Through the Door Week 21

Ruth Bancroft Gardens-Walnut Creek CA

This year’s record rainfall means a stellar year for cacti and succulents. Friday, I visited the Ruth Bancroft Gardens, a private collection of cactus and succulents that is open to the public. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the photos speak for themselves.

Through the Front Door 2019 Week 15


Just planted tomato

An early start with tomatoes this year; planted four varieties in the raised garden: an Early Girl, a Husky cherry tomato, a Roma, and a grape tomato. Compared with a year ago, last year was a dud. The cherry tomatoes did alright, but the large tomatoes were few and far between and lacked flavor. Over the winter, I tried boosting the soil with some compost and ground egg shells. Next week, I plan to interplant the tomatoes with some basil and marigolds.


After the peony, the double iris is my favorite flower. Last year, I planted six bulbs imported from Holland. A whole bunch of nothing happened except for some green spears. Too late in the day, I discovered they were not getting enough direct sunlight. I moved them to a sunnier location, and late in September, the yellow iris bloomed out for two weeks. Now five of the iris are budding already, so I have high hopes for blue and purple blooms by the end of April.


Roses are so thrilled by three days of sunlight, they are blooming already, but they all have black -leaf from as a result of the continuous damp. That requires pruning ninety percent of the leaves back to the stem. However, with a little fertilizer, they will leaf out again quickly.