Photo Sunday – Tenacious Tomatos

These guys are doing their damnest to produce fruit right up until the first snow. A week’s worth of below freezing temps, and they STILL hang on. In case you are wondering, my tomatoes of choice for up here are Champion, Celebrity, Ace, and Early Girl. All proven producers for my environment. This was taken on Friday, before the storm. I’ll pick all the remainder during the next break in the weather and let them finish indoors. They gave me a lot of salsa, tomato sauce, and BLTs.

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Library Hours & Seed Swap Program

New hours at the Big Sur Library!

Starting September 2nd 2017, the hours will be changing on Fridays and Saturdays only from 11-4 to NOW 10-3. Hours will remain the same on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Also, schedule changes regarding meetings and clubs will have to be updated accordingly, and those affected will be notified.
As always, please do not hesitate to call with questions or concerns. J
Sincerely,

Julia Mazerik

Big Sur Library Branch Manager
Monterey County Free Libraries
Hwy 1 at Ripplewood Resort
831 667-2537

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Esalen’s Gardens

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For your weekend viewing pleasure, a magical place. This place soaks up all the love it receives and gives back in food & beauty. I’m sure it is the work of many, many people, but two I know who put in a great deal of care into this wonderland are Shirley Ward and Kyle Evans. Enjoy this small tribute to a most glorious place. Thanks for letting me wander.

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Support for PV School’s Organic Garden

Kate, I am trying to drum up support from the Big Sur community and avid visitors to validate that the improvements to Pacific Valley School’s existing organic garden described in the attached site plan will provide a legitimate new public access opportunity for visitors. I have a funding source that wants to contribute $75K towards this project but one of the parties that oversees this funding source needs to be convinced the public access opportunity is legitimate (and not a private benefit to the school). The fund overseer doesn’t know the South Coast very well and so they don’t understand that the School is uniquely located walking distance to the South Coast’s primary visitor access areas (Sand Dollar Beach and Plaskett Campground). Moreover, the Pacific Valley School already hosts a number of public events including the Jade Festival, the Spring Tide Festival, and the Earth Day Hike where folks could easily saunter over to the garden. All in all, it would be easy for folks to explore the garden while enjoying a sunset picnic. There will be benches and picnic tables along with interpretive signs to share local history and the unique qualities of Pacific Valley School (which is completely off the grid).

The garden would be open weekends, holidays, and after school hours (the times of greatest visitor use). No trees will be removed for the garden upgrades and no slopes will be graded. Notices will be posted at the Sand Dollar and Plaskett bulletin boards to invite the public to explore the garden. The proposed fencing is just open mesh deer fencing to avoid any visual distractions from Highway One.

I’m feel strongly about this project because I camp with my kids at Plaskett and know that other visitors would enjoy exploring the gardens and its views. If I can get a handful of 2 or 3 sentence emails of support, I feel good we can get this funding in place. Folks can just send a quick email to pacificvalleygarden@yahoo.com . (Ed. Note – Angus told me he would like to gather these emails by July 10th.)

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Just Joey Rose

This sweet guy, my surviving rose, is an incredible producer. Year after year, he hangs tough against gophers, insects, and benign neglect to surprise and delight me.

Just Joey, bud

It starts out as a nice, orange-peach when it is budding …

Blooming Just Joey

…and then lightens to a wonderful peach color. For someone who loves a garden, but doesn’t have time to take care of it, Just Joey is perfect.

Oh, and on a similar note, I discovered a new gopher product today – a “green” gopher product that is non-toxic. It is pricey, but I like the idea, so I ordered one to sample it. If it works as claimed, and I can drive the gophers from my garden, I will be ordering 5 lbs of the stuff! I’ll keep you posted. Gideon and Dakota are both pretty good gopher hunters, but Gideon is still on house arrest for another month.

If you want to check it out (this is not a commercial plug) or are curious, you can find this product here: Gopher Goo

Spring in the Garden of Good and … not so good

My garden is eclectic. Somewhat like me. It is not in the best of shape, this year, and hasn’t been for a while, as I struggle to make a living up here. I work long and hard, but unfortunately, not in my garden. Maybe next year. So you won’t see “long” shots – only close-ups. Like this one:

Apricot Tree

It’s in a hole surrounded by hardware cloth, but the gophers are still going for it!

My garden is a mixture of volunteer and transplanted natives – both Big Sur and California, and exotics. My watering system is by hand, with a garden hose. No blanket watering, no drip system (I’ve tried that, the gophers eat it) and no sprinklers. Each plant that needs water, particularly those that supply food, get “dripped” by hand by my hose.

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These little guys have been around for a few years. So long, I am always surprised when they pop up each spring, but I’ve lost the memory of what they are. Sweet, anyway.

Manzanita in bloom

This is a volunteer. It is either Hooker’s Manzanita or Hoover’s Manzanita, but I think the former, the big seed. It is like a weed up here, but the CNPS always gets excited when they see it!

Tulip

I have never planted tulips before, although I have planted many, many bulbs. Unfortunately, most bulbs seem to be gophers favorite foods. They ate dozens of lilies, which I adore, so I learned to plant my lilies in pots. But I found some tulips and decided to give them a go. Some time after I planted them in a raised bed, having forgotten they were there, I scattered a couple of native wildflower packets. Now, the tulips are covered, for the most part, but still coming up and forming buds.

Wildflowers amuck

I know I am supposed to thin them back, but I always have trouble doing that. Any seed strong enough to send up a sweet green shoot deserves a chance. I know, I know … but it is like baby killing to me. I let them compete. Maybe I will eventually, but right now, all those sweet seedlings are life inspiring to me.

Hummingbird Sage

Once I convinced the guy who weed whacks for me that this is NOT a weed, well, it started spreading like one!

BTW, I haven’t forgotten that most people voted they wanted to see me post more shots of Big Sur gardens, and I have permission from a couple people already, but most want their gardens photographed in the spring, not fall or winter, so I hope to get out and get a few soon!
And remember to vote, if you have not already. New header goes up tomorrow!

Let there be peace on Earth …



bigsurkate Xmas Card, originally uploaded by wind_dancer.

… and let it begin with me. These are all objects in my cottage, put together for this year’s web-based Christmas Card.

And yesterday, Christmas Eve., in gorgeous sunshine, I finally planted the Tulips that were beginning to sprout, and tossed handfuls of wildflower seeds in the raised bed I had prepared. My gift to myself this season is the planting, the sprouting, and the flowering of nature outside my cottage door. That, and the Makita driller & driver set I found on sale at that Orange Store! A gal’s gotta have her own driller & driver! (my other one was eaten by the dogs, a few years back.)

Today, Christmas Day, I will be attending a Christmas Open House, one mountain south of me — a chance to see neighbors and friends I only get to see a couple of times a year. Merry Christmas, everyone!