Posts filtered by tags: Country Mouse[x]


 

Fire and Chaparral - Some Actions

The chaparral below our house, after thinning in February (some of the lower bare area was bare before -- it never recovered from thinning we did some years ago) Readers of this blog will know that I've been hung up on the general recommendation that for fire safety, I must change a closed-canopy chaparral ecosystem (filled with wildlife and protecting the soil) to sparse islands of isolated shrubs (and limbed-up trees) with mulch and wide paths between. This is the third post I've done o...
Tags: Gardening, Fire, San Diego, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Cruz County, Country Mouse, Chaparral


Propagating Trillium ovatum from seed: the experiment begins

Western wake robin (Trillium ovatum) and friends abound along our Santa Cruz trails this year. They bloom from February to June. The flower begins white... And turns pale to deep pink or deep magenta  over time. Trillium ovatum is native to Western North America. They can live fifty years or more -- at least its rhizomes can.  The above ground parts die back each year, so it could be tricky remembering where they are located in a garden. In the wild, it grows in forests, and ...
Tags: Gardening, California, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee, Portland Oregon, Pacific, Santa Cruz, Bruce, Solomon, Trillium, Country Mouse, Propagation, Western North America, De Laveaga Park, Trillium ovatum


Earth Day Blooms in our (Mostly) Native Gardens!

A mature clump of Iris fernaldii (Country Mouse Garden) A little late I know. But better late than not at all. I recently took photos at our respective gardens. I hope you'll enjoy these garden views (which I tend not to do so much) and flower close-ups. Town Mouse Garden in April Note: taken in the evening, which limited my options some... Red fruit of pajaro manzanita, with foothill penstemon in background Ceanothus `Tilden Park` with some monkeyflower in foreground ...
Tags: Garden, Gardening, California, Calfornia, Tansy, Country Mouse, Dudleya, Country Mouse Garden, Salvia, Town Mouse Garden, Mostly Native Gardens, Iris fernaldii Country Mouse Garden, Phacelia Garden


Cutting Back: Part the Second. Being also a gesture towards a book review

And now for something a little bit different: the text outside of captions is verbatim what I just wrote in my journal before sitting to my computer. The partly buried book review is of Leslie Buck's wonderful memori: Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto.Dec 30 2017 6:35 am Saturday      Life is like a leaking sieve, a fishing net with holes and, of course, a boat with growing leaks.      Felt sad taking down that spicebush yesterday and still unsure whether such drastic act...
Tags: Gardening, Japan, Grant, Bush, Leslie, Felt, Country Mouse, Country Mouse special, Bart O Brien, Gerow Reece, Gardens of Kyoto, Gerow Reece Moon, FYI My calligraphy


Cultivating ephemeral beauty in the California native plant garden. Like larkspur, fairy bells, harebell, columbine, houndstongue and...

Ephemerals blooming in my garden today. Aquilegia formosa, western columbine aboveand probably Heuchera maxima, island alum root below.(I've no idea how it got into my garden! but it is pretty - a Channel island's plant.) Ephemeral plants are not what you want as the backbone of your garden. But they do make delightful adornments. And planting local ephemerals enriches the restoration garden tremendously, thickens the texture of what it offers the fauna that go along with a plant communit...
Tags: Gardening, California, Hooker, North Slope, Country Mouse, Propagation, Heuchera, Shade plants


Three brave little plants! Beacons of hope!

I agonize, I cosset, I over-water, I under-fertilize--and worry--and then over-fertilize.And then there are the times I just forget--and usually the moment of remembrance is followed by one of grief-stricken remorse. But not this time! Twas back on April 15 2017 that I took a chance on planting something in the weedy lower north slope. See the flags? My very lovely friend Bonnie had come up that day in April to help in the garden, and we did some triage on the grasses, which had alread...
Tags: Gardening, California, North West, Duncan, Bonnie, Country Mouse


A quick post about slow propagation

How are the seeds doing? "How are the seeds doing?" Hedge asked.That's what I've decided to call the person whose gardening efforts at Jikoki Zen Center I've been helping (one day a month) for the past year or so, because we were talking about hedgerows recently, and it's a nice name. Hedge. Such an odd word. Apparently it comes from old German and Dutch words which all mean -- hedge. Old words, old, unchanging practices.Anyway, I didn't want to disappoint him but I had to:"Actually none ...
Tags: Gardening, UK, California, Emery, Dara, Country Mouse, Propagation, Dara Emery, native California plants, Jikoki Zen Center, Maiathemum, Calscape, Biodynamics, Dennis Mudd, Pete Veilleux


Kids and I Create a Six-Plant Container for a Tiny Paintbrush Seedling

My younger daughter's family are known here as The Squirrels. The young squirrels joined me to day, to create a container in whicha tiny paintbrush (Castilleja affinis) seedling might flourish. Castilleja affinis. This year's solitary seedling!So far anyway... It's been a disappointing year for paintbrush propagation. Few blooms either in the garden or in wild sites nearby. But zero seeds.What did bloom, however, was very lovely... Paintbrush in a container with grass, sedge, co...
Tags: Gardening, Containers, ACORN, Castilleja, Country Mouse, Propagation, Franklin Point, San Mateo County Coastal Paintbrush Castilleja


Country Mouse Garden in Late Fall. Part the First: Cutting Back

Madrone with berries. Did you know they're edible? Not so tasty though, according to me and my two grandkids! Here we are in late fall!  thank Town Mouse for keeping our blog rolling along during my on-line absence. So this is a bit of a fall catch-up.But I want to begin with a small happiness. Yesterday at Jikoji Zen Center where I do some garden work once a month, two cheerful women came offering to join in. I quickly gathered that they were newbies to the whole gardening with natives a...
Tags: Fall, Gardening, Britain, North West, Mediterranean, North East, Capitola, Blinky, Country Mouse, Ms Town Mouse, Jikoji Zen Center, Pool Garden, South Garden, Blinky Blinky, North Bed Pool Garden


Fire and Chaparral - Some Questions

This picture makes it look like our house is up to its decks in chaparral!I chose a dramatic image! Long-time subscribers may note that our blog has taken a break since around early summer. Sorry for our absence. I'm back. I hope. With a theme: wildfire.The recent "Camp Fire" has shocked everyone with is devastation and loss of life. It has killed 88 at last count and obliterated the town of Paradise, which is about 200 miles north of my home. In Southern California, the "Woolsey Fire" in...
Tags: Google, Gardening, California, Wikipedia, Fire, Anna, Malibu, Southern California, Bert, Bewick, Country Mouse, California Chaparral Institute, Chaparral, Chaparral Institute, Bert Wilson, Las Pilitas Nursery


Fire and Chaparral - Some Answers

What's wrong with this picture!Muhlenbergia rigens, deer grass, is  not the best choice of plantnext to a building  in a fire prone area of California.  (The fences adjoining the greenhouse are also problematic. But that's not the topic of this post.) Since my last post (Fire and Chaparral - Some Questions) I've been doing some reading, hand wringing, and hacking at defenseless plants--the ones in obviously wrong places such as slap up against a structure. Digging out the grasse...
Tags: Gardening, California, Gavin Newsom, Southern California, Halsey, CCI, Bert, Santa Cruz County, Country Mouse, California Chaparral Institute, Bert Wilson, CNPS, Fremontia, Suzanne Schettler, Richard Halsey, California Halsey


Fire and Chaparral - Some Answers

What's wrong with this picture!Muhlenbergia rigens, deer grass, is  not the best choice of plantnext to a building  in a fire prone area of California.  (The fences adjoining the greenhouse are also problematic. But that's not the topic of this post.) Since my last post (Fire and Chaparral - Some Questions) I've been doing some reading, hand wringing, and hacking at defenseless plants--the ones in obviously wrong places such as slap up against a structure. Digging out the grasse...
Tags: Gardening, California, Gavin Newsom, Southern California, Halsey, CCI, Bert, Santa Cruz County, Country Mouse, California Chaparral Institute, Bert Wilson, CNPS, Fremontia, Suzanne Schettler, Richard Halsey, California Halsey


Fire and Chaparral - Some Questions

This picture makes it look like our house is up to its decks in chaparral!I chose a dramatic image! Long-time subscribers may note that our blog has taken a break since around early summer. Sorry for our absence. I'm back. I hope. With a theme: wildfire.The recent "Camp Fire" has shocked everyone with is devastation and loss of life. It has killed 88 at last count and obliterated the town of Paradise, which is about 200 miles north of my home. In Southern California, the "Woolsey Fire" in...
Tags: Google, Gardening, California, Wikipedia, Fire, Anna, Malibu, Southern California, Bert, Bewick, Country Mouse, California Chaparral Institute, Chaparral, Chaparral Institute, Bert Wilson, Las Pilitas Nursery


Earth Day Blooms in our (Mostly) Native Gardens!

A mature clump of Iris fernaldii (Country Mouse Garden) A little late I know. But better late than not at all. I recently took photos at our respective gardens. I hope you'll enjoy these garden views (which I tend not to do so much) and flower close-ups. Town Mouse Garden in April Note: taken in the evening, which limited my options some... Red fruit of pajaro manzanita, with foothill penstemon in background Ceanothus `Tilden Park` with some monkeyflower in foreground ...
Tags: Garden, Gardening, California, Calfornia, Tansy, Country Mouse, Dudleya, Country Mouse Garden, Salvia, Town Mouse Garden, Mostly Native Gardens, Iris fernaldii Country Mouse Garden, Phacelia Garden


Cultivating ephemeral beauty in the California native plant garden. Like larkspur, fairy bells, harebell, columbine, houndstongue and...

Ephemerals blooming in my garden today. Aquilegia formosa, western columbine aboveand probably Heuchera maxima, island alum root below.(I've no idea how it got into my garden! but it is pretty - a Channel island's plant.) Ephemeral plants are not what you want as the backbone of your garden. But they do make delightful adornments. And planting local ephemerals enriches the restoration garden tremendously, thickens the texture of what it offers the fauna that go along with a plant communit...
Tags: Gardening, California, Hooker, North Slope, Country Mouse, Propagation, Heuchera, Shade plants


Cutting Back: Part the Second. Being also a gesture towards a book review

And now for something a little bit different: the text outside of captions is verbatim what I just wrote in my journal before sitting to my computer. The partly buried book review is of Leslie Buck's wonderful memori: Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto.Dec 30 2017 6:35 am Saturday      Life is like a leaking sieve, a fishing net with holes and, of course, a boat with growing leaks.      Felt sad taking down that spicebush yesterday and still unsure whether such drastic act...
Tags: Gardening, Japan, Grant, Bush, Leslie, Felt, Country Mouse, Country Mouse special, Gerow Reece, Gardens of Kyoto, Gerow Reece Moon, FYI My calligraphy


Country Mouse Garden in Late Fall. Part the First: Cutting Back

Madrone with berries. Did you know they're edible? Not so tasty though, according to me and my two grandkids! Here we are in late fall!  thank Town Mouse for keeping our blog rolling along during my on-line absence. So this is a bit of a fall catch-up.But I want to begin with a small happiness. Yesterday at Jikoji Zen Center where I do some garden work once a month, two cheerful women came offering to join in. I quickly gathered that they were newbies to the whole gardening with natives a...
Tags: Fall, Gardening, Britain, North West, Mediterranean, North East, Capitola, Blinky, Country Mouse, Ms Town Mouse, Jikoji Zen Center, Pool Garden, South Garden, Blinky Blinky, North Bed Pool Garden


Kids and I Create a Six-Plant Container for a Tiny Paintbrush Seedling

My younger daughter's family are known here as The Squirrels. The young squirrels joined me to day, to create a container in whicha tiny paintbrush (Castilleja affinis) seedling might flourish. Castilleja affinis. This year's solitary seedling!So far anyway... It's been a disappointing year for paintbrush propagation. Few blooms either in the garden or in wild sites nearby. But zero seeds.What did bloom, however, was very lovely... Paintbrush in a container with grass, sedge, co...
Tags: Gardening, Containers, ACORN, Castilleja, Country Mouse, Propagation, Franklin Point, San Mateo County Coastal Paintbrush Castilleja


A quick post about slow propagation

How are the seeds doing? "How are the seeds doing?" Hedge asked.That's what I've decided to call the person whose gardening efforts at Jikoki Zen Center I've been helping (one day a month) for the past year or so, because we were talking about hedgerows recently, and it's a nice name. Hedge. Such an odd word. Apparently it comes from old German and Dutch words which all mean -- hedge. Old words, old, unchanging practices.Anyway, I didn't want to disappoint him but I had to:"Actually none ...
Tags: Gardening, UK, California, Emery, Hooker, Dara, Country Mouse, Propagation, Dara Emery, native California plants, Jikoki Zen Center, Maiathemum, Calscape, Biodynamics, Dennis Mudd, Pete Veilleux


Three brave little plants! Beacons of hope!

I agonize, I cosset, I over-water, I under-fertilize--and worry--and then over-fertilize.And then there are the times I just forget--and usually the moment of remembrance is followed by one of grief-stricken remorse. But not this time! Twas back on April 15 2017 that I took a chance on planting something in the weedy lower north slope. See the flags? My very lovely friend Bonnie had come up that day in April to help in the garden, and we did some triage on the grasses, which had alread...
Tags: Gardening, California, North West, Duncan, Bonnie, Country Mouse


Propagating Trillium ovatum from seed: the experiment begins

Western wake robin (Trillium ovatum) and friends abound along our Santa Cruz trails this year. They bloom from February to June. The flower begins white... And turns pale to deep pink or deep magenta  over time. Trillium ovatum is native to Western North America. They can live fifty years or more -- at least its rhizomes can.  The above ground parts die back each year, so it could be tricky remembering where they are located in a garden. In the wild, it grows in forests, and ...
Tags: Gardening, California, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee, Portland Oregon, Pacific, Santa Cruz, Bruce, Solomon, Trillium, Country Mouse, Propagation, Western North America, De Laveaga Park, Trillium ovatum


Local native heuchera, columbine, and woodmint - oh my! And ferns galore!

Heuchera, columbine, woodmint - oh my! and sedges and sorrel and ferns galore - all tumbling into leaf and bloom and gladdening my heart!All local natives either growing wild there (most of the ferns) or that I grew originally from local gathered wild seed for this steep north-facing slope on our property, what I would call an "edge of woodland" planting. Please scan down and enjoy. IDs in captions. Except sedges which I don't yet know. Paintbrush - Castilleja affinis Redwood s...
Tags: Gardening, Redwood, Country Mouse


Weeds and Wonders - a Country Mousely Musing

Wild radish, Raphanus raphanistrum, an invasive non-native, in full bloom at Arana Gulch Park in Santa Cruz, Walking in Arana Gulch Park today, Mr Woodrat and I saw two people in a fenced-off area where cows are grazed. One had a clipboard and the other a long measuring tape. I said hello. They said they were doing a vegetation survey.We hope the cows grazing will promote a resurgence of the rare and endangered Santa Cruz tarplant  (Holocarpha macradenia). That's why they're there. ...
Tags: Gardening, California, Santa Cruz, Country Mouse, Country Mouse special, Invasives, Arana Gulch Park, Santa Cruz Walking, Dylan Neubauer Cows, Tarplant, Arana Gulch Park Santa Cruz, Carrizo Plains, Morgan Hill Native, Stipa, Henry Jamesian


Evolution of a California Native Plant Gardener

Karen Laing in her California native plant garden with Iris douglasiana 'Canyon Snow', one of the first California native plants she fell in love with I wrote this article for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, published April 7, 2017, to publicize two plant sales: one for our Santa Cruz County chapter of CNPS, and the other for the UCSC Arboretum. The article features my fellow CNPS volunteer Karen Laing. The Sentinel published only about half the words I gave them, so here is what I gave them! Mi...
Tags: Gardening, California, Washington, Karen, Cleveland, Monterey, Mediterranean, Santa Cruz, Puget Sound, UCSC, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Laing, Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, Castilleja, Country Mouse


New look - and an epiphany! Hairy honeysuckle budding out through a low shrub!

Hairy honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula) just budding out now. It's a local wild native that makes itself at home in my garden. Open during construction - I'm playing with a new theme and haven't quite finished feeling my way round the Blogger boiler room (not a well-lit location). But I like it enough to use right away. So I do bless Blogger as well as curse its configuration complexities.So there I was, sitting outside with my coffee this gray Sunday morning -- Mothering Sunday in Brita...
Tags: Gardening, UK, Britain, Santa Cruz, Country Mouse, Salvia, CNPS Santa Cruz County, Lonicera Hispidula, Pool Garden, Salvia Leucophylla


Local natives for the upper north slope project: Hooker's Fairy Bells, Prosartes Hookeri

The modest flowers of Hooker's fairy bells, Prosartes hookeri,in May I'm excited right now to have Hooker's fairy bell seedlings, grown from local seed, in my greenhouse! This is the first time they have germinated for me!These pleasant plants grow in the shade. These were happy in a fairly dry edge-of-woods location, and they also like damper shade.I hope they'll be great for my north slope's drier section.This plant grows up and down the American west coast mostly in dampish woodlan...
Tags: Gardening, Hooker, North Slope, Country Mouse, Propagation, native California plants, Shade plants, British Columbia Modest, Joseph Dalton Hooker


Local natives for the upper north slope project: California harebell and canyon larkspur

This post is the first of a few about some local native plants I'm growing for the shadier north facing slope of our property, just below our house. The upper part of the slope, to be specific. The lower part is a weed abatement project at best, right now.Our home is located on a ridge about 960 feet up and about 6 miles inland from Santa Cruz, California, and my hobby is to gather seed and grow local wild natives for my garden.* The Great Upper North Slope Project! The part of the slop...
Tags: Gardening, Yosemite, California, Oregon, Dave, Santa Cruz California, North Slope, Yuki, Country Mouse, CalFlora, Heuchera


Local natives for the upper north slope project

This post is the first of a few about some local native plants I'm growing for the shadier north facing slope of our property, just below our house. The upper part of the slope, to be specific. The lower part is a weed abatement project at best, right now.Our home is located on a ridge about 960 feet up and about 6 miles inland from Santa Cruz, California, and my hobby is to gather seed and grow local wild natives for my garden.* The Great Upper North Slope Project! The part of the slop...
Tags: Gardening, Yosemite, California, Oregon, Dave, Santa Cruz California, North Slope, Yuki, Country Mouse, CalFlora, Heuchera


Rainy day in the greenhouse -- harvesting Clarkia rubicunda seeds

Today's post is rather drab, having to do with dead plants and seeds. It does have a video in it though.So let me pull in a bit of color and remind you how glorious are the blossoms of Clarkia rubicunda, a lovely annual native California beauty! Clarkia rubicunda, ruby chalice clarkia. Locally native in Santa Cruz County (and elsewhere). Clarkia rubicunda , ruby chalice clarkia.Masses of it!! Oh the rain is wonderful! And what better way to spend a rainy day than grubbing a...
Tags: Gardening, England, California, Bbc, Seeds, Santa Cruz County, Country Mouse, Propagation


Matilija poppy propagation - and happy coincidences

First - photos! Fried egg plant, AKA matilija poppy, AKA Romneya coulteri Surprised there were no bees in this photo - they swarm on these flowers. Here you can see immature seed pods. Matilija poppy is a perennial growing to six or more feet tall! I chop mine down every year, but you don't have to. They can spread where happy, by roots. Mine are merely cheerful, I guess! This morning on our local CNPS chapter's page on FaceBook I was happy to see that ...
Tags: Gardening, California, Berkeley, Santa Cruz County, Matilija, Country Mouse, Propagation