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July 31, 2017

With the warm weather and flowers blooming we are starting to see more butterfly visitors.

The lovely gulf fritillary Agraulis vanillae in the image above spent a while in the patio area. First it was sipping nectar on flower heads of the butterfly bush Buddleia.

Then it...

July 27, 2017

We grow herbs in pots all year round, but the only time we have vegetables growing is in the summertime. We usually grow tomatoes, cucumbers and beans.

At our previous home we were successful enough with these vegetables.

But here at our new home, where we have a lot of...

July 25, 2017

Here is another first for me.

A couple of months ago I planted this Delta Sunflower Helianthus annuus as a seedling, another purchase from Annie's Annuals https://www.anniesannuals.com

in the native plant garden.

It is now 5 feet tall, with branches that are 20 inches wi...

July 24, 2017

This is the first time I planted a Bishop's Children  Dahlia x hybrida .

It is growing in a 7 gallon pot and thriving.

What is interesting about these plants is that you never know what color the blossoms will be.

I thought the blossoms would be different colors, but all...

July 24, 2017

The Oaklandia Passionflower Passiflora parritae x tarminiana‘Oaklandia’ vine is now producing beautiful red blossoms about 3 inches wide. It's such a lovely sight.

You just never know when you plant something new if it will thrive because of so many factors - enough or...

July 21, 2017

The Leaf Cutting Bees are enjoying the pollen and nectar of many plants in our native garden area. Most of the plants in this garden are native to California, but I just can't resist growing cosmos every year.

The photo above is of a Leaf Cutting Bee in an 'Orange' "Klo...

July 19, 2017

This past Sunday I saw this lovely little butterfly lingering in our native plant garden area, my first sighting ever.

It is a Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly Brephidium exilis .

It especially loved the Sea Cliff Buckwheat Eriogonum parvifolium that started blooming again t...

July 18, 2017

Look at this Yellow Faced Bumble Bee.

It's sleeping on one of the Snow Puff Cosmos flowers.

I always thought that when bees sleep on blossoms that they are actually in the middle of the flowers.

 Rear view of the Yellow-Faced Bumble Bee sleeping on the Snow Puff Cosmos pe...

July 17, 2017

I've read that Leaf Cutting Bees Megachile Latreille mostly construct nests in tubular cavities such as holes drilled into wood, bamboo tubes or hollow stems. But I've never heard of them making nests in spaces between cement bricks!

That is exactly what this Leaf Cutti...

July 14, 2017

I'm not the best person to mingle at gatherings, and my favorite place to be is outdoors in gardens. So this past Fourth of July I spent quality time observing bees on scabiosa (or pincushion) blossoms.

The honey bees went crazy over a patch of these flowers planted nex...

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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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February 13, 2020