Friday, September 18, 2020

How the Garden Weathered the Smoke and 10 Summer Days without Water

 I am honestly surprised.  Thrilled, but surprised.

The garden survived the past ten days of no rain and smoky conditions basically unfazed.

The only things that may have suffered are the blueberry bushes (I have lost them before in smoky summers) and an area with very shallow soil over cedar roots with some random tossed things grew. 

Lots of flowers for Floral Friday Fotos

http://floralfridayfoto.blogspot.com/

The Pollinator Garden after a bit of clean-up.

 

 Things need the ash sprayed off, and deadheaded.

This spiderweb in the pyracantha is covered in ash.

 

The calendula decided if it wasn't going to be deadheaded it wasn't going to bother with any new flowers.  I just rubbed off the ripe seeds and pulled out the plants.

 
The late, smaller, black-eye Susan are still doing well.  

Blanketflower and calendula in a raised bed came into their own while I wasn't watching.

This bed must have been one of my "toss the leftover seeds" and "stick the seedlings" here beds!  Blanketflower, calendula, and black-eyed susan are all new to the already existing perennials of yarrow, strawberry mint, daylily and a little peach tree.  I think there's some cosmos coming, something feathery.  

I think this bed enjoyed being along for ten days!

In the front yard, everything is fine, including the many spotted spurge weeds!  They are actually easier to pull now that they are mature, just gather up the long growth and pull out the center root.  I couldn't get many when they were seedlings, as they were growing where I scattered wildflower seeds.

The Red Riding Hood penstemon is actually blooming for the third time this year!  This isn't even the original plant, it's a rooting I planted this past year.

These three lance-leaf coreopsis grew from mixed seeds from the Dollar Tree.  They'll bloom next year.  The coreopsis behind them was a transplant I grew.  If coreopsis had its way I'd have nothing but!

They very young daylilies are fine too!  Even these, $3.00 Grape Magic from Walmart.   Here's an nice shot of the spotted spurge!

I did choose, especially in the front yard (which began as more of a rock garden and evolved), drought tolerant plants, and it paid off! 

Writing this post was frustrating.  I no longer have the option of using the "old" Blogger,  no more "revert to Legacy Blogger" button.  This "new" one is harder to use, and does not format the way I want it to. I hit "enter" and instead of going down one line like before it goes two, like this...

... and I can't find the place to change that!

Also, what's with the "increase" or "decrease" indent?  I accidentally used that and had to just delete the post and start over because I couldn't undo it!

To enlarge the photos now takes two steps, as does adding a caption.

The gaps between text and photo that are larger than others is not by my design!  It was larger or none at all.  😠

If I have to learn an entire new way of writing a post, I will look at other options.





 

 

Skywatch Friday - September 18, 2020

 http://skyley.blogspot.com/2020/09/skywatch-friday-17-september-2020.html

What a difference a week makes!



 The air quality was "moderate" when I got up today, which is next to "good!"

The gardens got watered for the first time in ten days.


 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Throwback Thursday - off topic - Color my World

There is a Monday blog hop in which I do not participate, but
nevertheless enjoy listening to, and reading other's contributions.
It's about music, and is #musicmovesme

I especially enjoy those of



Each week there is a different music theme, picked by the month's host or co-host.
This past Monday it was "National Coloring Day," song titles or lyrics about art, or a playlist based on high school colors.

I got to thinking how my high school Senior Ball (in those days only the Juniors had proms) had the theme of "Color my World."
This was based on the Chicago song "Colour my World."  I still wonder why an American band spelled color the way they did!

Naturally, I began reminiscing. 

  I still have the ticket.
Can you believe the dance was held at a ball room in the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco!
The hotel made it very clear to our school administrators, who made it very clear to us students, there would be NO rooms rented to ball attendees!
The only information I have on what became of Ivory Tower is that their former lead singer/guitarist/manager is still in the S.F. Bay Area and now provides DJ and karaoke entertainment.


 An old postcard I found online showing the Colonial Room in much earlier days than mine.
I do remember the mezzanine seating areas, my friends and I spent more time up there people watching than on the dance floor!
 
 

 Hmmm...  I wonder if my dress would pass the more stringent dance dress-code standards of today?
Isn't it funny how dress-codes have become more strict as society is less?
 Looking back, I'm kind of surprised my parents let me keep this dress!
My parents, especially my father, were very liberal about many things, considering they were older parents, 38 (m) and 45 (d) when I was born.  
My friend had more conservative parents; she had to wear two Band-Aids 
strategically placed on her... well, her chest!

My parents kept the old black rotary phone long after push-buttons appeared!
 
 
Oh, those orange ruffles on that shirt!
Even the cuffs were ruffled!
That hair!


 That hair was actually cut and styled in San Francisco, a special trip just for the ball. 
I may, or may not, have had my corsage on upside down.  I still don't know.
It was my first and neither of us knew how to pin it! 
It was also my last, not being the type of person to attend functions requiring corsages!


 So off we were to San Francisco, to meet our best friends (a couple who later broke up) for
dinner at L’Etoile in the City!
L’Etoile no longer exists of course, but is said to have been "...the place to be seen from 1960 to 1990."  Apparently there is a spa pool in the location of the old dining room.

If it seems odd I still have the ticket and photos on hand so easy to find...
well, I married my Senior Ball date that summer in 1975!

I wouldn't want to weigh what I weighed then, I think I would be too thin now, but I can't believe there were days then I would "diet," believing I was fat!

There's a peek at my life more than 45 years ago courtesy of Music Moves Me,
because music really does really bring back memory.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day,
the monthly bloom event hosted by Carol.


Today my blooms are shared from behind glass, dirty windows to be honest.
The fires locally (Almeda), statewide, and all along the west coast have made for 
hazardous air quality.
Truly hazardous.
So, I haven't been outside in days.
Even if I could have been outside, we had several days of water restrictions and weren't able to use water for gardens, lawns, pools, etc.  Just necessary use.

The front yard was watered last Tuesday, and a lot of the plants are drought tolerant.
I do worry about the new daylilies though, they need more water at this stage.

It's not just dirty windows hazing the pictures, it's smoke.

Lance-leaf Coreopsis
Russian sage, Blue Jeans Baby
Alyssum


 Blazing Star - okay, not blooms, but the seed bearing stems are still pretty.
Penstemon, Red Riding Hood


 Aster - the seed mix had both China and New England


 Another Lance-leaf Coreopsis - they're pretty indestructible!


 Gaura
Penstemon, Red Riding Hood
Lance-leaf Coreposis


 Another Penstemon, Red Riding Hood


I haven't seen the back yard in a week tomorrow.  
I tell myself there was nothing growing when I moved in, I can always start again.

Straight ahead is the Pollinator Garden.  
I can see
Purple Coneflower
Cosmos -they look pink, but saggy
Black-eyed Susans - were almost finished anyway
Bachelor Buttons - over to the left, the pale pink taller flowers

Then on the left-hand edge the yellow is the second bloom for 
Yarrow, Moonshine 
Blanket Flower


 Garlic Chives


 Rose - unknown kind, it came with the house, growing right below a bedroom window


That is all I can bring to the garden table today.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Sunday Funnies - September 13, 2020

(Photos from August, when the air was clean and Baby Cat and I could go outside.)

I cut back the lemony catnip flowering stems and tossed them into the Toss Garden.  Baby Cat found them. 


 I have heard it said that her tongue is too large for her mouth.


Maybe it's true!


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Six on Saturday - September 12, 2020


I was going to share six dead plants (which would have been really boring), but I can't even verify they are dead right now.
They are dying for lack of water and the lack of water was due to mandatory 
restrictions on any water use in the garden, yard, pool, washing cars or sidewalks, etc.
That was due to high water demand by firefighters in the area.

While the mandatory restrictions have been lifted, and we are voluntarily asked to reduce water use, 
and limit it outdoors to specific times of day,
the air quality is too bad to go out and water!
Really bad, like the "hazardous" rating of the EPA.
I won't be venturing out into it, even with a mask, which wouldn't be the correct kind for fire smoke anyway.  The weather is cooler, which should help some, and the drying wind is gone.
That's one of those double-edged swords.  Great - it won't fan the flames and carry embers into my neighborhood anymore!  Bad - it won't blow the smoke away.  I think there might be too much smoke to blow away by now, what with the entire west coast in flames.

Green arrow points in my general direction, but I am probably hundreds of miles off!

https://www.airnow.gov/national-maps/   9-12-2020 7:00am
So, nothing in my backyard has been watered since Monday, and the front yard Tuesday.
I don't mind the vegetables, they're just annuals and I don't depend on them for food.  
(If I did, I'd have been able to water them, and would risk the smoke.)

Many perennials will be back, they're tough.
Many perennials are drought tolerant, I just water them more than they need, so now they 
can prove themselves and show off how tolerant they really are!
I think the biggest losses will be container plants.  Containers dry out so quickly.

1 - First Casualty
 The small containers of things growing from cuttings and seed started dying right off, back when the air was still decent enough to look around.
This was orange mint.  The parent plant mints are in containers, but even so, mint is hardy underneath, and will probably be back.

 

 2 - Catnip 

I have lots of kinds of mints and catmints, and catnips, but only one of the regular, real catnip
my cats love.  It is in a container and wilts quickly.  It may be find down deep in the pot, but I broke off a few stems to root in a cup of water.  I was going to add more types of mint, but the air got bad.


3 - Slenderette Bush Beans

I picked what beans I could and froze them.  I like Slenderette, the beans are straight and if I pick them right, nearly all the same size.


4 - Sunscald

 So, are you thinking of following the "new" tomato ripening trend, that of removing nearly all the stems and leaves so the sun reaches the fruit?  
Everyone on Instagram is doing it!

Don't.  

This is sunscald.  

I do not remove stems or leaves and fruit to the outside still gets too much sun.
Besides, tomatoes do not turn red or ripen because of sunlight!
It's heat and ethylene, a gas produced by the tomato itself.
Tomato plants need full sun, but tomato fruit actually ripen faster in the absence of light! 
Which is why my trio shared a few days ago were so red, they were under flowering vines.


5 - Another Mystery to Solve

These will be dead, but to satisfy my curiosity, what are they?
Pretty little plants, furry.

They came up in a large container, and one in the herb garden.  That makes me think I, 
once again, scattered leftover seed that didn't germinate in containers with labels.



6 - Velvet

You don't see much of Velvet, she's not a camera hog like Boo.
Here she is in Boo's toys, which were dumped on the floor so we could use the toy box (just a cardboard box, Boo isn't so spoiled he has an actual toy box!) 
to pack a new "just in case of evacuation" box.
Not garden related, but hey, it's a sixth and Velvet's pretty.
See that yellow doughnut on the left?  Boo hates it.  Won't even pick it up!  He also hates that banana, although he did nibble the tails off the monkeys that "hide" in it.  Maybe he just hates anything yellow! 


Another 6, call it 6b, to show how Baby Cat and Velvet look so much alike, but for Baby Cat's nose stripe!  Baby Cat is much smaller.  They both have long socks on their hind legs.
(Baby Cat's nicer. 😀)




Friday, September 11, 2020

Skywatch Friday Turns to Fire Evacutation Watch - September 11, 2020

My sky-watching was frightening Wednesday afternoon.

http://skyley.blogspot.com/

 I thought we were going to have to evacuate once again.
The wind was not helping, as you can see by the tree on the left.



Fortunately, for the unfortunate reason of the big Almeda (Ashland) fire, planes have been at the nearby airport (MFR), and were able to get to this one right away.  Helicopters with buckets arrived next.  Watching from the street with neighbors, we could see how quickly these actions were working.
We were relieved to see the fire was moving away from us.
Nevertheless, I now have a box already prepared to save time "just in case."
This time I remembered to prepare a temporary cat litter box!


The burn area Thursday morning.


It's almost beautiful... almost.
Like a painting.
Not like a real place I drive past several times a week.
The trees were still smoldering.

No sky watching for a while, the air quality is up to into "Hazardous," a reading I've never seen before.  No wonder at 6:30pm it was as dark as if it were 8:30.


There's nowhere on the west coast with healthy air.
Nowhere.

www.airnow.gov/national-maps/ (6:00am 9-11-2020 - cropped by me)
https://www.airnow.gov/national-maps/