Growing On

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Japanese maple (Acer japonica) in my backyard.

I’m still feeling a lot like this seemingly vulnerable leaf on one of my Japanese maples, but as days have passed, and the leaves have all opened up, the leaf no longer sticks out. I’m taking this as a sign. As it lifted up its head to the sun it was enveloped by the support of other leaves around it.

In the garden I am comforted.

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) growing above the Pacific Ocean.

My trip the the Pacific a few weeks ago also had me viewing an understory of nearly nothing by salmonberry bushes and their blooms. I tried for far too long to get a nice shot of their hot pink blossoms but the wind was simply too much. Instead, I did capture this berry.

Morning glory vine (Ipomoea) on a tombstone in Oysterville, WA.

In my photos I also found this lovely rendition of a morning glory vine on a gravestone. I don’t believe I’ve shared it yet. Eternal blooms fascinate me more and more as I age. What flower would I want on my headstone? Why? I am such a plant nerd it’s impossible to choose just one. Besides, in the technological world we live in I’m much more likely to desire something akin to a slideshow. Oh! I am so ashamed at times to be so spoiled by the world around me. We’re lucky I think.

Dudlyea brittonii seedlings.

Many of the seeds I was unable to plant last year made it into production this year. Above you’ll see one of my favorites. I cannot wait to see these grow up. They are such beautiful plants.

Unknown Agave I grew from seed.
I guess these little “friends” area telling me that it’s time for the plant to be moved to a larger pot.

It is time to repot older plants I’ve grown from seed. This is a plant that really spoke volumes to me when I looked closely at what it was saying to me. “Plant me. I need more space. If you don’t, I promise to break this planter. It is weak. I am not.” Ok, maybe I’m totally exaggerating.

Me last month pruning the willow arbor while waiting to be picked up to go out for the evening. I can prune in a linen dress. Wow, the things we learn when we wait impatiently…

Being able to climb up onto a ladder to prune was a huge undertaking for me. In the past I would have been too dizzy to do this but not anymore!

Hellebore plant (Helleborus orientalis) pregnant with seeds.

Collecting seeds for my Etsy shop Milton’s Garden Menagerie has started all over too. Even though I am still not 100% about where I’ll be going next in my life, I do know with complete certainty that I want seeds to remain—and plants too!

Cuttings from my Begonia boliviensis I grew from seed. The propagation goes on and on…

Wordless Wednesday: With Spring in My Step

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Muscari armeniacum. 

Tulipa tarda.
Tulipa humilis.
Tulipa (cannot recall the name).
Primula veris.
Primula veris ‘Sunset Shades’.
Narcissus.
Muscari album.
Viola glabella.
Bergenia cordifolia.
Spoils from one of my many road trips to CA.
Narcissus. 
Fritillaria meleagris.
Helleborus.
Clematis alpina ‘Stolwijk Gold’.
Clematis alpina ‘Stolwijk Gold’.
Camellia japonica ‘Black Magic’.
Acer palmatum ‘Red Spider Web’.
Maurice the cat.
Two types of Dudleya.

Botanical Highlights from Northern California

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I will need a vacation when I return home from this vacation. As I write this it is raining outside here in the Bay Area and back home it is sunny and warm. When I return, I am guessing that I will have nothing but a lot of work to do. (How gardens can grow!)
Rather than go on and on about the trip so far, I’ve instead chosen some highlights and I will fill in all the botanical garden and plant information in the coming days. I also want to add that having my AHS membership card has been wonderful because it has made viewing all of the gardens much easier and a whole lot less expensive. I think next time though I will have to get a card for my husband too. Now that he has seen more of the botanical gardens down here, he’d like to go back to them sometimes when he’s traveling doing wine sales work. (AHS Reciprocal Admissions Program)
My husband enjoying one of my favorite little waysides in the redwoods.
A mosquito sculpture beside a pond at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Fort Bragg, CA.
A Fuchsia hedge in the garden of a residence in Fort Bragg, CA. I was very jealous.
Discovering Sedum along the ocean at Salt Point State Park in Sonoma County, CA.
I know this is a special plant but I will have to look up the name later. We found it in the Kruse Rhododendron Reserve. near Salt Point State Park in Sonoma Co., CA.
Fancy chickens at Annie’s Annuals. I CANNOT say enough about their nursery. We had a wonderful time and it was easy to find over in Richmond, CA.
This is a transmission repair show that I would trust in San Carlos, CA.
I cannot say enough about Prickly Pears. My other name, Ficurinia, means Prickly Pear in Sicilian dialect.  I would happily live with this lovely prickly friend in San Carlos, CA.
Bottlebrush plants are not for me but I do love their blooms, San Carlos, CA.
Really cool tree outside of the famous restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA.
Wall of Thunbergia at a wine shop in Berkeley, CA.
View of the Golden Gate Bridge (far in the distance) as seen from the Berkeley Botanical Gardens, CA.

Today is yet another adventure, and tomorrow too, but I am afraid we have finally been slowed down by one of my really amazing and sweet old college friends. Yesterday, much food was eaten and our last meal was so decadent it is embarrassing to mention. Let’s just say that we ate Italian-style—for several hours—and each of the four courses had two to four different dishes. The meal was seriously heavenly.