The Sunshine Blueberry plants are producing buds again, and there are a lot. When they start to bloom the bees will be visiting a lot. In the early Spring of this year, the Yellow-Faced Bumble Bees Bombus vosnesenskii were constantly visiting the blossoms of these plants, pollinating every one. And then the Northern Mockingbirds and California Towhees ate most of the berries. And more Sunshine Blueberry buds.
This year I decided to have more creatures to the holiday wreath I made. If you look closely at the wreath, you will see a honey bee, a monarch butterfly and a panda. I wish everyone a happy, safe and peaceful holiday season and new year!
It's nice to see some plants still blooming now, for example some cosmos plants that are growing from seed that fell from plants growing in neighboring flower pots. These plants are a great source of nectar and pollen for bees. Even now, as long as these plants are blooming, the bees are still visiting the garden. And the butterfly bushes are still producing a few flower heads, although there are few butterflies around this time of year. I do see Gulf Fritillaries and Umber S
As you may remember from a November post, we inherited a large Asclepias physocarpa "Family Jewels Tree" milkweed from a friend whose garden plot the tree was overtaking. It had produced hundreds of seed pods, which were collected first. Branches had to be sawed off to even fit it in the car, because it was at least 6 feet tall and almost as wide. We weren't sure if the plant would survive the trauma of being dug out, losing some roots and being severely pruned. Well, so far
The Penstemon 'Hidcote Pink' - Beard Tongue is full of blooms right now. It seems to like the cooler weather. Note the nectar guides (lines) in each blossom, that guide butterflies , bees and hummingbirds straight to the nectar source. As a result, the pollinators spend less time on each blossom and can collect nectar faster.
This must be one of the Anna's hummingbirds' favorite places in the garden. Here are Abutilon "Red Tiger", California native Heuchera maxima "Alum Root", and Digitalis hybrid 'Polkadot Pippa', growing in bright shade. I keep the soil fertile, moist and loose by adding banana peels, egg shells and used tea bags at least once a month. As part of a routine, the Anna's hummingbirds make their rounds through this patch several times a day.
Oh, isn't the Abutilon Red Tiger blossom lovely... We purchased this plant as a seedling from Spiral Gardens http://www.spiralgardens.org/ early Summer of this year. It was about 4 inches high, with a little blossom. I planted it in a bright shade spot in one of our patio plant beds and it seems to thrive there. The plant is now 15 inches tall and currently has three blossoms on it, one in full bloom. I give it compost at least once a month, including egg shells, banana peels
We are so surprised to see that the figs on our potted Black Jack fig tree are actually ripening now. We bought the tree late Spring of this year. And starting in the summer, the tree started to produce fruit. There are a dozen figs, and they have been green for many months. Now they are suddenly growing quite large and ripening. It took me a while to figure out which creature was nibbling on the second fig to ripen. At first I thought it was a squirrel, because we used to se
The Anna's hummingbirds are here all year round. Although we used to have a nectar feeder set up for them at our previous home, now that I planted a lot of nectar producing plants, it doesn't seem necessary to have the nectar feeder here. They still visit the garden often, getting nectar from numerous salvia plants, the abutilon flowers, foxglove, lavender plants, the California bee plant, penstemons and the California fuchsia. They also eat insects in the lemon tree. The Ann
Maybe some of you are already very familiar with permaculture. I didn't know so much about it until I watched a program on Deutsche Welle yesterday about Le Bec Hellouin farm. Here is their "Introduction to Permaculture" video. This all makes so much sense. I wonder why more farmers aren't farming like this. Wild bees pollinate their plants and rare birds regularly visit the farm. This is how the farms for today and the future ideally should be. They also published a book "M