Let’s head down to SoCal for a picture today. This image of an artist on Venice Beach is one of my more popular photos posted to Flickr. Why is that, do you suppose?
Since converting our swimming pool to a garden we have had a lot more wildlife around. This year two pair of kestrels have taken up residence. We also have a lot of butterflies, beas, and hummingbirds.
This caterpillar is a swallowtail. They like plants in the carrot family, and this one was enjoying a lunch of dill. Eventually he will turn into a butterfly that will look something like this.
There are a few more photos in my nascent garden set on flickr.
This year our garden has been a little deficient in red flowers. An exception is the Maltese Cross, which produces large globular composite flowers. These are doing well. Above you can see them in the garden; below is a close-up (not too well focused, but it will give the idea) in a cut bouquet.
Our garden lies in what Sunset calls “one of Northern California’s finest horticultural climates.” We are located in an area of wet mild winters and dry mild summers — a Mediterranean climate zone. It’s region with unique challenges and opportunities. I love gardening here.
Approaches to gardening are strongly determined by scale. Our garden is a small family garden. Its core was formerly a swimming pool. Often we might be growing just a single plant in a container, or a handful of plants, where a larger-scale gardening operation might be planting long rows of crops. Over time we have adjusted to find the right balance for our home garden.
All this new stuff goes on top
turn it over, turn it over
wait and water down
from the dark bottom
turn it inside out
let it spread through
Sift down even
Watch it sprout.
A mind like compost.
— Gary Snyder
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