senoritafish: (gardener vader)

My work family (and people here do seem like a family, especially those of us who've been here a long time) not only made a donation in my dad's name to the American Heart Association, but also sent us a tree seed from Seeds of Life. It's a Canyon Live Oak, a native Californian, as he was, so it's very appropriate. They even grow around Oxnard and Moorpark, where he was born and grew up.

We planted it in its biodegradable pot a couple of weeks ago, and the acorn is sprouting! Very exciting!

I don't know if we're going to be able to plant it here at the house, once it gets big. I'm wondering if maybe the Shipley Nature Center in Central Park might let us plant it there? Then it would still be here in HB, and we'd have a nearer place to go and visit.
senoritafish: (Default)
And something I should probably spend some time doing in the front yard before the city comes after us. Again. The grass gets mowed but the planters are sorry.

A philosophical approach to weeds...
senoritafish: (gardener vader)

The Mary Lou Heard Memorial Garden Tour was going on this weekend - however, we only went to about 3 homes that were close to us. This home was on the tour last year, but we didn't get to it then. The backyard over looks the Talbert Marsh, so the gazebo had ID pictures of birds, and field guides and binoculars set out. There was a kid-sized honeysuckle tunnel around the sides of it as well, complete with picnic table and dishes.

Garden Tour
Huntington Beach CA
Canon EOS 1000D
3 May 2009

moar... )
senoritafish: (holiday jubjub)

My friend asked me to help out with the Orange County District flower show. The design section was all Holiday-themed table settings, so Happy Holidays.

Happy Chanukkah!
Sherman Library and Gardens
Newport Beach CA
Sharp VE-CG30
22 November 2008

...and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Father's Day! )
senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)

This weekend was the Mary Lou Heard Memorial Garden Tour; a fundraiser in memory of a local gardener/nursery owner. She started the tour herself as a way to raise money for a local women's shelter - after she passed away, others continued putting it on. It's all free; each home has a donation jar that they ask you donate to. And some of the gardens are just breathtaking. A woman in my garden club particpated in it last year, and said she spent 9 hours a day for two months in her yard getting ready for it! There were 48 homes on the tour, but we only visited six, which was plenty.

Seal Beach CA
Sharp VE-CG30
04 May 2008

a few more... )
senoritafish: (Shiny!)

Well, it's spring; can't be helped. ;p

I belong to a garden club and many of the members grow roses; however, I am not a huge rose fan. I tend to regard them as the poodles of horticulture world (just as goldfish are the poodles of the aquarium fish world) - relatively common, but most of them are overbred, they take a lot of maintenance to look good, pests love them, and they're fussy and spoiled. However, I do own just one. I ordered this one from a catalog years ago; called either 'Peppermint Stick' or 'Candy Cane' (I can't remember which), she's just crazy enough to suit my strange tastes. She also thrives on neglect - I didn't even realize she was blooming until Gareth dragged me out in the backyard to see her today.

By the way - to give you a hint to what kind of gardener I am? Gareth refers to the backyard as the "lotsadirt."

Huntington Beach CA
Sharp VE-CG30
21 April 2008

another one... )


Oct. 18th, 2007 10:27 pm
senoritafish: (Default)
I made the last recipe on this page for dinner tonight. Very simple and easy, but delicious.

Linguine with Pine Nuts, Arugula, and Parmesan Cheese
(last one on the page)

Except I used penne instead of linguine and we didn't have pine nuts, so I toasted some pumpkin seeds we had on hand instead (as a matter of fact, I notice the preceding recipe has pumpkin seeds as well). I don't get it very often, but I really like arugula. I only discovered it a few years ago in a salad mix, and kept searching out the leaves that tasted so different. Although it's funny, I keep seeing it described as pungent and peppery, but it tastes kind of nutty to me.

It's supposed to be really easy to grow, but I haven't tried it yet.
senoritafish: (Shiny!)
L's pics 233

Again, neighbor's yards I'd love to get mine resembling.

Close-up of kangaroo paws... )
senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)
(backdated from May)
MLH Memorial Garden Tour

This is an annual self-guided tour through private gardens in Orange County and Long Beach. It used to be run by the owner of a neat little garden center to raise money for a women's shelter where she had once had to take refuge herself. She passed away several years ago, but so many people were inspired by her work, her friends continue to organize the tour. It's really neat to be able to see some people's backyards - you'd never know how gorgeous they are from the street - especially the one above, a tiny garden behind an apartment building in downtown Long Beach.

A few more... )
senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)
My garden club's Flower show was last Saturday; if you'd like a look.

I didn't have much to enter as my yard is pretty empty right now. My single and only rosebush was actually blooming so I took one of those; my everpresent Thai Queen basil (that I thought was an annual when I bought it, and it's stayed there through all kinds of neglect for about three years now); a few lemons - our tree had some really nice ones recently; and a branch from our Japanese maple. For arrangements, Carole had people sign up for particular sections, so we knew there'd be enough in each category - there have to be at least four or it can't be judged. I signed up for the tea tray (used to be a table setting, but we've scaled it back the last few shows), and a small arrangement. I'm always amazed I get anything at these - even though I know it's recognized as a legitimate art form, floral design is not my forte' and I always feel like some kind of poser throwing flowers into a vase. But both my arrangements got first place for their sections! I was flabbergasted! Not only that but maple branch got a blue ribbon and the lemons got an award of merit - I can take no credit for these - the trees did it all on their own. The rose and the basil each got a second.

The kids each did an arrangement too - there were a bunch of kid's entries last year, but they were the only ones this time, they each got a ribbon too.

pics... )


Apr. 7th, 2007 07:26 pm
senoritafish: (perfect TV mom)

Angus decided we needed to make some lemonade, so we checked the old tree in the backyard, and found some very nice lemons. It can usually be counted on for a few all year round.

Oh yes, and Avalon and Bear-Bear helped.

lemon squeezer... )
senoritafish: (0__0)
Even if you're not a Trek fan, this is pretty amaizeing ... )
senoritafish: (Default)
Did I say I before that I don't get sick that often? Well, when I do, it likes to hang around a good long time as revenge I suppose. I have had this sore throat and stuffy ears going on three weeks now. It seems to come and go; one day it'll fade and feel like it's going away, then I'll take a nap and wake up hardly able to swallow. It shifts from side to side, too, so I don't think this is post nasal drip. One of my co-workers got a similar run-around from her doctors - "Oh, you have a sore throat..." until she made them give her a test for strep, which, of course, came back positive. Then they told her, well, the drugs don't do much good unless you get them within the first couple of days, so you just have to suffer though. One of our sci-aides had tonsillitis about a month ago, but I don't think my symptoms have been that bad. So is it even worth going back? Blech.

A busy weekend despite it. I left early Friday so I could help set up for our flower show at the senior center, and borrowed Pete and Ian's abalone shell display and a scientific poster on using reserves to conserve abalone populations, plus a rockfish poster and various other literature from work for an educational display. We got all the tables arranged, I set up the Department table, and we got the tables covered with paper. We included a section for children's arrangements this year, which the kids were kind of excited about, so after I got home, the kids and I went shopping for flowers and some notecard paper for the computer (I didn't have any plants for the plant sale, so my contribution was putting some of my fish pictures on notecards; I made four sets and and an assortment of individuals). We checked out the garden center at OSH to see if they had any cut flowers; they didn't, but I found a pretty blooming echevarria (hens and chickens), and a funny little sculpture of a frog with a sign ("Free Weeds - You Pick 'Em!) to put on the registration table. We found several bouquets on sale at the grocery store in the same center, but I still spent $40 just on flowers (eek!). Not even any roses!

The kids elected to be gotten up early to do their arrangements, so after I printed my cards we went to bed.

Saturday was show day. I got up at 5:00 and as soon as it was light, looked around my yard to see if there was anything I could enter - I had an idea but who knows if the plant will be cooperating the day of the show? Luckily, the freesias were opening, the hawthorne hedge still has a ton of blooming branches, some sweet alyssum, and there were exactly three violet blooms. The Siam Queen basil, which I thought was an annual when I planted it, is now a three year old bush with a radius of four feet, and after hunting around among all the spent blooms I found a branch in decent shape. Popped them into their green bottles, and threw some of the cut flowers into my fish mug and a teapot for my two arrangements. Guh. Design is not my strong point. Then I went to get the kids up to do theirs. Angus and Avalon got up, but Gareth stumbled out to the dining room, glared at me for moment, then turned around and went back to bed. I had had John get the box of my grandmother's vases out of the garage. Avalon picked one, and Angus decided to do two (he figured he would do one for Gareth, I guess). I trimmed stems and let them put them in the vases.

I spent the morning putting everyone's entries into the computer, during which several people asked me, "What's the purpose of doing that?" Well, so we know who entered what and how many were in each category, and we have an idea what kind of space we need next year. Or that's the idea, anyway. It's always a scramble getting everyone's entries in the right place so everything is in the right category before the judges come. I barely had a chance to get my stuff out there after I was done typing in everyone else's. Funny, it's always a problem getting people to commit to doing arrangements for certain categories, because if there aren't three entries in it, it can't be judged as a category. For one category, only three people had committed, but there wound up being 14 entries(!), necessitating a bunch of last minute rearranging. I did a place setting (on a tray) and an arrangement in a mug, and I wound up putting it in the wrong place. Since it was a "cup" I put it with the tea cup arrangements, but I forgot there was a size limit of 8" all the way around, and it was way bigger than that.

We had a short break while the judges were doing their stuff, so I went home and got the kids ready to go - John had to do something at Jerry's so they had to come with me. Meanwhile, Beth called and I had a chat with her, and when I was done I looked at the clock and realized "ack, we're late - and I have to bring the music!" Turned out the judges had just left, so we weren't too bad. Heh, I slipped music from Crowded House, Wolf's Rain and Escaflowne soundtracks, and Stan Rogers into the mix, as well as Brent Spiner singing show tunes (Old Yellow Eyes Is Back) and any other mellow stuff I could lay my hands on. All the elderly ladies seemed to think it was ok.

One of the other members had entered some arrangements for her grandchildren and neighbor children. It turned out Avalon's got first place in the children's section; someone told me the judges had gone on and on how the colors perfectly matched the container and there was a nice height variation, etc. One of Angus's got an honorable mention, and the other, it turned out the vase leaked - there was a big puddle on the paper towel all around it. Gareth got upset that he had not done one; he claimed I had not woken him up, and had no memory of even getting out of bed, so Angus told him he had made one for him - it mollified him a little.

I got a second place for my tray arrangement (although there were only three anyway); my dad just gave me a bosun's pipe out of the blue a month or so ago, that I wanted to include, but the kids misplaced it. The judges liked my other arrangement, too, with the colors and container fitting the theme, but I'd put it in the wrong category so they couldn't award it anything. The sweet alyssum and the freesias didn't win anything (didn't expect them to), but I got blue ribbons for the hawthorne and the basil, so that was nice. The violets did also, but I think only because their competion was not in a regulation green bottle (btw, Jaegermeister is about the only thing that comes in tiny green glass bottles any more, that we've been able to find - everything else in in plastic). They also liked the Marine Resource management display I'd set up, and gave it a special education ribbon.

The kids stayed with me for a couple of hours, although of course the boys were fairly bored after they'd seen everything they were interested in. We had a bit to eat from the refreshments (and a six foot sandwich someone donated), then Gareth played games on my phone. Angus was tired, and somehow managed to fold his lanky body up in a ball on one of the uncomfortable chairs and fell asleep; I don't know how he even managed it and it can't have been too comfortable. Avalon was in her element - talking to everyone who'd pause for a moment to listen to her. Once I heard a small voice singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" over the room's speakers and turned to find someone had turned on the microphone on the small stage at one side of the room; she was all ready to try out for American Idol.

I didn't get to take pictures of everything in detail like I did at the last flower show - I was keeping track of the kids until John got there, and what pictures I did take, I seem to have had the macro setting on half the time, so many of my regular pics are slightly blurry. Grrr. I'll have to ask Carole about her pictures. I was making my way around the room, thinking I still had an hour, when suddenly Linda announced "Well, I guess we'd better start taking everything apart..." It was only three o'clock, but they figured the traffic had slowed down enough that we should start putting everything away. By the time, I got to the specimens, half of them were gone. I'd told John not to come back until 4:00, and when I called home, Dad had gone to the pharmacy. We've only got the one car working right now so I was going to have wait until he got back. Luckily, I didn't have to wait too long - a good thing since we had the whole show completely torn down by fifteen minutes after the show was supposed to have ended. Carole would have offered me a ride, but her minivan was jam-packed full - she must do half the arrangements in the show, and a good portion of the specimens.

Went home and collapsed. I do think these things are fun, but they're a bit stressfull. Most of us get very little sleep the night before. As Natalie (our now president) said to me, "I hate doing these things. If Carole weren't the flower show chairman anymore, it wouldn't happen at all."
senoritafish: (Default)
If you live in the Orange County, California area and you'd like something free to do on Saturday...

The Huntington View Garden Club is presenting a spring flower show. It's free and we'll also be having a plant sale and baked goods.

"By the Sea..."
11:00am - 4:00pm
Horticulture and Design
Open to the Public
Free Admission
Rodgers' Senior Center
1706 Orange Ave. (corner of 17th and Orange in Downtown HB)
Huntington Beach CA

Hope we see some of you drop by!

(xposted to [ profile] oc and [ profile] gardening)
senoritafish: (Grrrrr!)
My garden club is trying to get back in the habit of having an annual flower show (if you missed it last year, here are ton of photos ). We traditionally have them in the fall to avoid the overly booked spring weekends when anyone and everyone in gardening has some sort of event. However, last fall we had a lack of facilities; the mobile home park whose clubhouse we usually use was having its own logistical problems in getting some building work done, and there was a space of some months where we couldn't use the building at all - we even had to have meetings at members houses. Carole inquired at a bunch of places, but all of them charged a steep fee, often per hour. We're a small club with a fairly small budget, so those were just not options. The October date came and went without a place to have it, so it was finally decided we should have it in early spring before all the major garden activity starts (March 26).

Finally, someone suggested the Senior Center only a few blocks from my house (a place I've been trying to get my dad to check out for quite a while), and it turns out that as long as it's open to the public and they can publish it as part of their programs, we can use it for free! Yay! Hopefully, it will inspire members of the public to enter as well.

So I was in charge of making the booklet with all the rules and categories for entry. I got most of it done in September when we were still going to have the show in October. However, since it's now in spring instead of fall, the lists of cut specimens had to be changed to plants that are blooming then - a lot more than there were previously. I got all the changes done Sunday, but since my stupid version of Word is the previous to the most current, it does not have the option that allows printing as a folded booklet - i.e. if you have it set to print two pages per landscaped sheet, the print feature will put them in the proper order, so you can just fold it in half after printing (a feature that WordPerfect had in version 7, and they're up to, what, 12 now?) I formatted it at work where I do have the proper version, and since we wanted to distribute them at the meeting that night, at lunchtime took it to Kinko's to have it copied. It's been a while since I've done this, so I was totally shocked at the prices. I was hoping to get nice color copies at least for club members, however, when the girl rang up 25 copies it came to $344!!!! So I told her 25 copies just with color covers and 25 black and white copies; she quoted me around $50; still high, imho. When I went to pick them up after work, I looked through my box and discovered only 21 copies, just the ones with color covers and no black and white ones at all. I know I repeated myself several times when I ordered, however when I looked at my claim check it just said 20. Grrrr, my fault for not checking.

If I do them next time, hopefully I'll have enough time to print them myself. Even buying a new color cartridge is less than that.
senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)
If you live anywhere near Orange County CA, the 16th Annual Spring Garden Show is at South Coast Plaza at the Crystal Court this weekend. Children's activities, seminars and book signings, plus lots of landscaping demonstrations. It's free!

*Goes to get small people ready to leave*
senoritafish: (multitasking (doing the dishes))
I finally figured out how to use an ftp client, Photoshop's automated picture gallery maker, and a faster connection left me no excuse to finally get this posted. Although, Angus demanded reading from his dinosaur book at the same time, and in showing me a pretend "raptor egg" (actually a chicken egg), accidentally squeezed it too hard, and squished it right in my lap. Wonderful.

Despite that, the results:

My garden club's flower show, which took place at the beginning of October. Warning - may require a bit of scrolling, although if you use Full Screen on your browser maybe not as much - and I went a bit crazy taking pictures, so you may not have the patience to look at all of them. I liked the vertical layout better, but the only choice was a slideshow, which I did not like.
senoritafish: (merry chris-moose!)
Cat quiz... )

I have potting soil and two hellebores (Christmas or Lenten rose) I got in the mail from Park Seed several weeks ago that are going to croak if I don't repot them) and several varieties of bulbs from Dutch Gardens last week (including some Jetfire Daffodils, which Gareth picked since they seem to be named after a Transformer). I also have some Italian Pansy seeds but I think I'll wait to start them and maybe share some with my garden club. I am going to go put them in pots and/or the ground before it gets dark, so I can say I accomplished something today.

We've dragged out the Christmas ornaments, but this place is such a dump, I don't know where I'm going to put anything. The plan is to get a tree tonight. John is thinking Home Depot, and IKEA has cheap trees that come with a coupon, and after the holidays they will mulch your tree if you bring it back (and actually hand you a bag of mulch to take home). I dunno tho'; the city will compost trees if you put them out with a week or two after New Year's and I think I'd rather support a mom and pop place. The only problem with this scenario is that we have been known to leave our tree up sometimes until Martin Luther King Jr. Day (once it was almost Valentine's Day).
senoritafish: (Do the Aquaman Butt-Dance!)
If you'd like something to do today and are anywhere near Huntington Beach, Orange County, California, my garden club is having a flower show and plant sale.

Sea Aira Mobile Home Park Clubhouse
Warner Ave. near the corner of Springdale & Warner
(Use the west entrance, closest to Springdale)
Open to the public 11:00 - 4:00

Come see my 80 lb pumpkin and lots of pretty flowers and other garden stuff! :)


senoritafish: (Default)

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