While my grapes are flourishing in SoCal, my vacation garden up here in the San Francisco Bay Area is reduced to some herbs on the window sill and one Aerogarden 3 planter in the kitchen. Of course, the planter has "outriders" or whatever you want to call the little plants I put around the AG3 to soak up the illumination from those expensive grow lights and the attention that the plants in the grow holes get.
OK, I went away for a whole week (gosh!) and my friend called to say we had a nasty frost and all the plants are dead and brown. Poor waist_high fig cutting now 3 years old may be a goner, as it almost died of thirst when the automatic watering system went off last summer. Then it started leafing out and was hurt by a December frost. Then it started leafing out again and now this. I haven't even gone over to look.
Here, 6 miles away, the Camelias are opening up and looking gorgeous again and we have hundreds if ripe lemons.
I cut these twigs off a local mulberry tree which bore what I thought was particularly good fruit last spring. In October I took lengths about 8" long and removed all the leaves from them, putting the down end in a glass of water filled about 1/2 way to the top of the twigs, and leaving this in a not very bright place. About 6 weeks later, when I checked to make sure the water had not all evaporated, I was delighted to see little leaves starting to form about 1/4 way from the top.
So I cut off the top and drilled holes in the bottom of a SmartWater bottle, filled it with hydroton clay "rocks" stuck the twigs into the rocks, then nested the bottle into a larger bottle 1/2 full of water. will add a picture of my contraption when they start growing roots and leafing out some more.
This was how I started a beautiful fig tree a couple years ago. Mulberry trees are rather messy, so I am not sure how good an idea it is to try to grown one indoors in water, but it promises to be a fun experiment.
The Sprout Farm is my favorite way to grow sprouts. In addition to admiring the little plants, all I have to do is sprinkle seeds in the trays and then pour water in often enough so the reservoir does not run dry.
This hanging planter is made from morning glory vines. It hasn't shrunk yet, nor do I have any idea what it will look like after it dries out. The back yard yielded about 40 lbs of vine stems which we rolled up like a carpet and lifted out on a bedsheet. Before going to the trouble of cleaning and harvesting the stems I wanted to see if I could make a basket at all and if it would be an enjoyable activity. It was fun and presumably my next basket will be better.
So tomorrow I will start stripping the leaves off my big pile of stems and coiling them to dry for later use.
Here is what the bottom of the basket looked like at the beginning.
Here are the live vines taking over my yard before we pulled them out.
When traveling one of the things I love most is visiting botanical gardens. Recently, I remembered that having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 40 odd years, I somehow managed never to have visited the wonderful garden in Tilden Park atop the Berkeley hills.
It has charming paths and bridges and stepping stones going up and down and around the attractions which include a tropical rain forest, among other habitats.
I think I could spend a whole week in Tilden and not be bored. On the way up you might want to stop and see the Berkeley Rose garden as well. Of course, the flowers there are most prolific in May, but I took this photo in August: