Summer still has a month to go, but the garden is starting to look tired. All the heat and sun has the spring plantings kicking out their last. I won't be planting anything new until mid-September when fall crops will have a better chance of surviving. In the meantime, I'm happy that we're still harvesting grapes, tomatoes, squash, peppers, lemons [...]
I grow a ridiculous amount of peppers every year. Hot, sweet, large, small, round, bell, horn -- if it's a pepper, I'm probably growing it somewhere in the garden. In order to have some for the winter I do a lot of pepper drying, canning, packing, and, or course, pickling. Over the years I've tried a bunch of different methods [...]
In early March I decided to create an herb garden by rounding up a bunch of plants that were growing wild in various locations around the yard. To start I moved a catnip seeding, some oregano and a parsley volunteer. A month later I added some thyme, summer savory and a sage. And a month after that I [...]
I bought a dozen 1 year old table grape vines from Peaceful Valley Farms last year (a real deal at just $5 a vine). Last year they didn't do much. I let them run wild and get established. This past winter I pruned and trellised them and have tried to keep them trained on the trellis. Looks like the work [...]
Several years ago my wife was given this Peruvian Lily as a houseplant. It didn't do particularly well in the house (in fact, I thought it was dead), so I dumped it into the garden near the strawberry planter. Not only was the plant not dead, but it thrives in the dry soil and treats us to this show every [...]
The ruby ring onions I planted this past winter ready to harvest. I pulled them up and will allow them to dry before tying them up. In total I got about 50 really nice red onions. Considering I bought this seed on sale for 99 cents, I got a real nice return on my investment.
This is a native trailing blackberry. Usually you find it down along the creeks. I transplanted a few along my lower fence line 20 years ago and the blackberries have never looked back. Tis year the ground squirrels and I are in a battle to see who will get to eat more of them. So far the squirrels are winning.
Last fall I put up a rain gutter that redirected water from the roof to the camelias and hydrangea on the side yard. Whatever is in the roof runoff, for the first time all the hydrangeas blooms are pink this year.
One of my favorite native plants, Cleveland Sage (salvia clevelandii), which gets its name from the nearby Cleveland National Forest. Looks great, smells great and requires close to zero water and maintenance.
Okay, it's not an eagle, but a young Cooper's hawk who happened to be perched on the no parking sign just down the hill. He let me get just ten feet away to take this photo. After posing he dove into the brush for breakfast and then flew off.