Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Bounty

Over at Chiot’s Run in Ohio,  a display of remaining garden color was posted along with a question posed:

Do you still have anything blooming if you live in a cold area? If you live in a more temperate climate, what blooms for you this time of year?

This inspired me to get out in the garden to record the blossoms that are exploding the day before Thanksgiving.  This was a quick tour before Labor Day in the kitchen began (& continues into Thursday night).  I’m in zone 8 or zone 9 depending on what you’re reading.  Here they are – straight out the camera. 

Happy Thanksgiving

DSC_1007_2338DSC_1008_2339DSC_1012_2343DSC_1013_2344 DSC_1016_2347DSC_1018_2349DSC_1019_2350 DSC_1020_2351 DSC_1024_2355 DSC_1025_2356 DSC_1026_2357 DSC_1030_2361 DSC_1037_2368 DSC_1041_2372 DSC_1044_2375 DSC_1051_2382

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I purchased a Black Beauty eggplant months and months ago at a local nursery.  I’ve never grown eggplant before; so I thought I would give it a try.  I didn’t expect much success.  Now, I can’t get the danged thing to shut down.  Eggplant.  Eggplant.  Eggplant!!!

I share them with friends and co-workers.  Even if many don’t know how to use them, I hope they take them to incorporate into their Thanksgiving table.  Their color is really really rich.

Here’s a look at old Black Beauty.

DSC_1008_2332 Start with an unusually lovely blossom.

DSC_1010_2334 After pollination, a swollen fruit begins to form.  Even though the leaves are soft and cushy like sage, these spike require gloves at harvest time.

DSC_1011_2335 The swollen fruit continues to swell.  Those thorns don’t look so ominous now; but I still recommend gloves.

DSC_1012_2336 Some prefer the smaller fruit.  These beauties can hide in the shadows and really get overgrown similar to zucchini. 

DSC_1006_2330 Along with gloves, pruning shears are recommended because the stem is pretty tough.  This morning’s harvest is going with me to work tomorrow.

DSC_1608_1787 The only pests I noticed were grasshoppers.  (Remember Eileen - I lean - from this summer?)  They really, really enjoyed munching on the leaves.  Sometimes earwigs invade fruit left on the bush too long. 

DSC_1009_2333Today, a few ladybugs were helping me out.

If you enjoy eggplant, Black Beauty can be highly recommended for zones 8 & 9.

Note:  The eggplant was dug up on December 26.  I had fruit on it but after a few nights of freezing weather, they joined the plant in the green waste.  This is one sturdy plant.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Citrus Christmas

Here in California citrus grows most everywhere.  I have 4 trees in my garden:  mandarin, lemon, orange, and grapefruit.  These are baby dwarf varieties.  Three out of four trees are producing.  The blossoms wouldn’t hold on to the grapefruit.

To me the taste of cold citrus fresh off of a tree tastes like Christmas to me.  When I was a kid, my parents would take us out to the orchards and have citrus shipped to friends and relatives that didn’t have access to fresh oranges.  Of course, there were samples for us to scarf down.  And who doesn’t love the scent of the blossoms?

Here’s how things are looking.

DSC_0995_2301 mandarin

DSC_0998_2306 navel orange (Not quite there yet.)

DSC_0997_2303 variegated lemon

Saturday, November 7, 2009


The fall garden is enjoying many volunteers hanging around from the summer.

DSC_1008_2314 Sunflowers?

DSC_0966_2286 Cantaloupe DSC_0967_2287 PotatoDSC_0968_2288MarigoldsDSC_1013_2319 NasturtiumsDSC_1007_2313 PumpkinsDSC_1011_2317 TomatoesDSC_1012_2318 And busy, busy bees.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What a Great Dog.

DSC_0333_381 If there are no dogs when I die, I know I’ve gone to Hell.


March 27, 2002 – November 2, 2009



by Jimmy Stewart

He never came to me when I would call
Unless I had a tennis ball,
Or he felt like it,
But mostly he didn't come at all.

When he was young
He never learned to heel
Or sit or stay,
He did things his way.

Discipline was not his bag
But when you were with him things sure didn't drag.
He'd dig up a rosebush just to spite me,
And when I'd grab him, he'd turn and bite me.

He bit lots of folks from day to day,
The delivery boy was his favorite prey.
The gas man wouldn't read our meter,
He said we owned a real man-eater.

He set the house on fire
But the story's long to tell.
Suffice it to say that he survived
And the house survived as well.

On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,
He was always first out the door.
The Old One and I brought up the rear
Because our bones were sore.

He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,
What a beautiful pair they were!
And if it was still light and the tourists were out,
They created a bit of a stir.

But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks
And with a frown on his face look around.
It was just to make sure that the Old One was there
And would follow him where he was bound.

We are early-to-bedders at our house--
I guess I'm the first to retire.
And as I'd leave the room he'd look at me
And get up from his place by the fire.

He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,
And I'd give him one for a while.
He would push it under the bed with his nose
And I'd fish it out with a smile.

And before very long
He'd tire of the ball
And be asleep in his corner
In no time at all.

And there were nights when I'd feel him
Climb upon our bed
And lie between us,
And I'd pat his head.

And there were nights when I'd feel this stare
And I'd wake up and he'd be sitting there
And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.
And sometimes I'd feel him sigh
and I think I know the reason why.

He would wake up at night
And he would have this fear
Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,
And he'd be glad to have me near.

And now he's dead.
And there are nights when I think I feel him
Climb upon our bed and lie between us,
And I pat his head.

And there are nights when I think
I feel that stare
And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,
But he's not there.

Oh, how I wish that wasn't so,
I'll always love a dog named Beau.