Happy New Year!

May your plants grow big and strong and pests in your garden be few.  


Propagating Succulents

I am forever taking cuttings from my plant collection.  It can be slow but it’s satisfying work, and I have so many plants now I can share freely with my friends.

Did you catch my Sept 9, 2017 article in the San Diego Union Tribune on succulent propagation?



A New Age

I was at a Master Gardener committee meeting last week and picked up the latest UC publication, California Agriculture.  The whole issue is devoted to cannabis.  Times, they are a’changin’…..   BTW, here’s the link to California Agriculture which has this issue and an archive of past issues, i.e. a treasure trove of good and interesting info.    http://calag.ucanr.edu/Archive/

California Agriculture Magazine – Special Issue: Cannabis. Issue: July-December 2019

Master Gardener Garden Tour

Only a couple of weeks away, this is the first San Diego Master Gardener garden tour in 9 years!  Featuring incredible gardens in East County, this will be a fun and interesting tour!    www.mastergardenersd.orgsan diego master gardener fall garden toursan diego master gardener fall garden tour

Orb Spiders – Oh, my!

Orb Spiders – Oh, my!

Orb SpiderOrb spiders magically appear in August and they seem to stick around for about a month, then one day you realize they have disappeared. The webs are spectacular, sometimes as large as a circular web of 6 feet or more, between buildings and trees or shrubs.  I practice spider tai-chi in the early morning, taking cautious steps while slowly swinging my arms in all directions in an effort not to go face-first into a big spider.

Orb spider webs are beautiful and strong. Having walked through quite a few Orb spider webs in the last few weeks, I’ve had a few ‘moments.’  I’m okay when I walk through the web but when I see a big spider out of the corner of my eye sitting on my shoulder, not so much. Not the best way to get your heart rate up

Fortunately, the bite of Orb spiders is not considered to be toxic to humans and they are non-aggressive, so we’ve got that going for us.  They are a non-aggressive group of spiders and they seldom bite. Their webs snare flying insects so quite often you’ll see the spider eating something it has caught. This spider is feasting on a big grasshopper.

Orb spider eating a grasshopper

ARACHNOLEPTIC FIT (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.(*From the Washington Post Mensa Invitational which is a contest in which readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. I thought this was very appropriate!)


Master Gardener Orientation – Sept 11

Master Gardener Orientation – Sept 11

San Diego Master Gardeners are gearing up for the next class of trainees, beginning in January 2020.  On September 11 there will be an orientation for anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener.

San Diego Master Gardeners Information Orientation

Read the article in the SD Union-Tribune:  Master Gardener’s new class orientation

Happy Spring 2019!

Spring has sprung! Mi Esposo and I took a daycation out to the desert a couple of days ago and saw beautiful vistas of wildflowers in bloom. We did a big circle out Hwy 8, through Ocotillo, over to Borrego Springs, up Banner Grade to Julian, through Cuyamaca, then home. Weather was beautiful and crowds were minimal in the middle of the week.

Miscellaneous Monday 2-25-19

I have always been fascinated with historic ephemera. The links below are a collection of pictures or drawings of fruit, herbs and other miscellaneous flora from a century ago or older. It’s Monday and a little decompression is always in order. These images should help. Enjoy!


Emily Dickinson’s Herbarium

Beautiful drawings of 7500 Kinds of Fruit 

Old Drawings of Apples

Old Drawings of Strawberries

Seed Packets a Century Ago

A Botanists Drawing of 19th Century Cuban Flora 

Elements & Principals of Design

Elements & Principals of Design through courses at Flower Show Judge school.  It was all a bit overwhelming at first but after awhile I found I was using them in my everyday life.  Think of ‘elements’ as the ingredients of a recipe and ‘principals’ as the recipe itself.  Elements are the tangibles and Principles are how you use those tangibles.

Elements of Design

Color – The characteristic of light by which the individual perceives objects or light sources; how the eye sees and interpret wavelengths of light
Form – A three dimensional object
Light – Illumination necessary for vision
Line – One-dimension visual path through design
Pattern – design formed by solids and spaces between them
Size – the perceived or visual dimensions of components rather than actual dimensions
Space – the open area in and around a design
There are 3 kinds of space – total space, space within plant material, space established in design
Texture – Surface quality of a material

The only way I can remember the Elements is to put them in alphabetical order.

Principals of Design

Balance – visual balance or stability
Dominance – the greater impact of one element over the others
Contrast – use of opposite characteristics to emphasize differences
Rhythm – created by a dominant visual path of lines, forms, and/or colors in a design
Proportion – comparative relationship of areas and amounts
Scale – the size relationship of one object in a design compared to another

Some people use BADCROPS as an acronym to remember Principles. Drop the vowels and you have your PRINCIPLES.

Although my life involves a lot of creativity I have never had any formal training in art.  Once I was exposed to the E’s & P’s I realized that I apply it to projects in my everyday life.  I don’t aspire to be an accomplished floral designer, but I do enjoy giving it a good go.  I typically make my designs with succulents which aren’t considered traditional, but I do love creating them and that’s what matters most, right?!