Johnny Jumps Up!


Aka Viola tricolor, this darling flower reseeds itself bringing joy to the garden. I had nothing but Johnny’s all over the yard a few years ago then they disappeared. A kind soul sent me 4 packets of seeds when I couldn’t find them on any of the local seed shelves. So now…they are back! Love their little faces. (yes, this photo did focus on the background and not this sweet little “thinking hard” face.)

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Blossoms Greetings

Raindrops, wet

promises of life

spring forth from the Mother.


Apricot bud best

After a delightful evening of rain checking on the 3 trees we planted out from years in pots. Here is the apricot tree, her budding blossom magnified by raindrops.

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Ribes—glutinosum and aureum

Update on the little glutinosum bud…look what lovely cascades she is providing.  And the little ribes arueum which, yes, has started to leaf out on it’s little 4 inch self.

I caught a shot of a bumble bee at the glutinosum cluster just days after the buds had opened, but the bee was so active it was just a blur.

Bumble bee at ribes glut.

Ribes glutionsum and bumble bee blur

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Ribes — Flowering Currant

Ribes glutinosum bud

ribes glutinosum – pink flowering currant

Ribes is one of the first plants to flower, bringing the bees out of their hibernation. I planted three of these from our local Prickett’s Nursery back in September. You can see the flower buds are forming now…I took this photo last week and today I can actually see the pink of the petals showing through.

Not only a bee and bird friendly plant the ribes species are, once established, drought tolerant  and enjoy living under oaks… which pretty much are the conditions they are going to live in.

You’re looking at the glutinosum (Calif Native) variety. I picked up an aureum variety from High Country Gardens which is much slower to bud out so far.

Thank you @PermaGoddess for so much garden inspirations from Bealtaine Cottage. I believe that we may have restrictions on the more commmonly edible varieties (nigrum, rubrum), however the fruit of this species is edible as well. They will do for fulfilling my garden goal of the year, planting for the bees and the birds and Mother Nature. 

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The large leaves are the beginnings of Honesty aka Lunaria annua.  Peeking in around it are what I believe to be new growth of the Herb Robert aka Geranium robertianum. 

The large leaves are the beginnings of Honesty aka Lunaria annua.  Peeking in around it are what I believe to be new growth of the Herb Robert aka Geranium robertianum. 

Watching the garden emerge from midwinter is so fascinating. I’ve planted a few seeds and bulbs, but watching what nature provides on her own is more exciting than throwing seeds out on the ground and seeing what comes up.

Honesty was one of the seeds I brought back to the garden and gave to Dale and said…”make it grow”. He was always able make the magic happen.


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Old to new again.

lichen on almond_previewLichen growing on the old almond tree that Pa planted here at Eveton, Lush and plump with the rains.  The fence next to it fell in the heavy winds that came before the fires this year. I think this old tree was holding it up against previous onslaughts.

The tree has beautiful blossoms, but large oaks that share the land block out much of the sun and what grows under them fights for the diminishing sunlight.

I’ll prune this dear thing back a bit more and try to get some shape to it without completely overwhelming her efforts to survive. It’s her long time presence I’ve become accustomed to and her blossoms because the squirrels always get the nuts :).

Almond blossoms

almond blossoms 2007


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Elizabeth Zimmermann, my knitting guru.

I thought I’d take a moment to talk about my knitting guru, Elizabeth Zimmermann.

I recently found this little clip from one of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s knitting videos titled Knitting Workshop. She is the complete reason that I knit.

I found her book Knitting Without Tears in the mid 1970’s in a unique craft shop in Berkeley titled Straw Into Gold. Since that time I have become an avid but admittedlly traditional knitter.

Her outlook on knitting was unique. A genius engineer, she could make a flat piece of knitting make shapes all on it’s own, without knitting in pieces and sewing things together. She was want to guide you with one hand and push you out the door of independent thinking with the other.

She made you think for yourself, laugh at your failures, picking you up with a gentle guidance that is the most endearing attribute of her teaching skills.

Elizabeth’s books were written by herself admittedly because she found that most of the publications were just doing it all wrong. Frustrated with knitting magazines that insisted on taking her instructions and shoving them into the new wave box of knitting in pieces and sewing things up like a garment, Elizabeth decided to publish on her own. She started with a little 2 paged mimeograph newsletter.  This little publication titled Wool Gathering, soon developed into a little digest which is still being published today.  Schoolhouse Press, the company that evolved out of Elizabeth’s publications and love of all things knitting and wool is still alive and well today, being run by her dear daughter Meg Swansen. Meg has carried on the legacy of her mother’s wisdom and added so much more to the world of knitting in her own right. It’s a fabulous family to be a part of, and a great source for one of my favorite knitting wools Unspun Icelandic.  Do check them out and see if you don’t start “thinking for yourself” when it comes to knitting.

Now, let us all take a deep breath and forge on into the future; knitting at the ready.–Elizabeth Zimmermann

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