Sunday, March 19, 2017

Free is the Best!

Back in 2010, I got some free compost from the City of El Cerrito on Compost Giveaway Day.  This year I noticed the city is giving away compost for an entire week starting yesterday until March 24th. This morning I brought a bucket with me to get my compost.  I will try to go get some more if I can find another bucket to put it in. I love that earthy smell!  Cracus loves it, too. He tried to eat it as I was trying to add it to the base of the mulberry tree. I think he actually ate a little. He likes to eat dirt occasionally.

While walking Cracus, I came across a patio umbrella stand someone left out on the sidewalk for free. It's a heavy duty one.  Sure it is old, but who cares. It is just going to sit outside and get weathered anyway.   I promptly picked it up with my car after walking Cracus back home. While walking Craucs, I also spotted a cluster of puffballs in the grass on the sidewalk.  I collected all of them in one of the clean poop bags.  I love having these bags handy. They are useful in many ways not just for picking up dog poop. With the exceptional rain volume this year, I have seen plenty of mushrooms while walking Cracus, but this is the first time I found something tasty.

I can't believe I got all these free things on the same day!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Spring Weeding

Before and After

This past winter, we had more rain than average. According to Washington Post, as of February 21st, San Francisco is running nearly 10 inches above average. Everyday I hear from the radio that certain parts of California are now flooding and families are being evacuated.  That's something you rarely hear in California, the state which has endured drought for more than 10 years.   With the excessive rain, the garden is now overgrown with weeds. I like to keep the dog run weed free, so I have been working on it for a couple weekends. The result is obvious as Cracus proudly poses above.

Before and After 

I also like to keep the river rock and mulberry tree area weed free.  I have been working on it for a few weekends now.  Today it is finally clear of sour grass.    There is about another half of the garden that needs to be weeded. More work will continue as the weather starts to feel like spring and flowers start to bloom.

More to go on the left

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Organic Dino Kale

On my way to work a couple days ago, I noticed one of my neighbors was giving away a bunch of "organic dino kale" in his/her driveway.  It was written on the pavement in chalk, "free organic dino kale" with arrows pointing to the plants. They were whole plants with roots and dirt attached to them. I was walking to work, so I didn't have time to take any.  I told myself that if they were still available on my way home, I would take a few. A few hours later, as I walked home for lunch, they were still there so I picked a couple of them with less dirt. I put them in a bucket of rainwater in the yard for the time being.

Today I finally have some time to work in the garden, so I planted them in one of the sunny spots. I had clear out all the weeds and dead plants a few weeks ago. It was the perfect spot, and Cracus of course had to check them out. I think he would eat it if I handed him some kale leaves. I clipped off some kale leaves so the newly planted plants wouldn't be too top heavy.  The kale leaves were chopped up and added to my big pot of combination korma curry for dinner.

I finally have some vegetables in the garden!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Planting Blue Ginger

One of my neighbors spent a week in Hawaii for Christmas. She brought me a little Blue Ginger to grow since it has blue-violet color flowers, which is my favorite color.  After reading more about it on Dave's Garden, I decided to grow it indoors since all my orchids seem to be dying off.  Blue Ginger blooms all year round, and it can reach 6 to 8 feet tall!  I am sure I'll be trimming it so it won't become a giant plant inside of the house. I can't wait to watch it grow!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Freezing Cold!

2016 has been an unusual year in many ways. Weatherwise we had a lot more rain than the past years. According to, in October this year we had 200-300 times more rain than the typical October average!  This December has also been very cold. The temperature has dropped to low 30's Fahrenheit in the Bay Area for this entire week.

My immediate concerns are the plants particularly the young mulberry tree and the passion fruit vine. I can't bring them inside at night. All I can do is cover them up and hope for the best.  On the first night the temperature dropped to the 30's, the top tip of mulberry tree got frost damage despite being covered up in a big plastic bag. The passion fruit is holding up better.  I have not seen any damage to it.  On the second freezing night, I covered the mulberry tree with 2 big plastic bags to make sure all parts were covered.

Unfortunately this morning I found the bags being blown away from the tree!  It was freezing and crazy windy last night! The wind had completely blown the bags away from the tree despite all the rocks I used as weights on the bags. Some of the leaves on the tree are turning black. That is not a good sign. I can't wait for this cold temperature to pass. The yard is now a complete mess with mud and covered in fallen leaves and overgrown weeds.