December Garden & Update

December in Southern California has so far been gorgeous!  The air is fresh and crisp with the sun shining upon us.  Satsuma mandarins are coming into season, as well as Meyer lemons. Just in time to make lemon squares – yummy! And the leaves have fallen from the persimmon tree, showcasing the pretty orange fruits.


As hectic as the season is, I have been busy with one or other of my quilting projects.  Here is another quilt requiring hand applique/embroidery.  Cowboys and horses on a red/white/blue background:


November Garden & Update

November is already half over, and this is my first post of the month.  I want to make sure to post my garden, and some updates.  I have two tiny persimmon trees, and they have generously produced some fruits.  I love persimmons, as I grew up with them, and they also have the vibrant orange color I associate with fall – so pretty!

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And, I finally got a new sewing machine! Love love love my new Janome:

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Here is a pillow that I made. A few of my quilty friends have been making them.  You cut out flowers and leaves from printed fabrics, lay them out, sew them on using free motion, and voila! – a pretty decorative pillow.  This method is really good for practicing free motion – very forgiving:

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And, more fabric to play with 🙂 :

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October Garden 2013 & Update

A quick post about my October garden, and some other things.  Pomegranates are  the October standout in my garden.  They are delicious! I don’t know why, but a lot of them have split, but nevertheless they are very good.   Dear Hubby and I went to the Claremont Faire last week.  There was an amazing stained glass artist.  I came home with a glass dragonfly :).  And the Senior Center where one of my quilting groups meet had a costume competition – so I took a photo with a “Sumo” wrestler (not my husband. Just a random Senior dressed as a Sumo wrestler 🙂 ).  Happy Halloween!


September 2013 Garden & Boy Next Door

Yes, I am waxing nostalgic these last few days before dear daughter heads off to college… I took a photo of her and boy next door the other day before they took off on a bike ride.  And I remembered a cute photo I took of them many years ago, so I thought I’d share.  They have grown so much… He will be heading up north at the end of the week for college, and she will be heading down south – how time flies…


And now to my garden.  Lots of flowers still hanging on, some going to seed.  I noticed one Oro Blanco left on the tree – so big! Valencias are in season.  Navels, gold nuggets, and lemons are coming along:


Thanks for stopping by!

August 2013 Garden

This is my monthly garden post, but first, I wanted to show off dear daughters new racing bike.  She has great plans with it in college… She has fallen off of it three times already! (something to do with getting used to clips) But  I shouldn’t laugh, while waiting for her at the bike shop, I took a spin on a hybrid, and fell off it too – like mother like daughter.  I am hoping for a new hybrid for my B-day 🙂


And now for the monthly garden update.  Basically, everything is overgrown.  It’s been so hot, I barely have gone out to even check on things.  So, I dashed out and took these photos:


July 2013 Garden

The weather has been unbearably hot around here, so our early morning walks have been great.  And every time I step out onto our street, I think to myself, I must photograph the beautiful white butterfly bush at the front of our grove – and I finally did.  It just amazes me what beautiful flowers thrive in this heat; well, with a lot of watering of course:


June 2013 Garden

There are so may flowers in bloom in our garden right now,  but I’ll focus on the hollyhocks.  They have kindly returned every year for the past three years, surprising us with such a variety of pretty colors.


Here is a view of our front entrance.  The flowers are so pretty, and they seem to grow taller every year. Do you see the scratches on the lower left of our door?


Here is the little culprit – Koko. She has figured out how to sneak through to our neighbors yard in the back, and come around to the front to scratch at the door.  This happens if I don’t let her back in right away… little stinker.


May 2013 Garden

Yayyy!!! I made it.  It seems every year, I get later and later in putting in my vegetable garden.  What’s silly is that I have my gardener help clean out the raised beds in fall in preparation for cold weather planting. But then I don’t do it, and neglect the garden instead.  Then I have to have him help clean out the weeds before I plant in spring all over again.  I normally have everything in sometime in April, but this season, it went into May… I planted the usual; tomatoes, zucchinis, beans, melons, and artichokes.  Here are some photos of my vegetable garden.  The first one is looking toward the back of my house, second one is to the side, and the third, looking out at the back grove.  I am a “plant them and leave them kind” of gardener, so only the hardiest survive:

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My Concord grape vines are doing great.  The Kyoho grape vines are so so.  The small bed was my herb garden, until the mint and some other herb jumped the planter and took over everywhere.  And that’s my garden gnome, his name is Norm (really original name, I know  ;)). Bougainvillea covered my trellis bench in the center, but this last frost killed one, and the gardener trimmed the other one down to the ground.  I need to think of another vine to plant that can withstand the colder temperatures in the winter.  The bright flowers on the bushy tree in the center photo are pomegranates.  I have them all over the back , as they seem to resist the gopher attacks better than some other plants.  Besides, I just love pomegranates!

April 2013 Garden Part 2

I know I blogged about my garden already this month. But, after my gardener did his MAJOR clean up of our front/back yard and groves, I was inspired to plant some flowers in the front garden.  I planted gerbera daisies, gazanias, tea tree plant, calla lilies, and a daisy bush. Some areas of the garden, it is a constant battle with the gophers and raccoons.  Hopefully, some of these flowers will take and proliferate.  Every year, I find myself getting slower and slower in the garden. And when the sun breaks out, I’m pretty much done – it is already getting kind of hot around here.

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I’ve included this photo of my Easter decorations. Sometimes, I stop in my tracks, get distracted by something else, and put off what was at task. They are gathered on my dining table. Here they are, chatting and partying before I get around to putting them away in boxes for storage until next year:


April 2013 Garden

Everything is in bloom! We are surrounded by the wonderful fragrance of orange blossoms.  The bees are buzzing, and dear younger son home for spring break is on claritin.  The weather is just perfect – sunny and fresh!

Oh, wonderful orange blossoms!


I forgot the name of this tree, but the flowers are just beautiful:Garden_April2013_2

Front garden, so sunny and nice!Garden_April2013_3

Forgot the name of this plant too – pretty!Garden_April2013_4



Ditto again…Garden_April2013_6

March 2013 Garden

Turning into my driveway this afternoon after running errands, I noticed the blaze of pretty flower buds on my neighbors trees.  Several years ago, my neighbor purchased four white peach trees, and gave me one. She planted hers along the front of her property, and I planted mine behind my garage in the back.  Since then, I have noticed that there are specific microclimates, and her peach trees bloom before mine. So, I went to investigate, and sure enough, I had a couple of buds on my white peach, but all the other fruit trees in my back grove were in bloom. So, I dashed back into the house, grabbed my camera, and took these shots. They are really very beautiful.

Here is my white peach. It has about 6 blooms in all – Should be in full bloom within the next week or so:


Yellow peach – so pretty!



Not many avocados this season:


Our cherry trees, they had a handful of fruit last year – Hope all the blossoms are an indicator of a bumper crop.




Plum blossoms!


Apricots too!


White fig – I’ll have to try making fig jam this year.


Our passion fruit vine is still hanging on. According to our gardener, the banana trees are snuffing them out.


And here is said banana trees – they suffered a bit too during the cold spell.


Trumpet vines are blooming – I’m so happy!


There are only a few lemons left on my favorite lemon tree, but it looks like there will be more again in due time:


February 2013 Garden

I picked some Washington navels for a friend.  They are sooo delicious!!! And they don’t call them navel oranges for nothing – this one is an outie for sure 🙂


More signs of life… The transplanted grass looks really sad, but on second glance, there are green shoots near the roots – yay! And the hollyhocks are spreading year after year. Looking forward to seeing them bloom.


Flowers in the garden! Pretty rosemary and lavender!


And finally, a sunflower in the grove.  I think the poor thing is a bit confused. It seems to have been managing alright until the last cold spell but seems to be struggling now to fully bloom… Perhaps if the weather improves? I’ll keep watch.