The Rainy Day Garden
After today, it should be clear for a few days. We're having perfect winter weather for the Bay Area: a few days of rain, followed by a few days of dry and sunny, followed by a heavy storm, followed by a minor winter "heatwave" where it's 75 degrees F for two weeks, repeat.
Except that we haven't had the major storm yet; I think that's coming next week. Me, I'm looking forward to the heatwave. All the temperature weights in the Galileo thermometer have floated to the top this morning.
I don't think it's much colder than 50 deg F. Maybe 45.
Anyhow, the rain we've had is sufficient to bow the bamboo.
And many other plants.
And some are just decorated with beads.
Including these little moss body parts on the birdbath. I used to know their names.
I can see why people would be excited about having a moss garden. (Loved the one at the Bloedel Reserve.)
The Hardenbergia violacea is very pretty in the rain.
So is the manzanita in a container next to it. This is Arctostaphylos rudis 'Vandenberg'. It's a young plant. In a few years, watch out.
I don't like spiders, but I'm learning to live with them because 1) they eat pests, and 2) birds eat them.
Something's been chewing on my lemon.
Probably some moth caterpillar or leaf roller (or both). I saw a lot of moths last summer and fall.
This is another common insect in my garden.
I saw two without even looking. It looks like a walking stick, and it could be something in that order.
As a kid I was fascinated by walking sticks, reading about them in books. I spent hours in my backyard searching for them--for years--but I never saw one. Here, they seem to be everywhere.
I see signs of spring in leaf buds. This is Symphoricarpos, but the Ribes are leafing out too, and I have daffodil leaves poking up here and there.
Cymbidium orchid. Very slow process with this plant. But these flowers should open soon.
No sign of the foxglove flower stalk. I keep looking for a sign.
Really, I ought to be thinking about what I'm going to replace all the foxglove with after it flowers and dies. Because I have quite a bit and its sudden absence from the small garden will certainly be noticeable.
Maybe I've sown something I can use, but I doubt it. I'm pretty sure most of those containers have seeds for full-sun plants.
(The Lilium pardalinum on the bottom shelf could work, but they're still very young and they're dormant half the year.)
These wildflowers are ready to be planted out.
The finer-foliaged plant is Platystemon californica (Cream Cups), and the coarser one is Layia platyglossa (Tidy Tips). I've learned the Cream Cups can go out small and will thrive, but something likes to eat Tidy Tips when it's young. Wait until the plant has at least three inches before planting it out.
I sow flats of wildflowers in succession--a new flat every couple weeks.
I don't remember what seeds I tossed in the hanging baskets, but they're doing fine. Might even be last year's Nolana paradoxa, but I think there's some Nemophila maculata (Five Spot) in there too. I read that it trails.
There's some muscari too. Can you see the rain-beaded blue mini-inflorescence?
I hung one hanging basket from the bottom of another.
Finally now the tree fern fronds are over my head so I can walk past it without having to bat them away.
It will be a long time before it's really a tree tho'.
Anyhow, that's what's happening outside.
Inside, we still have our Christmas lights up.
We didn't get a tree this year because we were afraid what the kittens might do to it.
All we did was put up a string of lights draped out of kitten reach (not that they haven't tried) and hung a few ornaments on it.
We have fairly traditional (tho' secular) ornaments. (And, actually, these are all Guy's which is not an accident because he put them up. I tend to be the one who takes the less traditional approach...)
He positively hated these "PURR" and "MEOW" ornaments his sister gave him this year. I found them in our Goodwill box in the garage.
The stockings are felt decorations that used to belong to my grandmother. I like them because they remind me a little bit of Christmas at her house.
And speaking of meow and purr... how are those little kittens?
Not so little anymore.
They continue to be very close.
And they like to spend time on the top floor of their condominium...
Watching over Bernal Heights.