Sunday, February 15, 2009

February Bloom Day

So apparently there is a tradition (well just two years old now, which in blogging circles means a tradition) of posting pictures of what is blooming in your garden on the 15th of every month. I say apparently because only recently have I started perusing the garden blogs out there and so I'm still getting the lay of the land so to speak. But I find it a lovely tradition started by Carol at May Dreams Garden blog and would like to give it a go, despite the fact that I don't consider this a gardening blog, just a sorta, sometimes wannabe gardening blog. And to confound the situation even further, for this go around I'm not even going to show case my own garden (not because I don't have anything blooming - I do! at rough count there are 7 things in bloom) but I went on a walk recently on Mt. Davidson, my local open space, and thought I would show what's blooming in a semi-native urban park in the middle of San Francisco. Plus that's what I have pictures of as the middle of the month approached (these were taken on the 9th). So here you go and sorry I don't know the names, let alone the latin names or most of these. And my knowledge of natives vs. exotics while not non-existent, leaves much to be desired. If you recognize something pipe up! I'm just speculating on many of these.

Something in the nightshade family.
small 3

I have no idea. They looked like they had been hit with a yellow spray paint can from a distance.
small 9

Perhaps a native Vaccinum (V. ovatum?)
small 8

A ribes - R. sanguineum?
small 4

Natives? Exotics? The pink one? The yellow one?
small 10

Three flowers - the pink flower again, plus something legumacea like and a blackberry flower.

I saw perhaps 3 other plants blooming that I didn't get pictures of. This was definitely a casual perusal, not an exhaustive search. But here are a few more pictures without flowers (that I can see) but I like them nonetheless.
small 7

small 6

small 5

small 2

small 1

And one last one - the view from Mt. Davidson of my house. Can you see it?

View From Here

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What I Would Make If I Had Time

I was flipping through a Gardener's Supply catalog before tossing it into the blue bin thinking I might find something of interest if I was going to be starting seeds (which I'm not) but stumbled across two items that were interesting. Interesting to make but not interesting enough to buy (sorry Gardener's Supply). I think they've probably been carry these items forever, but this is the first time they actually caught my eye. The first is a Garden Gear Organizer. Like so:

This would come in very handy for me. We live in an attached house (think townhouse although nobody ever calls them that in San Francisco so I can't tell you if there is a subtle difference between a real town house and what we live in). So no side yards and an itty bitty (although it feels spacious to me by city standards- approx. 30'x30') back yard. All my gardening supplies are stored in the garage and I bring them into the backyard via a hallway. However, I'm always forgetting something and then go running back into the garage to pull out my gloves or trowel or pruning shears, etc. I could hang one of these in my hallway and have it just inside the back door. Currently, things have a way of making their way out of the garage and then hanging out just inside and outside the door, so something to stash the small things would be nice. Plus, and this is the best part, I'm pretty sure I could actually sew one o these things myself. When you could conceivably actually make something, it starts seeming a lot more handy :)

The other item is a "Living Wall":

Basically a planter that you can hang on a vertical surface. I would love to have something like this for some of my external walls, either in a central patio/courtyard or on the north side of my house (a.k.a. the backyard). A way to green up some space with an tiny footprint. Some of the house plants that survive here when grown outdoors might work well in that we know they do ok in pots and can take the low light conditions of indoors (so north facing walls are a similar situation). The only difference being that instead of 70 degrees, the more typical temperature is 50 to 60 degrees, although being next to the house it would get the protection of the coldest nights. And I almost think I could make one of these, despite having little woodworking experience.

But for now I think both of these are going to be filed under if I ever have the time. So I'll let you know how they work out in about twenty years :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February Goings On

Grrr, accidentally posted over an old post! Reposting to get it right.

February Check In

  • On my needles: EC Skirt. An easy knit I can do without using my frontal lobe, so should go fairly quickly.

  • On my spindle: Almost done with the final (third) play of coopsworth so I should be able to start plying soon. However, I also purchased a new spindle! Woot! It's a Maggie 0.8 oz (from the top of my head so don't quote me) hi top with a pretty curved top. I'm working on some Targhee on it. Pictures soon.

  • On my nightstand: I've got scores of half finished books lying around but nothing has really grabbed me lately exceptThe Noble Eightfold Path by Bhikkhu Bodhi. I've read it before but its oh so intense and worth reading scores of times.

  • Screentime: Connections a BBC series (10 episodes in 1978, and 30 more in the 90's) takes an "interdisciplinary approach to the history of science and invention and demonstrates how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events built off one another in an interconnected way to bring about particular aspects of modern technology". Only on episode two but so digging it. Geeking out big time!

  • In my garden: I'm working on removing a few large roots from one of my beds and then lining it with gopher proofing. It makes me nervous to cut up the roots of the tree, but I think we'll be ok. I'm also resetting the raised bed and starting to dig a trench for my irrigation system (to run beneath the garden path). I've signed up at the Garden Registry, which is tracking edible/Victory gardens in the city. It looks like an interesting app, although I'm wishing it had social networking capabilities.

  • In my studio: Nothing but a big ole mess :) My son really needs some more pants, so perhaps soon, I'll break down and clean up, get organized and sew.

  • In the kitchen: Nothing but a clean kitchen :) Haven't been able to get out to farmer's market lately, since the household has been running on a p.m. schedule lately and I think most markets are winding down early afternoon.

  • This and that: Nothing here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I recently finished these infant longies (link is for Ravelry users only) (longies being wool pants that cover a cloth diaper) for a friend (who had this blessingway). Her son is still a bit too small to wear them so no "sportin" pictures yet. I love these. I hadn't meant to fall in love with them, but I did. I love the colors and and love the stripes and I did a wee bit of stranded work on them as well. The stripes and stranded work are more or less random (or random within a mental set of rules I made up, but then as I went down the legs I realized I was running out of green so started using more brown and blue. And if you look closely you'll see some snafus.). I wasn't sure how to handle the short rows with stripes, so I just included the short rows within one stripes. This pictures shows the back of the pants and how the two green fat green stripes on the butt get wider.
They are the picky pants pattern and I chose to use a seed stitch cuff, happy/dreamy sigh. I used Cascade Yarns Pastaza (50% llama, 50% wool) which was a joy to work with. The orangey/brown color is actually red and yellow fibers blended together so that from a distance it looks brown (see color 071 here). So subtle but made me happy while I was knitting it. Its a single ply so I hope it wears well enough and isn't too pilly.