September 28, 2016

The past weekend was hot, in the 90's, typical for the Bay Area in September.

This means the birds visit the bird bath more frequently, and not just to drink the water.

I observed the female house finch here as she first came to the bath to drink water.




September 27, 2016

 The butterfly bush is attracting some very lovely visitors.

A gulf fritillary butterfly Agraulis vanillae spent a long time sipping nectar from several flowerheads on the bush.

This is the first time I noticed that they have a brown and white striped abdomen.

From above...

September 27, 2016

We can gauge the seasons of the year by the fig tree.

In the winter it is completely bare, its grey branches hanging down.

Then in the springtime gradually the branches sprout little green leaves.

Throughout the summer the leaves grow larger and tiny green fruit develop,


September 26, 2016

This weekend we were fortunate to have monarch butterfly visits.

It's so nice to see these lovely creatures wafting in the breeze in the warmth of the sun.

But when they actually land on flowers in your garden, that is REALLY special!

While I was standing in the backyard...

September 23, 2016

The indigo spires salvia plant has taken a while to produce its lovely deep blue blossoms.

And here are the blooms on one spire, ready for the bees and hummingbirds.

Meanwhile, its neighbor the butterfly bush  Buddleia davidii is suddenly producing  beautiful purple flow...

September 22, 2016

At this time of year,  when most of the plants in the garden are starting to go dormant, it's so wonderful to see the rosemary hedges start to bloom again.

This means that there is a lot of bee activity happening there.

Above is an image of a honey bee enjoying the necta...

September 20, 2016

For the first time ever, I spotted an Ultra Green Sweat Bee female Agapostemon texanus in the garden. From a distance she looked like a bright green jewel.

She spent a long time foraging for pollen on the apricot cosmos flowers.

Apparently this species is a fairly common...

September 19, 2016

The California sunflower plant that I bought from Oaktown Native Nursery last Fall is starting to produce blossoms.

This is a great sunflower to grow because it is a perennial.

The blossoms are small, about 2 inches in diameter.


September 16, 2016

A pair of California towhees spent some quality time around the lambs ears in the morning.

Now that the blooming period is over for many of the plants in the garden, it doesn't look very lush. But the birds always find things to eat.

I'm not sure if they are finding seed...

September 15, 2016

Today I purchased yet another native plant for the backyard, an Agastache hybrid from the Sweetwater nursery. I had barely re-potted it in a larger plant pot, and within a matter of minutes a honey bee was already on the flower heads, enjoying the nectar!

In the image a...

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

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