Thursday, April 30, 2009

The early days of P. Garden - more evidence

In a previous post, I talked about the discovery of the P. garden planning docs from 1972. Well recently another artifact has come to light!

I was at the garden the other day and a couple of guys with a truck stopped to pick up two beautiful items of classic oak office furniture, circa early 1980s, which a certain Robbi Peele previously of 720 Gough St, Apt 28, currently living at 997 Carolina St. had left there for us, for free! (darling, dumping is illegal - you really shouldn't have left a pile of cancelled checks stuffed down the back of a drawer... shocking behavior for a Senior Media Relations Manager at Posit Science Corporation... one can only hope the checks were stolen from you... or something)

Ahem - I digress! Anyway, the guys removing said ugly furniture asked if I'd like to know what the garden looked like "way back when" and of course I said yes. They told me to watch the 1973 movie Magnum Force starring Clint Eastwood (the first of the Dirty Harry movies) and that I'd see the garden in the first half hour. Naturally I scrambled to Netflix and the movie arrived last night. Without further ado, I present the south edge of P. Garden, along with the movie's protagonist! He's talking to Inspector Early Smith, left, played by Felton Perry.

Another shot shows the view down the street - Center Hardware would be the building on the right, and our loft building was not built yet. Note the cars parallel parked, whereas now they park at 90 degrees to the kerb:

Naturally when I told Gary this exciting news he said he'd works as a grip on the movie and Annelle enjoyed chatting with Mr. Eastwood. Can nothing suprise the Brickleys?!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Babies cast out into the world

Last night Matt and I planted the Gaillardias I'd grown from seed. Kepa nurtured them along in her greenhouse and they are now out in the cold, cruel world to fend for themselves! They are quite tiny; fingers crossed that they dig in and make a go of it - the front and Canna beds need some bright red and orange flowers.

We also planted a tub of Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium bellum) from Anne. This is a gorgeous native in the iris family that looks like a grass, but has pretty purple flowers with a yellow center. Someone needs to have another stab at the common name, I think...

Max, Denise, James and doggy friend dropped by to say hi, and I chatted with Jess, Sophia, Annelle, Gary, Jim, John, Paul and Don, as well as the usual cast of dogs, and neighbors whose names I don't know (hi to Pistol's parents!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flowering now

10 points* to each person who can tell me where these plants are located in the garden!

From left to right, top to bottom:
Gasteria bicolor (Lawyer's Tongue)
Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage)**
Tulbaghia (Society Garlic - Variegated)
Dianthus barbatus nigrescens "Sooty"

I also noticed that a big clump of what I thought was Crocosmia in the Canna bed is getting ready to flower with white flowers... so maybe it's a clump of Watsonia? Anyway, I'm surprised it's flowering at all, as I thought we'd have to wait a year to see flowers in that bed. Another Crocosmia clump looks like it might have red flowers - nice surprise if so, as I thought all our donated Crocosmias were orange!

*Points have no cash value. Points may be redeemed at the garden. 10 points = a hearty "well done!" from me, delivered in person. Points are not transferrable, but never expire.

**Thanks for the ID, Paw!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Another hot day, though not as hot as last week thank goodness...

Put in the ground today:
- 4 clumps of (probably?) Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) - finally I moved the ones in full sun, and made a row of violets leading down the steps. They. Are. Cute.
- 1 Euryops (Yellow Bush Daisy)
- 1 clump of Dietes
- 1 Monarda citriodora (Lemon Mint)
- 1 Leonotis (Lion's Ear or Lion's-Tail)
- Several Aloe arborescens clumps
- 1 pink Cistus
- 1 Opuntia
- 1 Cordyline

I also:
- Weeded the front bed and the Canna bed
- Added horse poo to the compost heap (Jim added household scraps too)
- Watered the weedy compost pile in hopes that it will vanish faster
- Moved a clump of Agapanthus
- Moved a wheelbarrow load of mulch to the Canna bed (wheelbarrow needs some maintenance - bolt missing!)
- Staked a Euphorbia
- Flagged baby Nasturtiums on the back slope so they don't get crushed
- Moved some Crocuses to the front of their bed so next year they don't spring up randomly everywhere.

I'm knackered! Top: The front bed - P. Garden looks good from a low angle so far, and this gives an impression of the Corn Marigolds (Chrysanthemum segetum), Nasturtiums and orange California poppies. Bottom: The left bed with lots of new Dietes clumps.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Surprise: more holes dug

One day my posts will be all about removing material from the garden when things have grown too big, but for now, it's all dig, dig, dig... plant, plant, plant...

Today, Matt dug, I planted and watered.

- 6-7 big clumps of yellow Dietes bicolor from Deborah
- Meyer lemon (Citrus × meyeri) and
- Kumquat (Fortunella margarita or F. crassifolia?) from Kepa

John came by with a truckload of goodies too: Agaves, Aloes (nobilis, arborescens and plicatilis - squeal!) and rooted Yuccas! One wonders how he has time for his job... Then one refuses to ponder and is simply in awe of the vast quantities of plant matter he hoards for P. Garden :D

Also mysteriously present in the garden when we got home was a real, live rooted Cordyline, some Violas and other cool stuff... the Violas are a dead giveaway: it must have been Leah who is always thinking of P. Garden - thank you!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

OK, so more stuff today

Tonight I went to see Kepa who had a Meyer lemon (Citrus × meyeri) and a kumquat (Fortunella margarita or F. crassifolia?) for me. Trees! Edible! Aaack! Totally not Caltrans-sanctioned plants! However, these are very small (dwarf types, in fact) and not actually producing anything. So for the meantime, they are sneaking in. But the minute they produce anything resembling height or edibility - zzzzzzzip! They're gone! *wink*

I have turned down a number of *actual* trees for the garden (buckeyes, redwoods) so this is tricky for me. I'm keeping an eye on these little guys! Also, as soon as I'd agreed to take them Emma emailed offering a kumquat and a redwood... but I need to see how kumquat #1 is going to behave. Being firm here.

I also planted four Agapanthus "Tinkerbell", one Salvia mellifera (Black Sage) and a mysterious Crassula ovata (Jade Plant) that was left in the garden a couple days ago. I watered everything until it was dark. Good to go for another week.

Denise had dropped off some large chunks of cactus for me too - total xmas in April here! I got a quick look before it got too dark and they seem massive, so I'll be bringing in the house to root up. *rubs hands with glee*

Finally, Matt came home and we nipped over to Oakland to pick up a vast quantity of Dietes bicolor (Yellow Wild Iris, Peacock Flower, Butterfly Iris) from Deborah as well as a lovely climbing rose called "Handel" which Kepa has agreed to love since I have nowhere for it to climb.

Thanks Kepa, Denise and Deborah!'s not going to grow into a pizza tree.

According to my "friend" Melissa that slice of pepperoni and bell pepper from Goat Hill Pizza is never going to become the tree of Matt's dreams.

She sent me this damning article, and I have to say, I shed a tear. Still, I haven't given up hope of someone doing doughnuts in the garden with a car to loosen the hateful dirt!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Plant profile: Aloe

Aloe glauca

Aloe nobilis
About 400 species of Aloe exist, aside from the commonly known Aloe vera, used to treat burns. They have thick, juicy leaves, often with spiny edges. They're really cute, and do well in desert conditions. Yeah!

Aloe arborescens
Latin name: Aloe spp. ("AL-oh")
Common name: Aloe
Originally from: Africa, common in South Africa's Cape Province, the mountains of tropical Africa, and neighbouring areas such as Madagascar, the Arabian peninsula, and the islands off Africa.
Blooms: They shoot up long stems of lovely small pink/orange/yellow flowers.
Light: Full sun to part shade.
Water: Don't need extra water
Where to find in P. Garden: Along the cactus wall in various spots, as well as a low hedge of Aloe nobilis on the opposite side of the storm drain. Also in the top half of the larger round bed.

We have the following species:
Aloe arborescens flowers (Tree Aloe, Krantz Aloe, Candelabra Aloe)
Aloe brevifolia
Aloe claviflora or Aloe reitzii
Aloe congolensis
Aloe ferox (Tap Aloe, Bitter Aloe, Cape Aloe)
Aloe glauca (Blue Aloe)
Aloe "Goliath"
Aloe maculata
Aloe nobilis (Gold Tooth Aloe)
Aloe sinkatana x deltoideodonta
Aloe striatula (Hardy Aloe)
Aloe vera

Aloe arborescens

Aloe vera

Aloe congolensis

Aloe striatula

Aloe glauca

Aloe ferox

A. claviflora or A. reitzii
A. claviflora or A. reitzii

A. striatula - after 4 years

A. sinkatana x deltoideodonta

Early start

I was out before it got too hot, to plant the two Dianthus, one Dudleya and the Kniphofia bought yesterday. Watered a few wilting plants... it's been HOT recently. Note to self: don't ever try to transplant California poppies again. They will die.

Saw Gary and his new employee Sean, and met a guy called Eugene from over the hill who likes the garden too - he thought I was being paid by the city to do the garden, and having all the plants paid for. HAH! Nice idea... ;) Also saw "Looks Great Guy" - he lives across the street and yells "Looks great!" every now and again. Heh! He is like "Waving Guy," who has two Rhodesian Ridgebacks and waves hello every time I see him, but for the life of me, if I have actually met him and been told his name, I can't remember it.

Hey, it's all good neighborliness. *waves*

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No more guerrillas in the mist (fog?)

Today I went down to the Caltrans office and met Chief Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Miranda who had me fill out the forms to make P. Garden official. As soon as his boss signs them I'll get a copy, and it's ALL MINE, BABY! Uh, I mean, it's legit - I'm in charge of this 150 foot wide patch of land, and nobody can tell me not to plant stuff there. Bwah!

Naturally there are rules - no trees allowed, no food plants, no gardening at night, I have to wear an orange safety vest and leather work boots that cover my ankles (how Victorian!) along with long, sturdy pants.... wait, back up there. I told Jeff I wasn't going to be wearing an orange safety vest. He was OK with that. Luckily I don't like to garden at night in a bikini, and the pants and boots are fine with me.

Of course the drive back to work took me right past Floorcraft. To celebrate, I went to the scratch-n-dent section and picked up the following at a huge discount due to their manginess ;)

- 4 Agapanthus "Tinkerbell" (Dwarf Variegated Agapanthus - little! Variegated! Eeeeee!)
- Kniphofia uvaria (Red Hot Poker)
- 2 Dianthus barbatus nigrescens "Sooty" (now I have a set!)
- Dudleya traskiae (Santa Barbara Liveforever - it's native!)
- Salvia mellifera (Black Sage)

So, now that it's no longer a guerrilla garden, will it have lost it's appeal to some? Gained more appeal for others? Or will I have to sneak in a lemon tree and start making limoncello in order to appeal to the rebels in the neighborhood? ;)

Monday, April 20, 2009


Someone stole a large blue agave from the very front last night: there were 6, now only 5.

I'm very discouraged. I don't know what to do about this - will more of them disappear in the night? Sigh...

Pics above, from top to bottom, left to right:
Our first California poppy flower! (Eschscholzia californica)
Spanish lavender
Dwarf yellow Kniphofia
Cineraria stellata

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Turn me over - I'm done

Got totally fried today in the garden - it was probably well over 80 degrees there, thanks to the Potrero Hill warmth, and Gary's wall reflecting the sun. Everything was wilting, including me, and my parents. Whew!

Yesterday we went to the Berkeley Arboretum and wouldn't you know it, the damn place had plants for sale. Of course, during this Week Of Excess (parental visit, all stops pulled out) I had to get a few. It was hard to choose...

We planted them, and a few previously bought things, today:

- 2 Oxalis spiralis subsp. vulcanicola "Burgundy"
- Dasylirion wheeleri (in my price range. In other words, small - it will take 10 years before you will notice it.)
- Romneya coulteri (Matilija Poppy)
- Dahlia imperialis (Tree Dahlia)
- 9 Crocosmia "George Davidson" bulbs
- 1 Hymenocallis festalis bulbs (Peruvian Daffodil, Spider Lily)
- 2 Hymenocallis "Sulphur Queen" (Peruvian Daffodil, Spider Lily)
- Agastache aurantiaca "Apricot" (Hyssop)
- Calla lilies (OK, to be correct I suppose I should be calling them Zantedeschia)
- packet of Linum grandiflorum var. rubrum (Red Flax) seeds from Joan

Joan actually mailed me four big packs of seeds, and I'm going to add one of them (wildflower mix) to the sunflower row at the bottom of the street on May 2nd, and the other two (Layia platyglossa (Tidy Tips) and Gazania) that are left might get saved for fall, as they need a bit of winter rain to get started.

We also weeded the steps area, my mum moved a lavender and my dad moved a big jade plant that Matt had dug up the other day to a better spot.

We also went to see Kepa today, who has been propagating seeds for us in her greenhouse. We picked up some Gallardias, sunflowers, callas, a lemon mint, rosemary and some mysterious and interesting plants that germinated from the seeds Leah gave us. Kepa has a bunch of big fat sunflowers for the May 2nd planting - oooh, it's going to be awesome!

Anyway, thank goodness for Kepa, Joan and Leah, because since my parents are leaving tomorrow and the Week of Excess is over, I won't be buying any more plants for a while (no, really!) but I will have lots of seedlings and seeds to plant. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Binge planting

(Above: Ursinia anthemoides, Crassula erosula) So today we had to get everything bought yesterday in the ground. Luckily my parents are here and know how to wield a shovel, so we got stuff done.

The top bed get a bit of a makeover - it's mostly red flowering plants, but we added orange Crocosmias to the red ones already there, and two Mimulus - red and yellow.

Then we reorganized the dwarf evergreens (not sure this area was a good idea...), weeded, and Matt did some work with rocks. Starbucks coffee grounds got picked up and added to the compost too. (Above: Greenovia diplocycla, Helichrysum italicum (Curry Plant, Immortelle.) Below: Sedum spirium)

Only Hemerocallis, yellow Crocosmia and Hymenocallis bulbs to plant still.

We had visitors too - Ron and Tank (arch almost complete!) and Dorothy and her dog Bella came by. I've met Bella before (with Dorothy's employee walking her) and she is a peach of a dog: gorgeous and well-behaved - and a rescue! Later on, Dorothy's husband Doug came by with Bella too. Lovely to meet you all!

(Above: Cotyledon orbiculata var. orbiculata, Aloe ferox)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Annie's Annuals

I have long wanted to make a pilgrimage to Annie's Annuals in the Beast (that's what East Bay is pig latin for) and today I got my wish. Most of the interesting plants I see for sale at local plant shops are from Annie's and naturally the name alone appeals to me, so I quickly did my taxes (!) and off we went...

Well, it's not in the best area, but lemme tell you Annie can grow a plant or two. Everything is in 4" pots, and no greenhouses there - all plants were on the tiny side. In other words cheapish. And yes, I am getting a tax refund, so I decided to blow a small part of it on the garden.

I had made a list but naturally things change when faced with a wall o' colorful plants. Here's what we scooped:

- Aloe ferox - wish I could afford a nice big specimen, but this will teach me patience.
- Sedum spirium "Voodoo"
- 3 Artemisia californica
- Greenovia diplocycla
- 2 Ursinia anthemoides "Solar Fire"
- Melianthus major
- Drosanthemum bicolor (Dew Flower)
- Drosanthemum striatum (Dew Flower)
- Crassula erosula "Campfire"
- Echium russicum
- Mimulus aurantiacus
"Point Molate"
- Mimulus puniceus
- Isomeris arborea
- Cotyledon orbiculata var. orbiculata (Pig's Ear)
- Dianthus barbatus nigrescens "Sooty"
- Aristea major

OK, so that's a binge. Mostly plants with mega impact though - the Drosanthemums are on fire, the Aloe has teeth and a plant called "Sooty"? Sold.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Plant profile: Opuntia

Opuntia, also known as "nopales," Prickly Pear or Paddle Cactus from the resemblance to the ball-and-paddle toy, is a genus in the cactus family containing about 200 species.

We have at least ten species (and about a dozen specimens) at Pennsylvania Garden, ranging from 6" tall to 8' tall, and I do not know the specific names of all of them except:
O.  ficus-indica (Indian Fig - top photo)
O.  subulata (Cane Cholla - 2nd photo)
O.  discata (3rd photo)
O.  microdasys albata "Angel Wings" (4th photo)  
O.  microdasys var. rufida (5th photo)
O. Opuntia macrocentra (Black-Spine Prickly Pear - 6thphoto)
O. acaulis (7th photo, rose flowers
O. aciculata (Chenille Prickly Pear - 8th photo, orange flowers)
Opuntia sp. ? (10th photo)
Some species have big, obvious spines. And some, like several of ours, have tiny, hairlike spines that you might think would be soft. Until you get one in your skin. I have had to cut a few out of my hands using cuticle scissors and tweezers and have learned to use two pairs of gloves when dealing with them, no matter how innocent they look!

Latin name: Opuntia spp. ("oh-POON-tee-uh")
Common name: Prickly Pear.
Originally from: The deserts of the Americas; West and Southwest of the US and throughout much of Mexico.
Blooms: Big, showy white, yellow, orange, red or pink flowers.
Light: Full sun.
Water: Rain is enough, but the occasional summer drink is nice if they start to look wrinkly.
Where to find in P. Garden: Along the cactus wall and in the far back up against the chain link fence, hopefully deterring hooligans from jumping over the fence.

The fruit of prickly pears, commonly called cactus figs, Indian fig or tuna, is edible, although it has to be peeled carefully to remove the small spines on the outer skin before eating them. You can buy them down in the Mission area of SF, though I've never tried 'em.

You can also eat the young pads, called "nopales" in Spanish, before the spines harden. Supposedly they taste like green beans and are a breakfast treat.

O bulbous day, calloo, callay!

My parents are here, so it is a week of garden stuff. Looking at gardens. Looking at THE garden. Buying stuff to put IN the garden. In other words, I have spent money, again...

Tuesday we went to Sloat Garden Center. Managed to get away with only the following - the bulbs were 25% off:

- 1 Helichrysum italicum (Curry Plant, Immortelle)
- 6 small Malephora crassa (Bush Orange Ice Plants)
- 1 Hymenocallis festalis bulbs (Peruvian Daffodil, Spider Lily)
- 2 Hymenocallis "Sulphur Queen"
- 10 Oxalis triangularis bulbs (Burgundy Shamrock)
- 9 Crocosmia "George Davidson" bulbs (yellow)

Then we had a very windy tour of the Golden Gate Park Arboretum, and on the way home dropped by Costco. Surprisingly there I got:

- 24 Hemerocallis bulbs (Daylily) "Stella D'Oro"
- 3 Eucomis comosa "Sparkling Burgundy"

So everything on the cheap, maybe they won't make it, or bloom this year, but you never know! Hope springs eternal at P. Garden.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How To: Garden What's Not Yours

When exceptionally helpful Steve from came by to do some weeding, uh, I mean, interview me, I was expecting him to write a short post about guerrilla gardening in general, but he actually busted out with an essay on P. Garden and also said all sorts of complimentary things about my character. Lordy - I blush!

Being a person who is ridiculously easily swayed by flattery, I am almost able to ignore the video he posted of me hacking at the hateful dirt. I look like a poorly-dressed prisoner on a Texas chain gang, as he points out - thank goodness the delicate ears of my dear viewers were not made to bleed due to the enthusiastic cursing that normally accompanies such digging efforts.

One funny thing was that he mentions I do it all without machinery or gadgets. "No power tools. No soil moisture sensors. No radio... Right on." Steve, I'm here to disappoint you: I have a soil pH sensor but I can't get my act together to find two operational AA batteries for it. Pathetic. Power tools? A backhoe might be useful... and radio? Dammit, I'm such a Luddite - didn't even think of that! I'm too busy listening for people sneaking up on me to either tell me my underwear's hanging out again, or pop a cap in my butt for ruining their homeless encampment/tagging spot.

Anyway, I think Steve's piece is great. I'm going to go back and read it again and have another grin. I'm so happy people are enjoying the garden - thanks for giving me a boost Steve!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The list goes on (and on)

My parents are coming to visit, so with such tasks as cleaning the fridge for the first time since the Jurassic era, and returning the car to car status, instead of mud-filled gardening-shed-on-wheels, I have been a bit, shall we say, frenzied.

Despite all that (or because of it? Procrastination anyone?) we spent quite some time gardening today. Ticked off the list:

- Finish bottom front bed and next-to-arbor twig weaving with Leah's branches.
- Plant two large Cordyline australis "Red Sensation" in the wine barrels, and a little orangey one (no name, thanks Lowes, but it was just $3.33...) in the top bed.
- Plant four clumps of Crocosmias, three of Hemerocallis (Day Lily), one of Zantedeschia (calla lillies,) and one of Equisetum (horsetails) from Joan. Oh, and a HUGE, and I mean VENTI sized Buddleja, up by the soon-to-be-bench.
- Plant Anigozanthos rufus (red Kangaroo Paw) (have been wanting one for ages - finally succumbed to cheap Lowes garden center price, no doubt it will die tomorrow) and Phormium tenax "Rubrum"
- Plant big flat of red-flowered Trailing Ice Plants (Lampranthus spectabilis) all around the big Agaves at the front. No Matt, they won't choke us all in the night. They're cute!
- Move some Crocuses, Tulbaghia (Society Garlic) and other stuff around.
- Put axle grease on the top of the chainlink fence at the back. Just in case cacti aren't enough. Hah!
- Empty muck bucket of horse poo and coffee grounds into the "good" composter, and 2 wheelbarrow loads of weeds onto the heap.
- Hellos to Ron-and-Tank, Jim-and-George-and-Kelly, and John-and-Riley.
- Water, until 9pm...

So that was from about 8am-noon. Then Matt came back from his softball game and we had lunch, then popped over to Joan's. I have only spoken to Joan on the phone or via email before, and she has been dropping off all sorts of plants for the garden recently. Finally I get to meet her and she's just cool. Let us crash around in her garden and dig up stuff until the car was stuffed. Told us all about the neighborhood and the wildlife and, well, it was just neat. Thanks Joan - I hope I can keep these plants as wel as you have. I did the Martha/string trick on the Crocosmias ;)

Of course due to ponies needing to be fed, we scrambled directly down to Pacifica next (with Joan's plants) and offered buckets of $20 bills to our little darlings to eat (might as well, damn expensive beasts) then zipped home to plant. I feel like a lunatic stabbing away, trying to dig a hole in the hateful, rocky dirt in the dark. And no doubt the neighbors think so too. Oh well. C'est la poo-poo. ;)

Photos, from top:
Agave garden
Cordyline entranceway
Echium, aka bumble-bee central
Kangaroo Paw

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sunshiny day

Let's see, what did we do today (and last night)?

- Planted 2 tall Euphorbias and two Senecios along the wall.
- Put three ratty-looking Euphorbias along the back fence, in pots, so they can make up their minds about life or death somewhere out of the way.
- Set up shade structures in the back for various plants that need it.
- Planted a blue Agave and some Aloes at the front.
- Planted another Agave and Opuntia in the back to discourage persons of ill repute.
- Noticed that an Agapanthus and Kniphofia are about to bloom :)
- Did a little twig weaving.
- Cleaned out half of the storm drain (again.)
- Weeded.
- Deadheaded daffodils.
- Saw a hummingbird!
- Met three enthusiastic people, one of whom had to pull over her car to have a look and tell us how much she loves the garden! :D

OK - lunchtime!

Update: later that day while we were at the barn, Leah came by and weeded, left us some branches, and pruned! We also dropped by Lowes and picked up some plants... oh, we were vewwy, vewwy bad...

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's hard to be a guerrilla gardener...

When we started gardening at Pennsylvania Garden (aka the Mariposa Street off ramp) we behaved cautiously, aware that we didn't have permission from the landowner - Caltrans. Since then people at Caltrans have been incredibly supportive, especially Jes, providing us with access to water and even help getting plants. So can we really say it's a guerrilla garden anymore? Perhaps without the official documentation of the Adopt a Highway progam in our sweaty fist, it's still somewhat illicit. Which provides just a light dusting of excitement, right?

Being a person who regularly "saws off off more than she can mulch," I recently decided to plant sunflowers on a weed-filled strip of dirt in front of a fence at the bottom of our block - on Mariposa at Pennsylvania. In honor of International Guerrilla Sunflower Day (May 1st) I started an additional tray of seeds in the house, to go with those that neighbor Kepa has been cultivating for us. The only problem that I could see was that with my recent neck injury, who was going to clear the weeds from this strip of land?

This morning I heard the whine of a weed whacker in the 'hood. Looking out of the window I see a city worker removing those very weeds! I trotted down and introduced myself. Henry, a city worker, was very amenable to my idea and promised to have the area ready to rock by the end of the day. Turns out the strip is also Caltrans land.

I mean come on people - I want to be mad, bad and dangerous to know with my foliar grafitti and random acts of urban beautification! It's very difficult when everyone is so damn helpful and encouraging...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cross it off the list!

I have long heard of the mythical metal tool known as a digging bar, or Texas Toothpick. (That name alone made me want one) With a spike on one end and a chisel on the other, it sounded like the perfect tool to dig into P. Garden's rocky dirt.

Well, today I got my wish! Joan brought me one, plus more great looking aeoniums. As soon as my neck is up to it I'll take out my new tool and stab a few rocks with it. Thank you Joan! :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pain in the neck

Today I am home with neck pain - might have herniated a disk according to the doctor, but rest and drugs might help. I did potter around the garden in my neck brace though - brought in some Euphorbia cactus tips to root, took a few pics, emptied our compost bucket onto the compost pile.

I also met Peter who offered us half a dozen redwood trees, around 6' tall! Sadly they're not on the Caltrans agenda, so I had to turn him down. Bummer.

Lots of red stuff going on in the garden recently. Photo shows, clockwise from top left, Dianthus, Grevillea, Osteospermum, and Anisodontea.
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