March 30, 2015


 As I posted last week, the main attraction for bees in the garden right now is the Ray Hartman ceanothus shrub. In the above photo is another honeybee. Look at the two full pollen "baskets" behind its wings!


Last Sunday there were so many honeybees on the shrub that...

March 30, 2015

White fly larvae on a leaf of the Lisbon lemon tree.


Well, apparently the lemon tree was very lucky all these years, with no diseases. But now it is under siege of whiteflies! I look at the tree every weekend, so you can imagine my shock when suddenly a couple of weeks...

March 27, 2015

 Cabbage moth on nasturtium leaves



There is a bustle of activity in the garden, with pollinators such as cabbage moths, hummingbirds and bees flitting from plant to plant, sometimes just resting in the sunshine, like the cabbage moth in the above photo.


This is my fav...

March 25, 2015's one of the bushtits eating the cape honeysuckle blossoms. Most of the birds that frequent our garden love this shrub that is turning into a huge, wide hedge. It provides good camouflage, a handy resting spot, insects, and delicious blossoms.


This was ta...

March 25, 2015

rainwater cistern


We have always tried to conserve water as much as possible, but last December, when we actually had some rainstorms, we bought this 50 gallon rainwater cistern to collect water for our plants. It has a metal filtered opening on half of the top, that...

March 23, 2015

 The Ray Hartman ceanothus in our garden is in full bloom now, and is absolutely  gorgeous with bluish purple blossoms. A native California plant, it is drought tolerant (!) and thrives with basically no care needed. The blossoms have a lovely scent, almost like honey....

March 20, 2015


This is a very refreshing salad that is always a crowd pleaser, adapted from Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". I used  organic red quinoa, for the contrast in texture, and because I think it has a nuttier taste than other quinoa. And ever since I di...

March 19, 2015


It's artichoke and asparagus season!


And in this case, keeping it simple is sometimes best.

After peeling the artichoke stems, breaking off the outer leaves and cutting the top third off, I boil the artichokes until the leaves pull off easily.


They are delicious as is,...

March 16, 2015


Towhee scoping out the surroundings for nest materials



This week we noticed a pair of California towhees hunting for twigs in our backyard. And realized that they are building a nest in our neighbor's shrub right on the other side of our back fence. How exciting! I t...

March 16, 2015


I took the photo above yesterday morning. As you can see, at least a third of the cat fur is gone! I didn't actually see any birds come by to take the fur until about an hour later. I was indoors and heard an oak titmouse singing very loudly.


I looked out the front do...

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bees in the bay breeze

For years I have been sharing ideas, gardening tips and recipes  with family, friends and colleagues.

And now I'd like to share them with you!


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