make a tunnel between our great room and master bedroom so Jupiter and Ganymede will be able to circle around the inside of the whole house, and I presume, chase each other with glee. I will faux paint a hobbit opening around of the tunnel on both sides. So much to look forward to!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Tenth Wedding Anniversary to Me and My Sweet Husband!

Happily married, as always! We had the most beautiful, intimate wedding at the edge of Lake Tahoe, at Sugar Pine State Park. It was such a happy day, spent with the people who are most dear to us. Afterward, we all celebrated with lunch and strawberry cream wedding cake at the Tahoe House Bakery and Cafe. Our wedding was celebrated on the day of my parent's 50th anniversary. We miss both our moms and our dear sister-in-law, Toshiko; all three are no longer with us, but are never forgotten. The ceremony was elegantly performed by my dear friend, officiate extraordinaire, someone I miss.

Ganymede is as silly as ever. Everything continues to be endlessly fascinating to him. Here he is being held up to investigate a fluttering mulberry leaf!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Enhanting Qntal Music

This is the Qntal album and song that captured my imagination, several years ago; I have been under their spell ever since. Play this video and you will understand!

Which Qntal song is your favorite?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

As our home renovation continues, I'd like to report that we are making greenest decisions possible, such as choosing low VOC paint, buying a barrel-style composter (we will buy another soon), installing Dark Sky and energy efficient lighting, and many other considerations.

Our English garden/cottage-style plants are now in the soil. I was overly concerned with the upper 90 degree temperatures yesterday and watered frantically. My abutilons have been looking wilty, I don't know what is up with them, maybe it is the shock of being planted. They are so whimsical and faerie-like, I will be sad if they don't make it.

The other news is, Ganymede broke his back foot. That was earlier in the spring, which should tell you how far behind I am with my blogging. He was in the kitchen, stretching up on his tip-toes to reach with his paw to the cutting board. He managed to catch a plate sitting there with his claws.

The plate came down and landed end-on-end, on his back paw. He took off like a rocket for the bedroom. We thought he was just frightened, but when we coxed him out and saw the blood, we examined him and decided one of the tiny bones was broken. I cuddled him in bed all night and then we took him to the veterinarian in the morning. They splinted him and sent us home with pain medicine (Ganymede's happy drops!) and a referral to Veterinary Surgical Associates

Ganymede had surgery performed by the wonderful Dr. Andy Staatz. The broken bone was stabilized with a pin and he was sent home in a splint, which did not slow him down at all. Ganymede happily returned to the clinic every week for a splint change, and to visit with his doctor. Ganymede and Dr. Andy were most smitten with each other.

The handsome boys, Jupiter and Ganymede, with his purple splint

The day Ganymede had his last splint removed, it was as if the break had never happened! Jupiter was overjoyed to have his Ganymede to romp at last at full speed with. We would like to thank Dr. Staatz for the brilliant care and loving attention!

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