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Herd of Red Zebras

The Red Zebra tomato was the most productive plant in our Sunnyvale garden for 2015. it produced many fruit in the 6 to 8 ounce range. The tomato is meaty with few seeds.

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Pineapple Guava 2015

Our pineapple guava tree is dropping its fruit a month earlier in 2015. Normally the fruit starts falling in mid-October. See this page for full info. Feijoa, pineapple guava or guavasteen, is a evergreen, small tree known for its spectacular red fleshy flowers in May and its small, tasty, green-skinned fruit in October and November. This plant is attractive to bees, …

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Tomato – Aussie Heart 2015

This year, 2015, has been a poor year for tomatoes. The Aussie Heart plant produced two tomatoes. The one featured here topped out at 10 ounces. It is an excellent meaty tomato. We added it to a BCLT salad (Bacon, Chicken, Lettuce and Tomato). The smaller tomatoes are Slava. These tomato seeds were passed to the late Joe Thieneman, a …

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Brine-curing Your Own Olives

I decided that 2015 was the year to home-cure olives. I visited my parent’s home in Almaden Valley in south Santa Clara County. Their neighbor has a large Mission olive tree that generously drapes over the fence. Olives cannot be consumed without curing. All olives contain oleuropein, a glucoside compound, that tastes very bitter. You have to cure them using …

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Agastache ‘Black Adder’

Okay. I bought this plant because of its name. There were no photos of the flowers; the plant was not yet in bloom. I just loved the 1980s BBC four-year series starring Rowan Atkinson (as Edmund Blackadder) and Tony Robinson (as Baldrick). When the plant finally bloomed last week, I was pleasantly surprised by its purple flower stalk. But, as …

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Fuchsia – Emu Bush

Emu Bush is a great addition to a drought-tolerant garden in Sunnyvale. Emu Bush Fuchsias (genus Eremophila) are Australian shrubby native plants and there are over two hundred varieties known. The name Eremophila means ‘desert lover’ and derives from the Greek eremos (desert) and phileo (to love). The fruits are eaten by emus, which disperse the seeds in their droppings. …

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Asclepias – Silky Mix

One of over two hundred varieties of Asclepias, ‘Silky Mix’ stands out for its beautiful alternating deep red and gold colored blooms. Blooming mid Summer through early Fall, ‘Silky’, like most Asclepias prefers sunny, dry locations and does well in substandard soil. A tender perennial in some zones and annual in others, ‘Silky Mix’ is a beautiful addition to any …

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Tradescantia x andersoniana ‘Sweet Kate’

‘Sweet Kate’ is a compact, clump-forming, hybrid spiderwort that is noted for its unique yellow foliage. It typically grows to 12” tall. Three-petaled, purplish-blue flowers (to 1.5” diameter) accented by contrasting yellow stamens are borne in terminal clusters (umbels) atop stiff stems. Numerous flower buds form in each cluster, but individual flowers open up only a few at a time, …

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Begonia boliviens s. ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’

The Santa Cruz Sunset begonia has dramatic angled petals. These plants fall into the tropical and subtropical category of perennials, growing well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 11. Many varieties with ornamental leaves and blossoms grow well outside in USDA zones 10 and 11, while hardy begonias survive winters in USDA zones 6 through 9 …

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Bellflower

With their nodding heads, Campanula, or bellflower plants, are pretty perennial flowers. Bellflowers will bloom heaviest in June and July but can delight you with flowers all the way into October in some areas. The plant is native to many of the U.S. regions where cool nights and moderate temperatures prevail, creating ideal conditions for growing bellflowers. They require full …

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