Sunflower Grove–2019!!

In keeping with a tradition of sorts I once again document the start of another Sunflower Season in our gardens.  The blooms from a 100 plus plants are starting to strut their stuff…

The Verbena (a.k.a. Purple Tops) are struggling to compete with the Sunflowers for attention from the bees and butterflies

A few Sunflower closeups for your consideration…

Faces of October!!

Summer is now a memory and October is in full force. 

I offer these images of a 12 inch sunflower bloom turning to seeds that best expresses the season in our Garden Habitat…

The design work was a cooperative project with the birds who created the eyes–my index finger finished their “Art” project.

A Great Russian Honey Bear Sunflower Story…

Every year I seem to go a bit over the top with sunflower varieties in the gardens.  This year is no exception.  However, I will not bore you with another annual set of photos from the sunflower groves.

But there is one sunflower that I wish to bring to your attention.

At first we thought it would be a standard Great Russian bloom.  But this plant had its own ideas.  My best guess is it is another hybrid created by the bees from last year’s plantings.  For now I am calling it a Great Russian Honey Bear.  It is only half the height of a typical Russian but the bloom is huge.

It started with the bloom opening on August 3rd…

By August 5th the bloom was turning into a very large Honey Bear…

Following NASA’s lead sending a probe to the Sun I sent my lens to the center of this sunflower bloom…

By August 10th the bloom was 10 inches in diameter—twice the size of any Honey Bear (or any sunflower for that matter) I have ever experienced…

Looks ever so much like a huge powder puff for a clown act…

DISCLAIMER–Any interpretation a reader might make that somehow this story is an oblique reference to current Russian or Russian America political stories—is entirely of their own creation  🙂

The Hazards of Gardening In The ‘Hood…Be Careful Out There

Gardening in the ‘Hood is like gardening elsewhere…except for one additional chore.

If you live in the ‘Hood, you need to perform a daily check of your gardens for trash left by what I will call the “party people.”

They arrive during the afternoon or late evening…engines & mufflers announcing their arrival…


They park, have a quick meal, and throw their trash on the sidewalk or in your garden…

Fast Food Trash

Fast Food Trash

Afterwards, they may quench their thirst with a libation or two…or three…


Some may engage in additional activities…

Syringes & Needle Trash

Syringes & Needle Trash

Each morning you should carefully check on the detritus left by your visitors! The debris field can be quite extensive at times.  It is recommended that you use a trash pickup stick for this purpose. Latex gloves are also a good idea!

Fortunately, most of the trash is disposed of in quick order:

  • The empty beer and liquor bottles obviously go in the Recycle Can
  • Paper and food wrappers likewise go into the Recycle Can

However, the disposal of used condoms and syringes is another matter altogether.  Technically they are bio waste and should be disposed of accordingly. Blue Can or Gray Can?? I can’t decide.  Perhaps, the garbage company will provide Sharps containers and biowaste cans that we can strap to our trees…with signs>>”Used Condoms” and “Used Needles” Emoji


  • To reduce the risk of fire from the many discarded cigarettes keep dead vegetation and leaves under control.
  • To reduce your risk of getting a needle stick from the discarded syringes, use a pickup stick.

In addition, it is advisable to wear heavy gloves while pruning in case you encounter a discarded syringe in a hedge or bush. You don’t want to get a needle stick forcing you to get tested for all kinds of nasty diseases.

Happy Petaluma Gardening!!

P.S. Perhaps the Petaluma Garden Club has additional suggestions!!

See you at the Petaluma Arts & Garden Show!

What the…$&#&$$!…in our garden

OK…so I am out in the garden this morning doing a quick check.  I noticed  a “weed” and gave it a quick pull.

Instead of it coming out of the ground with roots dangling, something else was firmly attached to the plant…

A Walnut?

A Walnut?

To my eye, it was a walnut and it was sprouting…


My only explanation is that there are a lot of crows in the area and they regularly drop their food items on the street to crack them open. Perhaps this was the result of a bad shot on the crows part.  In any event, as it managed to make it this far, I decided to give it a chance in a small container…

A future tree?

A future tree?

If it turns into a walnut tree, perhaps I will donate it to Petaluma’s Walnut Park…EmojiEmojiEmoji 

Spring Has Sprung…

…and fortunately, my back has not!

A sure sign of the season is the inordinate amount of time I have been spending in our gardens and the garden shops.
Somehow, I managed to keep a camera handy during all of this activity and created a macro photo essay of a “mysterious” growth in our back garden…

For a complete slideshow and explanation of this “mysterious” (Did it really come from Mars?) object: See  Fotos…Humongus Fungus

Note that I resisted (although the temptation was strong) to call it “FujiFilm Fotos…Fungus Humongus.”