Success in gardening cannot be achieved with one perfect formula. The conditions around the garden vary from season to season and present a new experience to be sought. No gardener can truly master a garden but one can master the learning process.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Natural position of the flowers in relation to the plant itself.
Propped up flower to highlight details.
Bright orange flowers inside powdery green sepals.
Flower at maximum aperture.
This is a relatively new plant in my garden which continues to be a subject of my fascination.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
With a cup of steaming coffee in my hand I sat in the patio doing what I like to do best - to admire the greenery laid against the cloud-softened skies. My eyes darted from one plant to another as I paid curious attention to their diverse characteristics and behavior. Then I noticed something else that was worth watching at that particular moment. There must have been at least ten American Robins (Turdus migratorius) around me.
After having sat there quietly for sometime, the Robins have decided that I am a garden fixture. They did what they wanted to do around me. They were busy doing the things that I did not do this year which is to harvest the grapes. They'd fly to get some grapes and then come lower and mark the next fruit to pick. It was quiet an amazing sight to see them strategize their flights to get one grape.
Figuring out the angle of next flight.
Determining the position of the next target.
Looking for bugs as a short break for the neck.
Getting ready to dart.
A smarter bird gets closer to the target.
Acrobtic harvesting of grapes.
Happy Sunday Everyone!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
For fifteen years now he has watched me tend a garden. I think he made up his mind - that gardening is indeed a good thing. There is a sense of joy that emanates from the knowledge that this son of mine is going to know how to raise plants for food and beautiful surroundings.
Like plants, gardeners clone themselves by training someone to do the same.
~~Happy birthday, my son!~~
Friday, September 10, 2010
One month in darkness.
I was delighted to hear that my friend’s son, Erich, announced that he wanted to grow his own avocado tree. Being someone who advocates gardening, I decided to help him achieve this dream; I stated to germinate four avocado seeds for him using my self-proven paper towel and sandwich bag technique that I described in an earlier post. I kept the sandwich bag that held the seeds near the kitchen sink and close to the window for some light. Emergence was observed beautifully - the radical (the first root) and the plumule (the first shoot) growing in opposite directions. Everything was happening as I had expected.
Once every three weeks I host a bible study group at home. During each time, I clean the house as if my guests would question my character if they saw something growing in my kitchen. The avocado seeds were not going to be seen. So I placed them in the cabinet under the sink temporarily. They were out of sight...then they were out of my mind. A month later I found them...
Death of the main shoot resulted in branching.
Apical Dominance. The growth from the embryo was thwarted by the lack of light in the cabinet. The initial plumule and radical died back and apical dominance was broken - allowing several, instead of just one, shoot to grow. This is similar to the phenomenon that occurs when any plant stem is decapitated or stressed - lateral branching is increased. Auxin, a phytohormone, is produced in the growing points of a stem or root. When the dominant stem loses its strength the lateral branches gain power.
Absence of Chlorophyll. The lack of light is clearly manifested in the color and growth behavior of the new shoots. When plant tissues get any amount of light, the presence of chlorophyll becomes evident. In the case of these seeds, the shoots are white to pink which indicates that they have never seen the light.
Stress on the main root induced the growth of lateral roots.
Another avocado seed is germinating in my kitchen... :)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
San Benito County, California
Have you ever wondered where the produce you see in your grocery store came from? Well, if you are in the US, Canada, Japan, and Europe, it is likely that you will find something that has been grown in California. The Mediterranean climate of California which stretches along the Pacific Ocean provides the perfect growing conditions for many crops. Travel north or south along I-5 or Hwy-101 along the length of the state, keep your eyes open and the landscape will speak about the productivity of the land. Last month when we went on a college tour for my older daughter I took some pictures of the fields along the way.
My family used to live in Hollister where every freeway that leads us out of the city goes through farms of some sort. Depending on the road that you take you are submerged into a different smell. Gilroy definitely will surround you with a garlic smell for miles as processing plants push out aromatic steam into the atmosphere. Then you come to a place where most of the vegetables are processed and you feel like you're near a pizza factory.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Vitis vinifera 'Cabernet Souvignon'
"Men are like a fine wine. They all start out like grapes, and it's our job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you'd want to have dinner with." ~ (Unknown female)
Happy September everyone!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Scars from Peach Leaf Curl (Taphrina deformans) remain on the leaves
Marks of the past. Early in the spring the tree was severely infected with Taphrina deformans or leaf curl. Wet and cold weather prolonged the infection that some of the fruits were affected. Some of the leaves show some reminders of the previous infection. I marvel at they way this tree persevered through all that stress. By early spring, the tree was totally defoliated by the fungal leaf curl. However, as soon as the temperatures got warmer new leaves developed and they photosynthesized like there's not tomorrow - filling up all the fruits that developed.