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Town Mouse Goes A-Travelling: Stockholm

Hagaslott Enköping The next few posts will go a little further afield. Town Mouse and Mr. Mouse had the great pleasure of working and vacationing in Europe this summer, and I want to share some photos. So, on the one hand, I'm violating our "Adventures with California Native Plants" motto. But on the other hand, I kept thinking (and saying): Oh look, that's so different! Oh look, that's just like we do it at home.So, follow me on a tour of Stockholm with California-Native-Plant-Colored gl...
Tags: Europe, Gardening, Sweden, California, Mouse, Paris, Stockholm, Seine, Skansen, Town Mouse, California Native Plant Colored, Medieval Museum Plantings, Medieval Museum But


Spring Delights on the Black Mountain TrailOw

Owl's Clover (Black Mountain Trail) Regular readers of this blog know that I like to mix up photos from the gardens with photos of California native plants from hikes - or sometimes from other gardens. After all, the subtitle of the blog is "Adventures with California Native Plants". So, here a few treasures from a recent hike on the Black Mountain Trail. Mr. Mouse and I usually hike this trail in winter, but spring has been unusually cool, so we decided to go in mid-May and were delight...
Tags: Gardening, California, Mouse, Fernald, Los Padres, Town Mouse, Ms Country Mouse, Clover Black Mountain Trail Regular, Western Maidenhair Fern Black Mountain Trail, Paintbrush Black Mountain Trail, Hidden Villa


(Mostly) Bulbs in the Late Spring Garden

Firecracker Flower (Dichelostema ida-maia) As spring turns into summer, the gardener especially appreciates those plants that just show up every year. No special treatment, no fertilizer, no extra handwatering - and bulbs and annuals completely fit the bill. The beauty with bulbs is this: In the fall (October or November) you stick them in the ground. Then they either come up, or you never see them. The ones that come up often double in number the next year, and double yet again the year ...
Tags: Gardening, Fabiola, Town Mouse, Late Spring Garden, Firecracker Flower


Tassajara Wildflowers - a Special Year!

Firecracker Penstemon `Scarlet Bugler` This year, Mr. Mouse had the good fortune of spending some extra time down in Tassajara. We started with several wonderful wildflower hikes, and spent 3 days at a nature journaling workshop (more about that in another post). Firecracker Penstemon Close-Up Tassajara is a monastery in the mountains inland from Carmel that's famous for the hot springs and excellent food. In spring, it's surrounded by some of the most spectacular wildflowers I'...
Tags: Europe, Gardening, Mouse, Lily, Bush, Tony, Carmel, Larkspur, Tassajara, Town Mouse, Golden Yarrow


Garden Tour - Rain or Shine!

50% Native Trout Lily & Friends This year, I'm very happy to be part of the Going Native Garden Tour again! Both Ms. Country Mouse and I are planning a talk, and it's promising to be a very interesting year. Here's why:1. Everything is blooming late.  Ceanothus Tilden Park, Monkey Flower, and Bladderpod in Foreground Nobody knows why - it hasn't really been such a cold year (or has it?). Maybe it's the lack of moisture - we've barely had 50% of normal so far. Or maybe no rain ea...
Tags: Gardening, San Jose, Hollister, Iris, Jones, Town Mouse, Bladderpod, Ceanothus Tilden Park Monkey Flower, Clarkia, Heurera Limelight, Checkerbloom


Garden Tour 3 Weeks After

Monkey Flowers The garden tour is now 3 weeks in the past. The stunning ceanothus that was blooming then is done. Now's the peak time for monkey flower and different penstemon. Foothill penstemon (left) and monkey flower (right) I'm always pleasantly surprised how well the monkey flow and penstemon survive the benign neglect they get in the front garden. I have no irrigation there and handwater every 3 weeks. Or not. Things sometimes look a little grim in August and September. B...
Tags: Gardening, Annie, Town Mouse


California Reptiles and Amphibians - Part 1

Newt posing for picture When I read about a workshop called "Amphibians and Reptiles of the San Francisco Bay Area" a little while ago, it just sounded so fascinating that I had to sign up. The workshop was being offered by the Jepson Herbarium in Berkley, so Mr. Mouse and I started early on a Saturday for the drive.We were welcomed by coffee and treats, and then our instructor jumped right in and started talking about amphibians in California and in the Bay Area:California: 71 am...
Tags: Gardening, California, Mouse, Bay Area, Bay, San Francisco Bay Area, Berkley, Town Mouse, Newt, Jepson Herbarium, Northern Rubber Boa Charina


California Reptiles and Amphibians Part 2

Sunday was the big field trip day! We packed sunscreen, poison oak soap, lunch, water, and a warm jacket and met our fellow students and instructors near the staging area. We were very lucky to have this field trip go to the Crystal Springs Reservoir area, a protected (and fenced in) area south of San Francisco. Only two vans were allowed in, and we were accompanied by a water warden at all times.The instructor promised frequent stops, and we would look around for a stretch of time at each...
Tags: Gardening, California, Mouse, Sharp, Bay Area, Tassajara, Town Mouse, Crystal Springs Reservoir, San Francisco Only, Jepson Herbarium, Skilton


Most Popular Watering Hole For Miles!

Hanging Bird Bath December has been extremely--actually, completely--dry in the Town Mouse garden and beyond. And while some of the neighbors put out birdseed to feed our feathered friends, nobody seems to remember that they also need water. So bird baths in my garden have been aflutter with birds of all sizes - and visitors at times remark on the racket they make.I think it's partly because we have a flock of (non-native) house sparrows this year - but mixed in with them are other bi...
Tags: Gardening, Mouse, Starling, Mozart, Junco, Town Mouse


What Happened With the Hedge? The Saga Continues

Native Plant Hedge in 2018 In 2010, we had to take out the hedge between the neighbor's house and our house because the city had to get to the underground power lines. In a post, A New Hedge, I asked you, my fellow blog users for suggestions. I really found it hard to decide - where to go from here: Original Boxwood Hedge to native? In May I had selected and planted the different shrubs - it was surprising how hard the decision was - and did a brief post about the selections c...
Tags: Gardening, Town Mouse, Native Plant Hedge, Manzanita Sentinel, Manzanita Sunset, Coffeeberry, Manzanita An Attractive Divider


Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Late Fall

California Fuchsia in Container Visiting the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden has long been one of my dreams. A few years ago, Mr. Mouse and I almost made it. We even had a room reserved - and then we found out that the Rose Parade was going on the very day we wanted to visit the garden, and we went home a day early.It was the opposite this time. We were in Ontario for a music festival, and had 1 day of leisure. Entertainment opportunities are fairly limited in the area - and then I sudd...
Tags: Gardening, California, India, Mouse, Ontario, HUNTINGTON, Claremont, Town Mouse, California Fuchsia, Tilden Regional Park, Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden, Rancho Santa Ana, Toyon Davies Gold


Fall Blues? California Fuchsia to the Rescue

Fall is a trying time for gardeners in California. Even those of my neighbors who have a more traditional, well-watered garden don't have the lush landscape they enjoy in spring. And for those of us who favor drought tolerant plants, things start looking a little grim in late August, and deteriorate until the first rains in October (fingers crossed!).Yes, fall is also the time that a few plants will bring forth a few dainty little flowers before taking a rest for winter. Fall Blossoms on...
Tags: Gardening, California, Salmon, Calistoga, Town Mouse, California Fuchsia, UC Hybrid, California Fuchsia UC Hybrid Growing, California Fuchsia Calistoga, Salmon Colored California Fuchsia


We've Got Seeds!

The Last Elderberries After the great rains last winter, the garden went a little nuts. Or maybe a little seedy - And even now that the end of summer has arrived, there are still flowers, but also seeds and fruit everywhere!It's been so much fun to sit outside for Sunday breakfast and watch the flocks of birds arrive to breakfast on the elderberries while we had French Toast. The house finches were especially excited, but we've seen other birds as well. Elderberry in the Shadow of ...
Tags: Gardening, California, Town Mouse, Butterfly Weed Asclepias Speciosa Here


Farewell to Spring

Elegant Clarkia in Late Spring Spring in the Town Mouse garden has been absolutely amazing - and I'll be sorry to see the garden move toward summer dormancy. But a summer dry climate means a less showy garden in the summer months, as some plants go dormant and others stop blooming. For now, though, we're enjoying the late spring blooms, the butterflies, and the finches that come to the sages that bloomed earlier. Gilia Blooms in Late May in Part Shade  I saw this Gilia, an annua...
Tags: Gardening, Yosemite, California, Annie, Los Padres National Forest, Town Mouse, Gilia


Happy Summer! And Here's What's Going On...

Jones' Mallow in Late June  How fast time goes by! It feels like yesterday that the spring rains made for a lush garden and an exciting garden tour. By now, the garden has settled into its summer pattern. Some plants, such as the Polypody fern and the Western Bleeding Heart, have gone dormant already or are on their way out. Others are only now starting to shine, like the Jones' Mallow above, which is blooming abundantly for the first time this year. Jones' Mallow, Ocean Spra...
Tags: Gardening, California, Mouse, Buddha, Ocean Spray, Town Mouse, Summer Garden, Jones Mallow, Jones Mallow Ocean Spray, Monkeyflower Coral Bells, Diamond Heights California Lilac Another, Triteleia, Buddha Triteleia


Happy Summer! And Here's What's Going On...

Jones' Mallow in Late June  How fast time goes by! It feels like yesterday that the spring rains made for a lush garden and an exciting garden tour. By now, the garden has settled into its summer pattern. Some plants, such as the Polypody fern and the Western Bleeding Heart, have gone dormant already or are on their way out. Others are only now starting to shine, like the Jones' Mallow above, which is blooming abundantly for the first time this year. Jones' Mallow, Ocean Spra...
Tags: Gardening, California, Mouse, Buddha, Ocean Spray, Town Mouse, Summer Garden, Jones Mallow, Jones Mallow Ocean Spray, Monkeyflower Coral Bells, Diamond Heights California Lilac Another, Triteleia, Buddha Triteleia


Tassajara Wildflowers - a Special Year!

Firecracker Penstemon `Scarlet Bugler` This year, Mr. Mouse had the good fortune of spending some extra time down in Tassajara. We started with several wonderful wildflower hikes, and spent 3 days at a nature journaling workshop (more about that in another post). Firecracker Penstemon Close-Up Tassajara is a monastery in the mountains inland from Carmel that's famous for the hot springs and excellent food. In spring, it's surrounded by some of the most spectacular wildflowers I'...
Tags: Europe, Gardening, Mouse, Lily, Bush, Tony, Carmel, Larkspur, Tassajara, Town Mouse, Golden Yarrow


(Mostly) Bulbs in the Late Spring Garden

Firecracker Flower (Dichelostema ida-maia) As spring turns into summer, the gardener especially appreciates those plants that just show up every year. No special treatment, no fertilizer, no extra handwatering - and bulbs and annuals completely fit the bill. The beauty with bulbs is this: In the fall (October or November) you stick them in the ground. Then they either come up, or you never see them. The ones that come up often double in number the next year, and double yet again the year ...
Tags: Gardening, Fabiola, Town Mouse, Late Spring Garden, Firecracker Flower


Garden Tour 3 Weeks After

Monkey Flowers The garden tour is now 3 weeks in the past. The stunning ceanothus that was blooming then is done. Now's the peak time for monkey flower and different penstemon. Foothill penstemon (left) and monkey flower (right) I'm always pleasantly surprised how well the monkey flow and penstemon survive the benign neglect they get in the front garden. I have no irrigation there and handwater every 3 weeks. Or not. Things sometimes look a little grim in August and September. B...
Tags: Gardening, Annie, Town Mouse


Garden Tour - Rain or Shine!

50% Native Trout Lily & Friends This year, I'm very happy to be part of the Going Native Garden Tour again! Both Ms. Country Mouse and I are planning a talk, and it's promising to be a very interesting year. Here's why:1. Everything is blooming late.  Ceanothus Tilden Park, Monkey Flower, and Bladderpod in Foreground Nobody knows why - it hasn't really been such a cold year (or has it). Maybe it's the lack of moisture - we've barely had 50% of normal so far.The fun part is that ...
Tags: Gardening, San Jose, Sage, Hollister, Iris, Jones, Town Mouse, Bladderpod, Ceanothus Tilden Park Monkey Flower, Clarkia, Heurera Limelight, Canyon Sunflower, Checkerbloom


California Reptiles and Amphibians Part 2

Sunday was the big field trip day! We packed sunscreen, poison oak soap, lunch, water, and a warm jacket and met our fellow students and instructors near the staging area. We were very lucky to have this field trip go to the Crystal Springs Reservoir area, a protected (and fenced in) area south of San Francisco. Only two vans were allowed in, and we were accompanied by a water warden at all times.The instructor promised frequent stops, and we would look around for a stretch of time at each...
Tags: Gardening, California, Sharp, Bay Area, Tassajara, Town Mouse, Crystal Springs Reservoir, San Francisco Only, Jepson Herbarium, Skilton


California Reptiles and Amphibians - Part 1

Pacific Chorus Frog (Hyliola regilla) When I read about a workshop called "Amphibians and Reptiles of the San Francisco Bay Area" a little while ago, it just sounded so fascinating that I had to sign up. The workshop was being offered by the Jepson Herbarium in Berkley, so Mr. Mouse and I started early on a Saturday for the drive.We were welcomed by coffee and treats, and then our instructor jumped right in and started talking about amphibians in California and in the Bay Area:Califor...
Tags: Gardening, California, Mouse, Bay Area, Bay, San Francisco Bay Area, Berkley, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Town Mouse, Newt, California Reptiles, Jepson Herbarium, Northern Rubber Boa Charina


What Happened With the Hedge? The Saga Continues

Native Plant Hedge in 2018 In 2010, we had to take out the hedge between the neighbor's house and our house because the city had to get to the underground power lines. In a post, A New Hedge, I asked you, my fellow blog users for suggestions. I really found it hard to decide - where to go from here: Original Boxwood Hedge to native? In May I had selected and planted the different shrubs - it was surprising how hard the decision was - and did a brief post about the selections c...
Tags: Gardening, Town Mouse, Hedge, Native Plant Hedge, Manzanita Sentinel, Manzanita Sunset, Coffeeberry, Manzanita An Attractive Divider


Most Popular Watering Hole For Miles!

Hanging Bird Bath December has been extremely--actually, completely--dry in the Town Mouse garden and beyond. And while some of the neighbors put out birdseed to feed our feathered friends, nobody seems to remember that they also need water. So bird baths in my garden have been aflutter with birds of all sizes - and visitors at times remark on the racket they make.I think it's partly because we have a flock of (non-native) house sparrows this year - but mixed in with them are other bi...
Tags: Gardening, Mouse, Starling, Mozart, Junco, Town Mouse


Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Late Fall

California Fuchsia in Container Visiting the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden has long been one of my dreams. A few years ago, Mr. Mouse and I almost made it. We even had a room reserved - and then we found out that the Rose Parade was going on the very day we wanted to visit the garden, and we went home a day early.It was the opposite this time. We were in Ontario for a music festival, and had 1 day of leisure. Entertainment opportunities are fairly limited in the area - and then I sudd...
Tags: Gardening, California, India, Mouse, Ontario, HUNTINGTON, Claremont, Town Mouse, California Fuchsia, Tilden Regional Park, Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden, Rancho Santa Ana, Toyon Davies Gold


Fall Blues? California Fuchsia to the Rescue

Fall is a trying time for gardeners in California. Even those of my neighbors who have a more traditional, well-watered garden don't have the lush landscape they enjoy in spring. And for those of us who favor drought tolerant plants, things start looking a little grim in late August, and deteriorate until the first rains in October (fingers crossed!).Yes, fall is also the time that a few plants will bring forth a few dainty little flowers before taking a rest for winter. Fall Blossoms on...
Tags: Gardening, California, Salmon, Calistoga, Town Mouse, California Fuchsia, UC Hybrid, California Fuchsia UC Hybrid Growing, California Fuchsia Calistoga, Salmon Colored California Fuchsia


We've Got Seeds!

The Last Elderberries After the great rains last winter, the garden went a little nuts. Or maybe a little seedy - And even now that the end of summer has arrived, there are still flowers, but also seeds and fruit everywhere!It's been so much fun to sit outside for Sunday breakfast and watch the flocks of birds arrive to breakfast on the elderberries while we had French Toast. The house finches were especially excited, but we've seen other birds as well. Elderberry in the Shadow of ...
Tags: Gardening, California, Town Mouse, Butterfly Weed Asclepias Speciosa Here


Town Mouse Goes A-Travelling: Stockholm

Hagaslott Enköping The next few posts will go a little further afield. Town Mouse and Mr. Mouse had the great pleasure of working and vacationing in Europe this summer, and I want to share some photos. So, on the one hand, I'm violating our "Adventures with California Native Plants" motto. But on the other hand, I kept thinking (and saying): Oh look, that's so different! Oh look, that's just like we do it at home.So, follow me on a tour of Stockholm with California-Native-Plant-Colored gl...
Tags: Europe, Gardening, Sweden, California, Mouse, Paris, Stockholm, Seine, Skansen, Town Mouse, California Native Plant Colored, Medieval Museum Plantings, Medieval Museum But


Farewell to Spring

Elegant Clarkia in Late Spring Spring in the Town Mouse garden has been absolutely amazing - and I'll be sorry to see the garden move toward summer dormancy. But a summer dry climate means a less showy garden in the summer months, as some plants go dormant and others stop blooming. For now, though, we're enjoying the late spring blooms, the butterflies, and the finches that come to the sages that bloomed earlier. Gilia Blooms in Late May in Part Shade  I saw this Gilia, an annua...
Tags: Gardening, Yosemite, California, Annie, Los Padres National Forest, Town Mouse, Gilia


Spring Delights on the Black Mountain TrailOw

Owl's Clover (Black Mountain Trail) Regular readers of this blog know that I like to mix up photos from the gardens with photos of California native plants from hikes - or sometimes from other gardens. After all, the subtitle of the blog is "Adventures with California Native Plants". So, here a few treasures from a recent hike on the Black Mountain Trail. Mr. Mouse and I usually hike this trail in winter, but spring has been unusually cool, so we decided to go in mid-May and were delight...
Tags: Gardening, California, Mouse, Fernald, Los Padres, Town Mouse, Ms Country Mouse, Clover Black Mountain Trail Regular, Western Maidenhair Fern Black Mountain Trail, Paintbrush Black Mountain Trail