October 31, 2017

The Gulf Fritillaries Agraulis vanillae are always such a lovely sight.

Here one of them is checking out some dandelions growing under the Ray Hartman Ceanothus plant.

October 31, 2017

There is a flock of Golden-crowned Sparrows that arrived in the neighborhood a couple of weeks ago, and like to forage in both the front yard and back planter beds.

These sparrows winter in California, but breed in the summer in the tundra of Alaska and British Columbia...

October 30, 2017

Look at this handsome monarch!

We released him yesterday early afternoon, since he emerged from his chrysalis in the morning.

He flew to a potted rosemary plant on the patio after he walked out of his mesh hamper.

He is number thirteen of the group.

Two more monarchs to go...

October 27, 2017

This week we have released nine monarch butterflies, so far.

On Monday we released a male.

He was a little hesitant at first to leave the hamper.

We had placed the hamper with the lid open near some butterfly nectar plants.

When the butterfly showed no interest in leaving...

October 26, 2017

It's such a rewarding feeling when what you plant actually survives and thrives.

For example, in the photo above you see a Bee Plant Scrophularia californica to the left foreground. It has a branch of leaves crowned with four tiny flowers. This is a great California nat...

October 25, 2017

The Cosmos bipinnatus "Apricot" plant is filled with tall stalks of flowers.

I almost gave up seeing any blossoms on this plant.

It was full with fern-like foliage all through the summer with not even a hint of buds on it.

And now here are the blossoms, on stalks about 5...

October 24, 2017

I don't see Ultra Green Sweat Bees Agapostemon texanus often, but when I do spot them, they are quite a sight to behold. They are native to California, and nest in the soil, usually in bare, flat ground.

The female Ultra Green Sweat Bee in the Cosmos bipinnatus "Cupcake...

October 24, 2017

It's so wonderful to see plants blooming for the first time, especially later in the year.

As you may remember from my posts earlier this year, we purchased a Carolina Climbing Aster Aster carolinianus seedling. We planted it next to a side garden gate and Tony built a...

October 23, 2017

Since the shasta daisies apparently don't like a lot of heat, I pulled out their dried remains last Friday from the plant bed next to our driveway. Then I mixed grape seed compost into the soil of the bed, to enrich it before planting new native plant seedlings I purch...

October 23, 2017

Last Friday we released monarch butterfly number 3 of our current brood, another female.

She emerged in the afternoon on Thursday in this mesh hamper.

The weather wasn't as warm as it was for the first two monarchs.

As you can see from the image above, it was a partly clo...

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

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