Welcome to my Sustainable Urban Garden

My garden is a work in progress, always growing and changing within itself.

My gardens include many herbal beds, raised vegetable beds, raised "citrus heights" citrus tree bed, berry beds, fruit trees, grape arbor, rose beds and many perennial flower beds with annuals too. My greenhouse is still in the transformation stage,
as well as some planting areas.
Enjoy your journey through my gardens, I do!

Monday, August 24, 2009

All is well!

I am well aware of the effects of pesticides and herbicides on the land and all the life on this land.

Last year and a couple years before that, my neighbors had two chemical lawn care companies (Chemlawn and Scott's) come and spray chemicals weekly and even bi-weekly. What was especially disheartening was that both companies would spray during high winds (14mph sustained winds with gusts up to 25 and sometimes 35mph). I would have the heads-up that they were doing this because I would be knocked out by the smell coming into my house on the second story level. These same neighbors also had and still do have a chemical company come and spray poisons all around their home.

Small blessings, the neighbors do not have the two lawn care companies anymore. They came once this year, but I think that was the end of their contract. So, my roses in the front yard are beginning to have green leaves (instead of a brown-green color) and are starting to have typical growth and leaf shape again. But the most exciting part is that I have honey bees, bumble bees and other native bees of all sizes and shapes. I have seen lots of butterflies, ladybugs and praying mantis this summer and moths that are really pretty too. The birds are plentiful and life is just buzzing all around in a harmonious manner. My vegetables are full of flowers and the fruit is plentiful. My fig tree is loaded with huge figs and the Thompson Seedless grape is heavy with huge bunches of ripening fruit. All is well on my sustainable piece of land!

This is the trailer to a movie called "A Chemical Reaction." This is a documentary about making change for our future. One small step for mankind, one huge step for this earth!

I think they are entering the documentary in film festivals first before national release. It would be fun to go to a film festival again, but also it would be great to see this film come to my town and for all of us to get to see it. If change can take place in one town and spread to several others, it can spread all across North America and eventually the world. This is an important step in saving the health of this whole planet.

And now I am off to pour some compost tea on a few of my flower and vegetable beds. It is a glorious day with temperatures in the mid 80's!

Oh, life is beautiful!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A pretty good summer!

Considering the fact that my gardens have been pretty much on their own for two months, it has been a good summer.

Why? My organic garden was mulched well in the spring and I have had time to keep up with watering mostly.

The other reason, and a very big one IMHO, is that I have insects. I have had many honeybees and other native bees, butterflies, and lots of beneficial helpers. I have seen butterflies that I can't identify, such as a very tiny (1/2") pretty black and tan shaped just like the stealth plane. This guy was in my vegetable garden and also in my frontyard mostly ornamental gardens. In fact, I saw a larger variety today with this stealth shape (1") with two very white distinctive shapes on each wing.

There are lots of birds this year. I have had hummers, mourning doves, lots of small birds, a couple hawks, crows, blue jays as usual, and nesting mocking birds with the juveniles bathing in the saucer of water on the deck and trying to jump from vine to vine in the climbing roses.

I have one young squirrel living on my deck. His mother used to be around, but for the last two-three months it has just been "little one" - his name.

So, as you can see, it has been fun watching the wildlife when I get a chance.

The harvest from the garden has been fun too! Fun to eat! Here is a fruit and veggie basket from last week. This is before the grapes were sweet enough to harvest yet and the grapefruit was a little high for me to reach. The herb in the basket is basil. Oh we love basil.

If you count tomatoes as a fruit. This is something that seems difficult for me to change my mind about - they would still be on my veggie list. But if you do, then this basket includes four types of fruit and four types of vegetables and basil to make everything taste even better!

By the way, I am feeding the neighborhood wildlife with my huge white fig tree. Actually, they are green in color. They are right ontop of the white eggplant in the basket.

The Jalapeno pepper is sitting on the figs and they are all sitting on the zucchini. I did sneak in a few blackberries in the very front of the basket. The raspberries are taking a rest and the blackberries have really come on big-time!

Now the bell peppers are starting to turn red and the tomatoes (mostly indeterminate) are ripening when I need them. The paste tomatoes (mostly determinates) are going to require processing to make sauce and then freezing within a couple weeks. And the lemons, well, I am nearing the end of the onslaught of lemons. I was getting approximately 20-25 lemons a day. Friends were finally saying, I still have plenty when I would offer more.

Since I am done with the "first" EcoLandscape California newsletter that took all of my time for two months, I am finally getting to update the various websites I have and care for and this blog.

And of course I am putting in time in the garden with some much needed maintenance, mainly pruning and volunteer and sucker removal. I am also getting a chance to feed several gardens with some newly brewed compost tea! A wonderful gift from a friend. In fact, I am going to say bye for now and get out there!