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February 27, 2018

I was standing on a ladder, tying the passion flower vines up along one of the side gates to the patio. And this was hanging right in front of me.

At first I thought it was a twig, part of the passion flower vine.

But then I saw how it was gripping onto the stem of one o...

February 27, 2018

It's that time of year for some rare hermit thrush sightings.

I only have seen these birds in the winter, on the patio, both here and where we used to live, in the Berkeley flatlands.

Usually I've observed them foraging around potted shrubs such as salvia and lavender.

No...

February 24, 2018

Very cool video from The New York Times - Science Take!

February 22, 2018

Great illustration by Marc Keelan-Bishop!

February 20, 2018

What do you do when you have a big Meyer lemon tree in the backyard,  producing hundreds of lemons?

Of course, you can do the obvious, make lemonade. That's what our next door neighbors did with a bag of lemons I gave them.

Or you can bake lemon meringue pies, lemon bars...

February 20, 2018

Our neighbors have noticed what an avid gardener I am.

And they have seen the results of our hard work for the past year.

A couple of weekends ago, our next door neighbors asked me if the owner of the house would allow me to plant a few rosebushes. Because my experience...

February 16, 2018

There are so many ways to prepare beets and this is the easiest:

Rinse excess dirt off three or four beets.

Place the whole beets in a pot large enough to accommodate them and add enough water to cover the beets.

Bring the beets to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer fo...

February 14, 2018

We only have a couple of plants indoors, a couple of phalaenopsis orchids and an aloe vera.

It took me many years to realize how easy it is to care for orchid plants.

They don't seem to like much fuss.

So I just give them very little water, once a week.

They are growing i...

February 14, 2018

While pulling weeds in the front yard, I decided to rest.

And there it was in front of me, a mining bee visiting one of the lavender plants.

It's the first mining bee I've observed this year.

And it really loves this lavender plant.

It kept returning to the same plant, whi...

February 12, 2018

The front garden with mostly native plants currently has a lot of yellow blooms, which is always a cheerful sight.

Above are blossoms from one of the Tidy tips Layia platyglossa plants next to a borage plant growing from seed. Behind them is one of the Lambs Ear's plant...

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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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December 9, 2019