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We were out of town and out of touch for a bit.   I ca't wait to get caught up with everyone's blog posts and see what you've been up to! This tall bright gladiola was a surprise to come home to.   We celebrated Father's Day on Sunday, and Olivia's UCSB graduation -and moved her from her housing there.  She was the last one to move out of her apartment, I had a large refrigerator to clean out (6 roomates, hahaha). We had such a fun busy weekend! My three 💖, we had a great Father's Day lunch -Mexican, James's favorite.   Delphinium 'Cobalt Blue' sent a second bloom. I'm anxious to have a good look around the garden. Dr. never enjoys it when we leave for a few days, I think he's saying "don't do that again"

Born to Be Alive!

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 I was down & out a couple days with a stomach bug, no fun.  Am feeling better today and will be going out to tame the tomatoes & dead head with vigor!  A few weeks back, I picked some flowers to preserve in silica.   I'm not sure if I can re-use the silica to dry again?   I had done this with my daughters in the Fall, and was delighted with the outcome.  Below is the after.  Most flowers came through nicely, with a couple roses looking like they'd been left in Grandma's underthings drawer too long.   Our tulip tree that nicely shades the front perennial garden is blooming, however I only get to see the blooms when they fall off.  They are all scattered at the very tippy top of the tree.   This Parodia magnifica balloon cactus looks like a little frosted cupcake.  I love the coloring on this Agave chazaroi.  I am going to need to move it so it has proper space to grow.   Also need to move this leaning tower of Pisa.  What is it doing? and what is this agave doing? 

We're in for it.

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Tuesday & Wednesday predicted to be triple digits.  Not my favorite!  I've got some shade cloth up, but need to go around today in the just about perfect 75 degree weather and do some more creative shading. First daylily opened. Does anyone keep bees, I'd love to hear from you?  My studly Lophocereus schottii monstrosus has a little bud? that gets a bit larger every day, I didn't expect it to bloom so this is fun to watch. A bit of a weird and wonderful thing, haha. The first sunflowers have opened, this dark one so high I had to reach up as high as I could to snap the picture. This one, more my height and a bit more cheerful. And Ivan pointed out, my Platycerium superbum is throwing out an apron!  I go check on this every morning to see how far it's pushing out the new growth. So exciting!   Well, I need to prepare to wilt over the next few days.  Is the ridiculous heat hitting your area?

This & That

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Happy holiday weekend!   This ridiculously large 7' lily is blooming just outside the front window.  The weather has been glorious, but slightly cooler today. Dilatris pillansii has bloomed! Looks a bit like an oversized chive flower.  The tomatoes have gone bonkers with the warmer temps.  I started the seeds in January and put the plants in the ground in February.  And have tried to keep up on pruning, but it's a constant battle.   Poblano peppers and cucumbers coming along well.  Blueberries, delicious! These are O'Neal.   Both the Feijoa trees are beginning to bloom, the petals are really delicious.  To me they taste a little like strawberry/apple - I'm going to put them in my next salad.  And the tree leaves are so pretty with the undersides almost white. A later bloom than expected from Amaryllis. And a few things that caught my eye, the clump of Echinocereus rigidissimus -rainbow hedgehog cactus bursting with blooms.  The golden barrels in the sun, I still have a

Filoli Gardens

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We celebrated my daughter S and my own birthday (we share the same day of birth, making it even more celebratory!).  A day out to visit Filoli Gardens in Woodside, CA.  The first Grand front room you enter into. This orchid was TALL. The dining room. James surveying the kitchen. The kitchen just went on & on.  3 different rooms, and a little closet for what looked like an unloved pastry chef.  No windows, nothing.  There was a safe on the door to the silver, I should've snapped a picture.   In the ballroom, this sconce is beautiful on the blue walls.  From the Filoli website, the ballroom all done up for an event.   And out to the massive gardens, it was perfect weather!  I admit to just enjoying the day and not being serious about taking pictures. The gardens were massive, orchard, veggies, hydrangea, rose, etc., You could dip in the pool if you were in the mood. Staghorn! They obviously love the bay weather, they were super sized.  As I was later reading about the history of