Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Olive season - the denial continues.

Since I declared it the year of summer, I thought, why not also declare it olive season! Doesn't that just sound wonderful? And so with that, I announce the official commencement of Olive Season in the PNW.  That is to say, today I harvested my first ever olive.  You're likely thinking I have completely lost my mind and all touch with reality. I can neither can confirm nor deny such allegations.  But has that ever stopped me?

So, I should preface the 2012 olive harvest with a word of caution. Don't get too excited. But you'd have to understand the sheer joy of finding these two pepper corn sized leccino olives in a state of ripeness(?).  And I should further caution the harvest to say that I accidentally harvested one olive.

But accident or no accident. Ripe or not. Olive harvest officially began today.  And amidst the cold and rain that threatens to cause great amounts of emotional trauma, I found the idealic act of growing olives and the fall olive harvest something to celebrate.  To think that somewhere in the much warmer hillsides of Tuscany, olive farmers will be soon beginning their harvest brought feelings of warmth and happiness to my heart.

The tender green foliage reminded me of the emerald treasure that is fresh olive oil from the press.

And for a moment in time, the world felt much warmer - a very brief moment.

I've sung the praise of my Leccino olive for a while now. And to be completely honest, I approach this olive tree with feelings of nervousness.  I am attached.  You know those zonal denial plants that just have to make it?

I have actually questioned not planting the arbequina olive instead of leccino. My reasoning is that arbequina seems to have slowed down on tender new growth. That and the arbequina is loaded with fruit - mostly pepper corn sized but with the odd legitimate olives.  But I wonder if this early hardening off of arbequina makes it a superior performer, or if leccino is just more vigorous under cooler growing conditions?

I guess that is all apart of the experimental process.  "It's all for the cause," I say.  And as I dream of hillsides with olive groves and the excitement of the 2012 PNW olive harvest, I find joy.

And it is with that sense of joy that I am happy to announce OLIVE SEASON! (it sounds warm!)

Friday, 19 October 2012

I have the best friends!

I just wanted to give this Friday post as a thank you to my friend Becca. Recently she was in San Fransisco and like a true plant lover made her way over to Flora Grubb Gardens (soo jealous!). It is a life long dream of mine to visit Flora Grubb.  I might have even given her directions to hug Flora for me.  So you can only imagine the excitement on my face when Becca brought me two bags with Flora Grubb written on them.  And the excitement continued when I realized the two bags contained goodies from Flora Grubb!

Check out this beautiful container.  I love how it evokes the essence of ocean! It's like some sort of epic sea shell.  What Becca doesn't know is how it goes perfectly with my manta ray pillows. (I temporarily filled it with some eucalyptus gunni and eucalyptus parvifolia)

Oh but there was more. She got me a Mini Wally Woolly Pocket! I love it so much! What do you think I should plant in it? I was thinking of going pure tropical with some sort of epic bromeliad.

And look at this little treasure that came home from Flora Grubb! I am so excited to get this rooted and planted up. Maybe in my new ocean inspired container?

So thank you thank you thank you Becca! For more Planta Claus happiness, head on over to danger's blog to see more Friday gift giving happiness.


I didn't think the manta ray pillows would be of much intrigue... but then again, they intrigued me enough to impulse buy.  So here they are... well, one of them.

When I bought the pillows the store clerk said something along the lines of: "Oh. You like these?"  I still don't know whether or not I'm missing something.  But to me, they are just swell! Although that could have something to do with my life long dream (one of many) of studying manta rays and sea turtles for conservation and marine animal awareness.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

fall shmall foliage follow-up!

Thats right! Fall Shmall!! It's the year of summer and I for one choose to live in complete denial (and would you expect any less of me?!). But for real, who needs fall colour when you can have palm trees and tropical happiness. I know, I know, many people have romanticized visions of fall leaves, sweaters, scarves and all things comfy cozy.  I like cozy too, but don't palm trees give you the same warm fuzzies deep down in your soul!?

Echeverias have taken on some new colour. Check out the slightly pinkish tinge around the edges. Thats autumn colour Louis style.

Or how about the way yucca 'bright star' gets slightly pinkish on the tips after a few chilly evenings.  This is a change I can accept.

And then there are those treasures that don't need any change. They provide all the happiness one could dream of just the way they are!  Again, fall shmall!!!

But I decided early on that autumn is an acceptable term for the changes that occur this time of year. Grasses are showing the glory of a long season of sunshine.  And in that way, autumn becomes the culmination of the happiness of summer.

And with that, I feel it entirely appropriate to enjoy all the summer loving happy plants that reflect my love of warmth and sunshine.

Brugmansia is still growing strong. I love the glowing foliage.

With the exception of some leaves and sad hostas, it's actually hard to tell what season we are in.  Some people might think it sad, but to me, there is one to celebrate - any guess what that might be?

And in the pursuit of foliar happiness I discovered this amazing flush on my scheffster. It's almost ghostly!!!

These echeverias are soon to be lifted from the outside world. Container shopping was a success and so I will be sure to give some updates in the next while.

So happy fall shmall year of summer foliar happiness follow-up! For more head on over to Pam's epic blog Digging.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Canadian Thanksgiving.

It's Thanksgiving day in Canada and I wanted to take the time to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I have so many things to be thankful for today. There are the obvious ones(yet often taken for granted) like how blessed I am to live in a beautiful country where we are so blessed. I am thankful for friends and family, for health, safety, freedom, *sunshine, and of course, palm trees!!!!!!! I'm sorry, I had to throw that one in there.

With so many things to be thankful for - like the extended summer season - I hope everyone takes time to be thankful on this fine Canadian Thanksgiving.

And lastly, thank you for all my garden blogger friends for showing me such warmth and kindness. You're the best.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

I gave in...

Recently I've been a bad garden blogger. Sadly, I have found myself quite sick these past few days.  For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to work like a mad man (60 plus hours per week), burning both ends of the candle so to speak.  But will that stop me? No way! So if you're thinking I've thrown in the garden blogging towel, "wrongo!"

The giving in was the type in which I give into my pressing plant lusts and desires.  If you have read my posts over the past year, you will know my heart longs for planting cordylines and phormiums. I lament the death of some of my most treasured Kiwi friends and I have resisted re-planting (only slightly resisted).  But when phormium were on clearance I couldn't resist. I just had to buy one... or two.  And being that this is the year of summer, what better time than now?  To tell you the truth, this Octaugust weather has furthered the year of summer cause. And it has all culminated in me planting phormiums! YAY!

I went for my beloved dark purple ones...

Sorry for the bad cell phone pics but my camera batteries were all dead! I planted them close together for instant gratification. The two flax together are now the size of one nice sized clump. I hear they hate dry wind - maybe that has been my reason for past failure? Tucked away in the shelter of a palm and rhodo might just be my key to success. I'll take nicer pics when I charge the ole batteries.