Friday, June 8, 2012

San Francisco Native Plants Garden Tour


On April 15 there was a free tour of San Francisco Gardens which featured California native plants.

There were so many gardens to see I had to limit myself to the 6 or 7 gardens in my part of town.  Good to see what others do with the same weather and soil conditions.

The garden above was simple but elegant.  There were two rows of ceanothus planted on each edge of the yard.  The plants were like small trees with large dark blue/lavender colored flowers.  It was stunning.

Below is another view of the ceanothus.


The gardens were varied.  Some were overplanted with beautiful natives, like a little forest.

Here is some monkey flower growing wild in a back yard.


Some California native grasses there as well.

On a more thirsty note, meet my new daughter, Claire Renaissance.


Adopted February 2012, from Ontario, Canada!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Neighborhood Walk After A Rainy Night

It was quite a stormy night a few weeks back but the skies cleared by dawn and I went for a neighborhood walk.  In the interest of full disclosure I overslept and missed my yoga class so I decided at least to get some fresh air and exercise.

First I surveyed my own yard to see how the native plants are doing. 

My pride and glory is this lupine plant in my front yard.


On the other side of the front door is a variety of ceanothus, sometimes called California Lilac.

It is just starting to blossom, the plant is covered with buds.


Out in the back yard my other native lupine is taking over the flower bed.


The side path is completely covered with the lupine.  On the left is Pride of Madera.   Not a native but a drought tolerant plant that can grow everywhere here.



Around the corner a neighbor without a front yard has created a nice container garden next to their steps.


Beautiful succulents around the base of a neighborhood tree.


And now that we have had our April showers, here come the Cecile Brunner roses, growing right over the sidewalk.  I love these Sweetheart roses.


Last but not least, back to my front gate where my blooming cymbidium awaits.  I love this yellow/green color.

Stayed tuned for more on native plants.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tucson Cuisine

Spent a few days in Tucson this weekend. At a local Fry's Supermarket the deli display was very appetizing, both in contents and pricing. They had the normal salads such as cole slaw and potato. They all looked delicious.

Then there was an array of salsas, fresh, from hot to mild, and for purchase by the pound. We don't get this kind of selection in our local Safeway in San Francisco.

Moving along the deli counter I saw four varieties of shrimp cocktail and ceviche.

Ever have difficulty finding those Mexican spices you need for a recipe you want to try? At this Fry's you can find everything under the Mexican sun.

The fresh produce was gorgeous to look at. Beautiful Cilantro at 3 bunches for $.99. Above is an array of peppers in three colors, as well as onions and tomatillos.

The tomatillos were so healthy and fresh looking and less than 2 dollars a pound.

I'm bringing home some crushed red pepper in my suitcase.

Bouquets to Art!

I was able to get to the deYoung Museum this year for the opening of Bouquets to Art. Various florist designers are invited to the museum to create floral pieces that reflect the artwork on display. The floral pieces are displayed near the related art.

Some of the floral homages are fairly obvious, as you can see in the two photos above. Other tributes are more subtle, like the bouquet below which was in the Arts and Crafts section of the museum. What is more 'Arts and Crafts' than buttons? I love this bouquet shown below. I love any art work done with old buttons.

The arrangements were so clever and so beautiful, with lots of lush flowers, particularly ranunculae, upside down lilies, and, of course, roses.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring, Tra La!

My recently 'designed' front yard, with its drought tolerant and native plants, is starting to take off, in a grand direction. Here are some up close shots of my native iris hybrid, the first thing to bloom this spring. It may not be spring on the calendar but the weather is definitely spring-like so here come the flowers. This would have been perfect except for that little hole in the petal. Not sure where that came from, perhaps a tiny snail (ugh!).
Here's the other bloom on that same plant.
I bought this plant in late spring last year. It was on sale and had just about finished blooming. I was not sure what the color would be but I love how it looks now. This is why I like to garden. Very satisfying.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Big Easy Was Easy And Fun!

I just got back from 5 days in New Orleans, my first ever visit there. I had a lot of fun but still left things to do if I can get back there again. Above is a corner in the French Quarter. I loved the pink flowers. However, pink was not really the color of the hour. Around this time, pre-Mardi Gras, the only colors that count are purple, green and gold (or yellow gold).

Above is just one of many homes decorated for Mardi Gras. The variety of decorations is infinite. I stayed near Audubon Park, Uptown. There were many beautiful homes in the neighborhood. I will post more photos soon.

We got to watch the Mardi Gras Parade which heads up the Mardi Gras season. The Parade is called the Krewe du Vieux. I was wearing sneakers. The woman standing next to me in the street at the corner was wearing these beauties. And it wasn't a costume, just what one wears with jeans in New Orleans.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some New Projects

Just what I need.

I have wanted to get matching upholstered headboards for my guest room where I have two twin beds. I would occasionally check craigslist for something to re-use but finding two identical ones with upholstery wasn't that easy. Plus I did not need mattresses or frames or stuff like that.

So about two weeks ago I happened to see what looked like I wanted, although the photo was not great. (See above.) The headboards were so inexpensive I wondered if they were substantial enough. I know there are some inexpensive ones made from heavy cardboard out there.

But I took a chance and drove out to the mysterious East Bay to a warehouse where they were being stored. They were much nicer than I expected. They were very well made and the color was not bad. Unfortunately they are covered with a vinyl, which I do not like (but it is a high quality vinyl). Also, I'm not crazy about the gathers around the edges, though I know why they did that.

So I will either be re-upholstering myself, making slipcovers for the headboards, or maybe I will hire someone to do it for me, as I only paid $20 total for the headboards. But in the meantime, here's how one looks.

Since I have some neutral fabrics around I will probably make slipcovers to put over the headboards and see how that works, for starters.