Archive for the ‘miscellaneous’ Category
In one of the gardens where I’m working this summer, all of the citrus have had the peels eaten away by some kind of animal. I’ve never seen this before; it looks really strange. The garden is near Berkeley’s so-called ‘Gourmet Ghetto’ in a relatively urban neighborhood that probably has some rats lurking about. Do rats do this? Do they like lemon zest? It doesn’t look like something squirrels or birds would do, and I can’t think of anything else that would do this.
– Update 8/30 — I asked at one of the nurseries and someone there said, yep, it was rats. Kind of gross.
Wow. I hope everyone got a chance to enjoy the solar eclipse in person or at least through some of the photos around the web. Anita and I got up on the roof of the new office to see it and play with the pinhole camera effect, making shadow puppets on the side of our neighbor’s house. The leaves of our bamboo had a beautiful scalloped look. You can click to see the photos larger.
Next Sunday the 22nd, Anita will be leading a bicycle tour of a few landscape architecture projects in San Francisco. The tour goes to two hugely influential and historic projects, Levi’s Plaza pictured above, and Crissy Field, along with several other compelling spaces. You may already know these places, but this is your opportunity to see them with a beautiful and knowledgeable guide.
What: Casual bike tour from the Embarcadero winding through downtown to Crissy Field
When: 9AM to noon, April 22, 2012
Where: Meet under the clock outside the Embarcadero Ferry Building
Cost: FREE! but must RSVP to contact below
Contact: Anita Bueno, email@example.com, 510-282-4918
Rain cancels, call to confirm
The USDA just put out a new zone hardiness map. It’s the first new map since 1990 and they made quite a few changes. Large chunks of the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Berkeley, and our garden here in Richmond, have been changed from zone 9b to 10a, and the 9a areas inland are now 9b. I don’t know how big a deal this is — I mostly use the Sunset zones (which will also be changing in the next edition) — but it is the reference number that orients me to the rest of the gardening world and I even had it noted on the blog’s About page.
Happy New Year everyone. As part of year end housekeeping I was going through all the photos I took this year, including a whole lot that never made it up onto this blog. Looking back at them all, a few things are noticeable. The first is that I took a lot of photos of gardens in the spring and not very many afterwards. I did a pretty good job of recording our landscape work but after about mid-summer, our own garden went into construction mode and everything tended to look messy. Right now it feels like most of our plants have been stepped on or transplanted or had a 2×4 dropped on them. The photo below is from a few weeks ago. The shed now has a roof, but we’re still shopping around for the door and the relative chaos around it is still representative. In a couple of weeks things should start to get put back together.
I went all year without mention of our red-eared slider, Blondie, who lives in an aquarium tank with about twenty fish. We don’t often take him out into the garden, but he’s actually had a big impact, generating some of the best fertilizer our plants have ever received. Every week Anita takes a bucket of tank water and gives it to our container plants. I don’t have any before-and-after photos of the plants that get the water but it has made them exuberantly green and happy.
I took a number of weekend and day trips to the north bay throughout the year. Salt Point was new to me and as a result probably my favorite, but even Ring Mountain (the site of Turtle Rock and Split Rock) just across the bay in Marin was great. I never get tired of these spots in the Bay Area where there’s a big rock or two, some grasslands, and views of the bay or the ocean.
We managed one trip out of the country, to Belize. We hopped around to a few little islands and then went to the Mayan ruins at Altun Ha. I want to go back.
I made six long-weekend trips to Yosemite in the spring and summer. I didn’t think I took photos, but I guess some things lured my camera out, including the Mist Trail while the waterfalls were surging. Even with all the crowds, I would put it up against any hiking trail in the world. Vernal Fall had some double rainbows at one point, but I was too wise to even try to capture the full intensity of that.
One thing I photographed in Yosemite was the collection of rock ducks at Mirror Lake. Some people like it, some don’t. The site used to have a hotel there a hundred years ago, Mirror Lake is partially dammed, and Yosemite Valley is too overrun with people and cars for me to be overly concerned about leave no trace, but I also didn’t find the rock stacking particularly appealing either. I’m more appreciative of the stone steps leading up to the collection and the retaining wall at the edge of the lake.
And of course Half Dome, seen from the foot of the stairs, is on a whole other level.
A week in Joshua Tree ended our recreation for the year. Since then we’ve stayed closer to home, focusing on the garden shed and the holidays and getting ready for next year. I had a lot of good things to look back on last year and I hope everyone else feels the same about their year.
Today marks the third birthday of this blog. Posting slowed a little at times, but I still managed over fifty posts in the last year, a little more than one per week. When I started the blog, I wanted to post about stonework, plants (especially California natives), gardens, Bay Area and California landscapes, and sustainability, with random other things occasionally thrown into the mix. That’s still pretty much true. I’m not as good as I was about reading and commenting on other blogs, but I do still follow and appreciate a whole lot of them. Thanks to everyone who follows and who comments on this one.
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