Sunday, June 26, 2011

Iivette Soler @ Annie's Annuals 6-25-11

It looked like everyone had a great time at Annie's Annuals (no surprise there) listening to Ivette speaking passionately about her view of the Edible Front Yard.
Elayne & the crew @ Annie's had to bring out extra chairs to accommodate all the folks that showed up. Among the enthralled masses we found Maureen Decombe (@Plantanista) , Kristi (@Tikikristi) & Carri Stokes (@readbetweenthelimes). Somewhere out there is Susan Morrison (@susanlmorrison) of "Garden Up" fame.

What a great setting for Ivette to bring her enthusiasm for combining good design principals with front yard food. She had the audience wrapped around her little finger and I'm sure everyone learned something useful. She presents a lot of information in a short time and makes it very entertaining! Though Ivette is very serious about proper design, she has a very go-with-the-flow attitude.

Signing books for the fans. If you don't have a copy yet, be sure to pick up a copy of "the EDIBLE FRONT YARD". And if you haven't met the wonderful @Germinatrx before, you don't know what you're missing!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Return to The Redneck Garden

Yes, it has been awhile. No apologies, but I will say that I've missed blogging. I enjoy writing & it forces me to look at & think about things in more depth. Like being a photographer requires you to consider the subject in more than just an admiring fashion. Sort of self-induced introspection, if there is such a thing.

So, as for the Redneck garden; various influences kept me from planting winter veggies, so things pretty much languished in neglect.

But spring (such as it has been in Northern Ca this year) brings a sense of renewal & rejuvenation. I didn't get quite as ambitious this year and missed all the really good plant sales. A neighbor gave me a few seedlings of bean & cucumber, while the rest of my plants came from the local hardware store's garden center. That said, I'm pretty pleased with the number & variety of plants as well as the opportunity to take some new challenges this season.

I'm trying corn in buckets for the 1st time. Fellow gardener Annie Haven (@GreenSoil) encouraged me to give it a try & these Redneck planters are set up perfectly for companion planting. I'm hoping the cucumbers will draw the pollinators for the corn. All of this was planted just three weeks ago & is really taking off. Oh, the fennel is a survivor from last year that just keeps producing.

This lettuce container is a bit slow getting going, but I'm optimistic.

The red Cherry Bomb peppers are off to a good start. As are the bell, poblano & jalapenos.

This new tomato appears happy with it's cilantro & basil under-planting & neighboring chives & marjoram, which are both blooming profusely right now thanks to the temperature change & sunlight.

This tomato is a "Classic yellow" from last year that survived the winter frost & neglect & insists on shooting up, tall & proud with lots of flowering going on. I'm interested to see how it does in year #2. This one also has the cilantro & basil companion planting.

 Though the bean or squash plant in the center of this container failed, it looks like the scallions are going to make it just fine. That's another new one for me. I'll find something else to plant in the middle, maybe more scallions.

This Kniphofia was blooming like crazy a month ago.

But now looks like this. Did I piss it off by cutting off the (apparently) dead bloom spikes? Is it just because I have it in a fairly small container? I'm open to input from anyone with more experience.

We do have some pretty happy Dianthus right now. This plant had one single blossom all last year. This year it is really bringing it!

Beautiful, delicate flowers against very interesting structure.

Apparently the baby grasshoppers like them too.

I know it's off-topic, but I have to show off the new houseplant that wifey brought home. I'd never seen a Red Maranta before, but love the red veins & velvety texture. A great find from my bride who really isn't a plant person.
Another great combination of color & texture, courtesy of Mother Nature.

That's about it for this update. I have some new twists in mind and will share them when the time comes. Hope everyone gets their summer off to a great start.