August 31, 2015




It does take more effort to keep plants fresh and alive in this August heat. We're being vigilant with saving grey water for this purpose. And seeing the pollinators on plants feeding on nectar is a constant reminder of how important that vigilance is.




Today I obs...

August 27, 2015


Anna's hummingbird on a flowering potato vine branch




See how the Anna's hummingbird is blending right in with the vegetation of flowering potato vines and geraniums.


Excellent camouflage!


August 25, 2015

Umber skippers are very small butterflies, that could almost be mistaken for moths. They visit our garden very often, usually in pairs. They flit around, visiting nearly every plant, and don't seem to have particularly outstanding features.


But close up I think they ar...

August 24, 2015

Honey bee on brown fennel flower head



So much vegetation is drying up in the garden, but as I walked around the garden today it was so wonderful to observe honey bees on different plants.


The brown fennel plant is now producing a lot of flower heads. Although the plan...

August 21, 2015

 detail of part of a bee "condo" at the University of California Native Bee Garden in Berkeley




When we went on the tour of the Native Bee Garden, we were shown the bee "condo". Different kinds of potential nesting materials, such as untreated wood and large pine cone...

August 19, 2015

I was very fortunate to observe a female wool carder bee anthidium fabricius collecting fibers from the underside of Lamb's Ear leaves.


These bees scrape the hairs or fibers off the surfaces of leaves into a ball and carry it back to their nests where they stuff the ba...

August 17, 2015

 butterfly bush buddleja alternifolia flower cluster



 We provide food for butterflies too. The butterfly bush growing in a container pot in the backyard has grown a lot in height and width, producing these gorgeous flower clusters. So far we've observed cabbage moths,...

August 17, 2015

 Honey bee on a sunflower




Yesterday we went to a talk and guided tour of the Urban Bee Lab Experimental Garden in Berkeley. Docent Carol was full of information and interesting facts about California native bees.

88 different kinds of bees have been observed in the Be...

August 13, 2015


We've read about it, but now see how insects and other animals view colors in this article from the New York Times. So all of our lavender and blue salvia actually looks fluorescent green and those yellow zinnias are hot magenta to them ?!

August 12, 2015

I know this isn't a big deal to people who grow a lot of produce, but we harvested all of these Early Girl tomatoes this weekend from one plant. They literally fell into our hands when we touched them, because they are ripe enough to eat.


They are small in size, but th...

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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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