Author: Jan Created: 6/22/2010 1:09 PM RssIcon
My mid-life musings.
By Jan Martin on 7/15/2010 1:43 PM

When I went out to refresh the Hummingbird feeder I found this poor creature trying to swim in the birdbath. Even though I have some rocks in the shallow bath (really a ceramic catch basin), the bee seemed to be having trouble negotiating her way out. I managed to rescue her by offering a dried palm branch, which she eagerly climbed onto, and placing her on a nearby sunflower plant.

Wet Bumblebee

While I had the camera handy, I took some photos of the plants that are blooming right now.

Feverfew

Kalanchoe

Nasturtium

Limes!

It seems that my garden isn't so lifeless when viewed with the macro lens. I feel better now.

By Jan Martin on 7/15/2010 8:18 AM

 

Backyard facing North in 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard facing North in 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard facing South in 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard facing South in 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." -  Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

Yesterday I was feeling disappointed after comparing photos of the backyard taken in May of 2005 and July of 2010. So much has happened in the past five years; our neighbors cut down their trees and built a balcony, we got a second dog, (Chloe), who destroyed most of my shade garden, our Koi passed away and we moved the surviving goldfish to a smaller pond (and filled in the old pond), we cut down our overgrown trees, and I started growing plants in containers.

Jim reminded me that the yard had its "ugly side" despite my recollection of it being lush, green, and full of life. We had made mistakes in our choices of plantings, especially with regard to the trees. Our decision to place stepping stones in pea gravel as a lawn substitute turned out to be disastrous with two dogs chasing each other back and forth, kicking up rocks and creating ruts in the dirt.

While I do remember those things, I also have an image in my mind of how I want the yard to look. That image, combined with some sorrow over killing the trees that I so lovingly planted when we bought this property, has me feeling impatient and anxious to "make things right".

By Jan Martin on 7/14/2010 5:04 PM

Crispy Keckiella cordifoliaOur part of Southern California has been hit with a heat-wave.  I had to rescue my new Keckiella cordifolia (still in its container) and move it to a shady spot; it looks rather crispy. The Antigonon leptopus, on the other hand, appears to be enjoying the heat.

We missed the second part of the "Replace Your Lawn" series, and it looks like we'll miss this Saturday's workshop as well because we've been invited to atttend the San Diego Pride Parade and Festival. I guess I'll just have to visit Tree of Life Nursery at another time to browse the plant offerings.

 

By Jan Martin on 7/12/2010 9:31 PM

Over the weekend I spent more time working on this blog than I did working in the yard. Thanks to my other half, I manage a DotNetNuke blog that is not hosted by a third party, so unlike people who use Blogger, WordPress, or TypePad, I must manually change the code to make the blog look the way you view it.

It's been a few years since I've tinkered with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and I really didn't want to get back into that, but my husband is the ultimate techy and he has kindly taken on the role of adjusting the stylesheets for me. That allowed me to spend several hours coming up with a background image I could feel good about, and a passible logo.

We had a bit of difficulty with my original choice of fonts. For some reason the fonts displayed much differently in Firefox browsers than in Internet Explorer browsers. I had to do a bit of research on fonts common to Windows, Macs, and Linux that would be web safe for multiple browsers.

So, after a long weekend of staring at our computer screens, we have a working blog that I can continue to tweak to my satisfaction.

Much thanks to Jim, who designed the layout himself!  I couldn't have done it without him! (Well, maybe I could have, but it would have taken weeks instead of days).

By Jan Martin on 7/9/2010 3:09 PM

I've been sharing my food with the grasshoppers because I'm trying not to use any chemicals in my garden. There aren't many grasshoppers, hence they don't eat much, but they do make unsightly holes in the plants' leaves.

Today I harvested two tomatoes and a small handfull of green beans. I picked some basil for tonight's pizza (it's chewed on, but well-washed and very fragrant).

I learned that it's a good idea to plant beans a couple of weeks apart so that one can harvest beans throughtout the season. Next year I'll try that; for my eight little plants I got a decent yield this year.

Some petals

I have a mystery plant up on my slope. I think I planted it there five years ago, and it managed to survive being overrun by the Freeway Daisies. I wish I could remember what it is. It looks like it's in the mint family and has delicate little blue flowers.

Some fluff (my helper, Chloe)

Chloe loves to be outside, especially if I'm out in the garden. Chloe's job is to oversee every project and to police the area for intruders. Here, she's just finished tasting the water in my crude birdbath. The yard still looks like a construction area because, well... it is!

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