Archive for the ‘Gardens’ Category

What happened to the soil?

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

When I pulled the plant out of the pot I found this–

Spider Plant

What happened to the soil?!

Spider Plant

Sliced the roots and popped it in the ground in its new location.
Spider Plant

Garden Visitor

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017


Volunteers in the Succulent Garden

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Where are the succulents? Most are small plants and starts from a variety of sources.

Recent Post Succulent Garden Progress


Hibiscus trionum, Flower of the Hour


Appears and actually smells like a Datura.
Where did it come from?




And Another, may be a Datura metel.


Not a Volunteer. Peony seed found on hike.
May be Paeonia californica.
Bit yellow, but still hopeful it will survive.

Previous post on Paeonia californica

Succulent Garden In Progress

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Because, is a garden ever finished?

Succulent Garden

Succulent Garden in Progress, Removal of Oak Roots Took Nearly 2 Weeks!

Succulent Garden

Succulent Garden From Above
July 5, 2017

I decided to remove the drip irrigation before I started using it. I was concerned that since the line would be attached to the courtyard, the succulents would be overwatered. Easy and enjoyable to hand water.

Most of the plants are small or starts from a variety of sources. I prefer to purchase small plants and allow them to grow and fill the garden.

Succulent Garden

Succulent Garden In Progress

The plant in the central location may become as large as its parent.

Plant Start

Succulent Garden

Parent Plant
The plant has been in the space for several years.

The parent plant is in full sun nearly all day. The succulent garden gets morning and early afternoon sun, then shade.

Succulent Garden

Succulent Garden Detail

Succulent Garden

First Starts of Trapped Cactus
Tall plants staked in the upper right.

Succulent Garden

Second Starts of Trapped Cactus
Staked with a Start of Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Fang’

Previous Trapped Cactus Posts
Trapped Cactus Growth and Buds
Trapped Cactus in Bloom


Why is the chicken wearing a wool yarn flower?

Every time I watered my garden I tripped over the chicken. Why leave the chicken there? It is to prevent the hose from dragging through the garden.

When I placed the rocks and added mulch to the succulent garden, the oxidized chicken became part of the ground. Every time I walked down the steps I tripped over the chicken and knocked it off of its stake. My hope is the bright colors will visually remind me that the chicken is there. So far it is working.

Yes, those are pine needles. We have large pines on the outside of the courtyard and this time of the year there are a lot of needles in the garden. I added mulch to the succulent garden with the notion the dropped pine needles and also the oak leaves would not be as noticeable.

This year I am trying something new. I am planting and then allowing nature to work its will. Also, I am a bit weary of cleaning up after the trees.

Caterpillars on Milkweed

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Thursday, August 10


Friday, August 11 Early Morning


Milkweed, a Caterpillar, and Lots of Aphids

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Last week I noticed that my milkweed wasn’t looking quite right. The lower leaves were turning yellow and dropping. And most of the flowers had gone missing. The heat of the past days?

Milkweed and aphids

I took a quick look and one of the problems seemed to be aphids. When I was nearly finished spraying the aphids, I saw a caterpillar. Concerned that I might have accidentally sprayed the caterpillar, I gave the it a bit of a shower. Shortly after its shower, the caterpillar began to move quickly down the stem. And then it seemed to disappear.


I looked for it for three days. Couldn’t find it until maybe today. I found this caterpillar in the same location.


Coincidence or the same caterpillar?

I would like to believe that it is the same caterpillar. That the spray that I used on the milkweed had not harmed it. And it appears that the caterpillar loves the milkweed flowers.


Unfortunately, the spray didn’t take care of the aphid problem. This is what I found today.


Gosh there are a lot of them, but it is interesting that the bodies are yellow with black legs.

Previous posts on Milkweed and caterpillars–

Monarch Caterpillars and Milkweed

Milkweed and Ants

Planted Seedlings From Unidentified Seeds

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Seedlings From Unidentified Seeds


A Seedling Prior to Planting

In order to quickly see the seedlings after planting, I added a small bamboo marker. The markers seemed to disappear into the garden, so I decided to add a bit of color.


Dipped the Top of the First Bamboo Marker in Paint


Second Marker–Applied Paint With Brush Below Top to Allow for Finger Hold


Popped Brush in Ground to Prevent Contamination


Three Days after Planting
Most of the Seedlings Look Like This


One of Two Survivors

Previous post on a recent attempt to grow plants from the mystery seed followed by a photo of the seed and a plant.



What I Found Today

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Fungi 1

Fungi 2

Fungi 3

Aphids and Other Damage

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Recently noticed that this plant had aphids.

Plant with Aphids


I sprayed the plant with a solution of 8 ounces of water, 8 ounces of alcohol, and 1 tablespoon of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap.

Succulent Damage

After the Application of Alcohol/Soap Solution

Other Damaged Plants

Succulent Damage

A ding and Suntan

Succulent Damage

Leaf Tip Damage

Succulent Damage

Sun Damage and More

Succulent Damage

Accidentally bumped this plant and two section fell off. But that isn’t really damage.
It is one way succulents can be propagated.

Succulent Damage

Popped the two pieces in the ground. Now I wait for them to root.


Sunday, July 30th, 2017

Today I removed the soil from my Taxus to find this–


Over 20 years in the ground, with plenty of space to spread its roots.

So, why didn’t it?

Maybe it will become part of an art piece.