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Wednesday, February 29, 2012


The trees are flowering here, and it's lovely.

Looking up ...

There is even beauty in the spent fruit of this pomegranate tree at the Huntington.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pretty Flowers

A common refrain here, but we went to the Huntington again today (God surely was good when he blessed us with a free membership).

Snapdragons, pansies, marigolds.

Just wanted to share some of the beautiful flowers we saw on this lovely day.

Stock, NOT Delphinium (or Larkspur)

[**Correction, the flowers above are stock, not delphiniums.  I pulled the wrong photo, and in my tiredness when posting, I just didn't catch it.  My bad.  Still, I should have known better.**]


Clivia (or St. John's Lily, Fire Lily, or Kaffir Lily)

THIS is delphinium (I hope!)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

A couple of days ago, I developed a sudden desire for some Stargazer Lilies, or maybe freesias.  Something that smells like that but doesn't give me a head ache.  Weird, I know, but true.  I even looked for some at Trader Joe's.  They were out of Stargazers, but did have freesias.    And lots of other flowers.

And I realized it was almost Valentine's day.  Aha, I thought (usually, I buy my own flowers, but thought maybe I might get someone else to buy them for me this time).

So I told my husband, "You know, red roses are over rated this year."  


And then, hemming and hawing a bit, telling him if only if he was going to get some flowers..... that I'd love some Stargazer Lilies, or maybe some freesias.  But ONLY if he was going to get some.  And that they were cheaper at TJ's too, than roses, although the roses at TJ's are very reasonable.

Long story short, a lovely bunch of Stargazer Lilies awaited me this morning.

I've learned in our almost 25 years of marriage that it's OK to drop broad hints about what you want.  Broad hints as in pretty much asking out right. 

Happy Valentine's Day and week.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Like Mommy, Like Baby ...

I was scrolling through my photo files this weekend, looking for inspiration, and came across this picture taken at the LA Zoo in 2008.

"Like this, Mom?"  "Yes, that's exactly right."

This cub is doing exactly what its mommy is doing.

We as moms have a great influence on our children. Here is the cub with its siblings a few months later, again all doing what their mom is doing.

Tiger Street Gang

Aren't they just beautiful??

Proverbs 22:6 reminds us

Train a child in the way he should go,
   and when he is old he will not turn from it. 

This mama tiger reminds us that even in what some might call adverse conditions, one can still teach one's kids to behave properly ~~ as a tiger should, so to speak.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cilantro from Seeds

Cilantro is a member of the parsley family (it's sometimes called Chinese parsley), and all parsleys germinate in the dark.  Yes, it seems weird, but true.  I used to put newspaper cut to size over the pots or on the ground where I planted them.  And it worked, but you have to be careful to watch out that you don't leave the newspaper on too long, and with their very long germination time (~ 21 days), it's easy to lose track.  And then you have very bent and/or broken seedlings.

Cilantro likes cooler weather and or dappled sun here in California.  The extreme heat makes it "bolt" and go to seed very quickly, if you can get it to grow -- I couldn't, not until I planted it this winter in the garden, under the aforementioned newspaper, with bricks holding the corners down.

But I think I've found a better way.

Notice the seedlings peeping through the holes in the egg carton.

Egg cartons.  They provide the darkness necessary, and also the head room for the seedlings to start growing.  And you can plant them directly in the ground, just like those cute little peat pots you buy at the garden center.  Success!
You can water them more easily than with paper, too; just lift the lid.  With newspaper, you have to move the rocks or bricks or whatever you're using to keep the paper down and make sure the soil actually gets wet.

So I planted two or three seeds in each egg cup, and got a germination rate of 8 out of 12 cups, with some cups having 2 seedlings.  MUCH better than in the past.

Once the seedlings have popped up, cut the cups apart and make a hole in the bottom of the cup for the roots.  A couple of roots actually came through the carton.

I pretty much totally opened up the bottom so that the roots have lots of room to expand.

Make nice deep  holes for the seedlings, and bury them until just an inch or two of plant is above the ground.

Pat them in, and water.  Toss the egg carton into your compost pile.

I'll keep you updated on their progress.