It is that time of the year. In the spring, I like to walk around my backyard garden to see what is happening there. Spring hits early here in San Francisco - I saw the first daffodils pop up in mid-February this year. And this week the lilacs came out, so I thought it was a good time to take my new camera and get a few shots. I hope you enjoy them!
Here is the view from under our deck. The bamboo plants in the big pots create a little portal to walk through into the greenery..
There have been some awesome days out here by the beach. We set up a hammock to catch some rays and some zzzzs on those lazy weekend afternoons.
There is a fern in our backyard that I planted about 5 years ago, and now it is over 6 feet tall. I think it is called an Australian Tree Fern. But I'm not sure. Whatever it is called, I love it, and I liked how my camera was able to capture this new sprout. Growing up in Michigan, we called these fern sprouts Fiddleheads, as they look like the top of a fiddle. I once ate them sauteed in butter at a restaurant in Portland, Oregon. They sort of tasted like walnuts.
California Poppies literally grow like weeds around here. And I'm fine with that.
These clovers grow like weeds, too, and again, not a problem. They remind me that the other owner of this garden is from Ireland.
These are the yellow blossoms of the above clover plant. Our friends Steve and Erica have a lovely daughter named Lili who picks these and then proceeds to chew on the end of the stalk. She likes the sweet and sour taste. I tried it once to humor her, but I didn't care for it one bit. The face I made gave her a laugh, though.
I don't know what these little purple flowers are, but they look great.
I know what this is - this is my rosemary bush in bloom. This is my go-to plant for many recipes. I want to expand my herb garden this year, and add some vegetables, too. I am thinking that will be a big project, so I am procrastinating a bit.
Calla lilies thrive here. I enjoy their simple, classic lines.
I don't know what this is. I call it a Daisy Tree. I planted it a few years back when it was in a 4 inch pot, and now the base of this beast is 6 inches in diameter. I cut it back every year to next to nothing, and it comes back bigger and better.
I love the look of the leaves from my Japanese Maple. Here it is with a backdrop of my lavender bush. The salty air here by the Pacific burns the leaves, I think. By mid-summer they tend to look pretty gnarly - but right now they look great.
This is what I call a Butterfly Bush. It draws those flutter-bys in all summer long. I have no idea what it is really called.
And my favorite - the Lilac tree. I love the smell of these flowers - it brings me right back to Michigan, where as a boy I would inhale their fragrance like a Hoover. Annie got me this for our 2nd wedding anniversary. Now it is about 9 feet high and has more blossoms than ever.
If you haven't figured it out yet, my gardening style is "plant it and see if it grows." Sometimes I yank stuff out that takes but looks nasty. But more often than not, I let it all stay. The garden is low-maintenance, too. I never use any fertilizers or bug dope. I just weed it every month or two, have my sprinklers give it some water 3 times a week for 5 minutes or so during the summer, and that is about it.
When we moved into this house 9 years ago, the back yard was an empty lot. Check it out:
And now it looks like this (taken last summer):
The garden is a treasure for both Annie and I. Barring bad weather, in the morning we sit outside and drink our coffee and get our head straight for the day ahead. After work, we sit back there with a glass of wine, taking it all in while listening to the waves crash and fog horns blow a few blocks away.
We are really grateful that we have such an oasis here on the edge of San Francisco. Happy Spring!