Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

We’ve had the craziest winter her in Sacramenot–or lack of it, really. We desperately need rain, but on the other hand it’s been incredibly nice. The temperature shot up over 70 degrees yesterday! And, although a gazillion mosquitos came with it, so did spring. Neighborhood flowers are in full bloom.

One of my favorites, Daphne. You can smell it wafting through the neighborhood, often before you spot it. It’s season is so short, but so very worth it.

I love the gravel alleys in our neighborhood, quiet planted trails between streets. All the clover is in yellow bloom and the flowering tree rains white pedals down like snow.

I recently learned this is a Saucer Magnolia Tree. There are a few in the neighborhood, the most stunning flowering tree I’ve ever seen. Gorgeous.

The large flowers, as big as my hand catch the light. I could stand under this tree all day.

d, xo

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The cafe flower pots are looking beautiful thanks to our surprisingly mild summer–so far. Even the nasturtiums are growing–a rare August treat.

I love to sit and drink my coffee by flowers I have nurtured. It’s a small joy.

d xxoo

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I took my camera on my walk today. Spring came out and so did all the neighborhood. Flowers are blooming everywhere. 🙂 My gazanias peeking out of the cafe rosemary. 

I saw TWO lady bugs today. This lady kept crawling under the leaves. I don’t think she wanted her photo taken. 

Above and below, Virginia’s bulbs have blossomed. This is the first tulip. Stunning.  

Trees blooming too. Get out your Kleenex.

 My legs first 2010 appearance. Plus, new spring deck shoes.

 Neighbor’s camellias. Gorgeous.  

One of two daphne bushes in the neighborhood. You can smell them 10 feet before you reach them. Sublime.  

Neighbors got new Chihuahua, only 6 weeks old. I got to hold her. SO precious. 

I love the way these blooms come back every year against this old house. No one lives here.  

I snuck up onto their lawn to shoot this photo, until their dog came out & Zephyr started barking. Not very covert. Still, so stunning after weeks of gray haze.  

And that was our morning walk, d.

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I love the craziness of my garden, the way it takes on a life of its own from something I created and others I didn’t. This raised bed was made from discarded 2 x4s my neighbor and I found. The small green wood box was  discarded in the street as well. I painted it green. The bottom has fallen out, so I stuffed it with a plastic planter and one ceramic pot. I love it.
Urban Gardening

Urban Gardening

The nasturtiums are actually growing from the bottom of the large wood bed. I never planted them there, but their seeds have blown across the yard over time and they sprout up everywhere. The white puffy flowers (I never remember names) grow from cracks in the cement all over the yard. I let them blossom where they like, weed around them and the yard looks styled that way in white lavendar clouds.


Just today I found a hint of rosemary growing from the cement as well. Last year a sunflower came up. If I left it completely alone the vegetation would take over. Soon enough the old asphalt and cement would crumble, disappear. I love that. In the end Mother Nature wins.

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Today is my two year anniversary of keeping the cafe flowers . Two years ago I sat and sipped coffee beside one of these enormous cement pots. A dead gardenia bush stuck from it’s center while an array of cigarettes and detritus floated about it. It was appalling.

Cafe flowers

I went inside at the urging of a waitress I knew and told the manager, Remon– a very friendly, flirty man whom I’d met before–that I was going to the nursery for myself and that I wanted to get  flowers for the cafe too. I told him I was going to replant that one pot.

I planted a fiery apricot Chinese Lantern surrounded by various  flowers I had no name for. It looked lovely. Customers applauded; I referred them to Remon.

So, I planted another, then all five; then later–a very ambitious undertaking–I dug up a 10 feet long triangle of curbed ground along their side door. A dead begonia, weeds. I pulled up buckets and buckets of cement clods beneath sparse inches of dirt. The cooks hauled them to the dumpster in intervals. It was nearing 100 degrees. We were exhausted.

I imported dirt, mulched, watered, fertilized, then finally, I planted: two French lavenders, rosemary, a gardenia, yarrow, wild grasses and a plethora of yellow, orange, pink and white Gazanias. In the spring I added sunflowers that grew to overlooks one table. It looked wild and lovely and I have fought to keep it that way.

Cafe flowers2

Customers are the enemy. Cigarette butts, gum, lemon wedges from water glasses (wait staff) and various unwanted food pieces. Children pick the flowers–actually, so do adults.  And sometimes a random clump of flowers will disappear completely. I have no idea where to. Still, I keep showing up. I water, prune, declutter, fertilize and replant.  I treat it like my own garden.

Today,  I just buy flowers then give Remon the bill. I bought a new hose, a trolley and watering system replacement parts. I pushed Remon to get a new lawn mower man and  table umbrellas.  I mess with the watering system. I steam at Remon when any of it has been messed with. And often I can be found deadheading flowers as I sip my morning coffee.

And coffee is what I get in exchange. Depending on who you talk to I am either getting screwed or a great deal. Most days, I think it’s a great deal, because I have a two-trips-a-day coffee habit, minimum. Plus, I like having a place to go to chat. When you work at home there is no water cooler to stand around for gossip. The cafe is my water cooler.

Cafe flowers3

So, today has been two years of cafe gardening. I am their gardener; the cooks call me their “flower lady.”

This day is a good reminder that life is what I make of it. This includes work, relationships and even fun. (All of which I often think aren’t out there for me because I can’t, won’t, don’t see or find them.) But, like my garden, this is a good reminder that my life will take a bit of personal creation. Just because they don’t exist yet, doesn’t mean I can’t make them on my own.

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Hello, Just checking in. Letting you all know I’m still here. DahliaFound has been picking up business and I’m so happy. So I’ve been shopping and trying to get more posted. It never ends.

Meanwhile, amidst the world havoc I thought I’d take a minute today to appreciate my flowers. I’ve been gardening now for a year and a half at the cafe. That’s a lot of coffee trade. 😉 but the cafe is looking nice. My plants are happier with the temperature dipping. Soon, Autumn will produce a second spring, that only California gets. Let the flowers bloom!

Outside the Cafe

Outside the Cafe

One of 5 flower pots--Chinese Lanterns and Marigolds

One of 5 flower pots--Chinese Lanterns and Marigolds

Time for tea. Have a nice weekend, d.

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I replanted my compost pile that was sprouting all kinds of interesting buds into one of my raised beds and it has suddenly found it’s roots, so to speak. Squash blossoms have appeared and some have already moved onto some kind of squash, to be determined later. They could be anything, pumpkins, yellow squash, green squash. The fun is all in the surprise.


On the subject of gardening, I found this AMAZING nursery while on vacation last week, Aspen Hollow in South Lake Tahoe. The women there were very friendly, completely in love with gardening and giving with their gardening tips. Their creations were amazing and fun. They had a real knack for putting fabulous planters together. Of course, if I had a whole nursery at my disposal, I might too.

I was so enamored with the place I went back and shot photos, but my pictures really don’t do them justice. Still, if you’re ever there, go. Check these out:

And the piece de resistance, a huge metal basket, that must weigh a 100 pounds, hanging inside this metal pergola, above a water fountain. Again, you really can’t see the enormity of this beauty, but I tried.

Thank you ladies (and gents) of Aspen Hollow for making such beautiful gardens, d.

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It’s finally Monday. I almost feel relieved. Long complicated family weekend. Exhausted. But the sun is out! The SUN! (we have not seen it truly out, in a blue sky for many days. . . this is California. We need that.) So no time to chat right now. Zephyr and i both desperately need a long quiet walk, then coffee.

P.S. The gardening dept. at Target is open! I thought it had closed for the winter. And my Target actually has a very nice little gardening area. I go there to breathe, when I’m stuck in that side of the world–the world of traffic and people.

So, the cafe gets new flowers just in times for Valentines Day.  bye, d.

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