Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Daphne odora 'Aureo-marginata'

The Daphne is in bloom. Actually, the first blossoms opened on Saturday. But today was the first time that I was knocked out by the perfume. I probably shouldn't be blogging about this plant--it might be bad karma. I've had such good luck with it. It graces the garden by my front door and the fragrance is intoxicating. My goal has been to have fragrance year-round in this garden. I'm still working on it. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Year's Walk -- Mimosa

Probably Acacia baileyana, this is one of the first blooms of the New Year. My neighbor called this mimosa. I love that name. I moved to California from the midwest, after a short stint in Boston, and this was a discovery for me. The bright, cheerful, fuzzy-looking balls were kind of magical. The foliage is a feathery, finely cut blue-grey. The blossoms are very fragrant and when we first moved here I would cut big bunches and bring it into the house. It seeds out and some find this plant weedy. It might be the California answer to Forsythia, which is not widely grown. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The New Year's Walk

Rick and I took the New Year’s walk early to beat the rain forecast for today. Growing up at 96th and Madison in New York, Rick and his dad and brother would traditionally take a walk around a body of water on New Year’s day. The first walk was in 1954 in Central Park. He never misses--rain, snow, etc. I joined in on the tradition in 1976, in Berkeley, to and around Lake Temescal. Our traditional walk in Orinda is from our house to Lake Cascade, around and back.

We are bracing for the next storm to hit Northern California. Is this the Pineapple Express? The forecasters have been saying that the storms are stacked up all the way to the Philippines . When we went on our walk it was 54 degrees and the low last night wasn’t much colder. We awoke Saturday morning to water in our kitchen from a flooded patio from very heavy rains Friday night and Saturday morning. My rain gauge was full at 5-1/2". We were lucky. No power-outs. But the soil is saturated and the next storm is supposed to move through very quickly.


Florist cyclamen can be planted out in my Sunset Zone 16 garden. What a good idea to protect the beautiful heart-shaped leaves from slugs. Too bad I didn't! The leaves alone make the plant a worthy object in the garden but I love the furled buds. I really should plan to plant some of the choice species. The small ones are so charming in my friend Janine's garden. C. cilium is said to be fragrant as is C. purpurescens. I think C. coum is available and C. hederifolium is said to be easy. Posted by Picasa