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Lavandula stoechas

Lavandula stoechas is also known as Spanish or French Lavender. It smells good and attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Like other lavenders, it is associated with hot, dry, sunny conditions in alkaline soils. Spanish Lavender is more fragile than common lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), as it is less winter hardy; but harsher and more resinous in its oils.

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Stock

Stock offers a wonderfully spicy, distinctive scent. In Sunnyvale, plant it in spring as earlier as February — this annual thrives in cool temperatures and stops blooming once hot weather arrives. It’s especially wonderful in window boxes and planters at nose level, where its sometimes subtle effect can best be appreciated. Stock is slightly spirelike and comes in a wide …

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Pink Spoon Mums

When fall arrives, it’s hard not to regret the passing of all the summer blooms we love so much: pompon dahlias, Shasta daisies, African daisies, little zinnias, asters, coreopsis, and calendulas. But take heart, for the fall garden offers all these flower shapes from just one plant, the chrysanthemum. Hundreds of hardy cultivars provide an array of colors and bloom …

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Dragon Tongue Bean

Dragon Tongue is a great bean for the Sunnyvale garden. It is a bush bean, 24-30 inches tall. It is a great in a container. Lots of beans in 60 days. It’s suited to use as a fresh snap bean or as a shelled bean when fully mature. As a snap, harvest when the flat beans turn from lime green …

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Scotch Bonnet Chile

SCOTCH BONNET YELLOW – very hot; Habanero Type; 1.25 to 1.75 inches long by 1 to 1.25 inches wide; medium thick flesh; matures from green to yellow; pendant pods; green leaves; 18 to 24 inches tall; Very Late Season (90+ days); C.chinense.

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Meet the new boss

This is our male hummingbird. He ferociously defends his feeder against all…except this time of year when he welcomes females to sip nectar. Then he will sit nearby bobbing his head and making some chirps (or at least that is what the high-frequency-hearing-enabled people tell me)

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Pink in November

Another bulb I planted back in February is blooming. The tag is long gone so I need to do some detective work to learn its identity. Sue Clayton correctly identified it as crinum.

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Marinated Olives with Rosemary and Lemon

In October I harvested Mission olives from a tree. The ripe black olives I packed into coarse salt (dry-cure). The green unripe olives I placed in a salt-brine. It’s now November and the black olives have cured (the salt has leached out the oleuropin compound that makes them bitter). The black olives are now shrunken and wrinkled. They will keep …

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Disk and Rays

Calendula is a well-known medicinal herb and uplifting ornamental garden plant that has been used therapeutically, ceremonially, and as a dye and food plant for centuries. Most commonly known as for its topical use as a tea or infused oil for wounds and skin trauma, the bright orange or yellow flower contains many important constituents and can be taken internally …

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Carrots

The carrots you find at the grocer require 10-12 inches deep of loose soil, othewise they grow stunted. Your standard ground soil in Sunnyvale is clay. The solution is to select one of many varieties that are shorter. ‘Nantes’ is about 7 inches long. ‘Thumbelina’ is 4 inches long.

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