Random thoughts day




(Bloom Day is tomorrow. I'll have to find a way to make some of these pictures look new again.)

Are your garden paths very narrow? Mine are very narrow. At a couple points, I have to come to a complete stop, turn sideways, and kinda scoot myself through. And I'm rather thin.


Over here I have to step over the irises and salvias lest I crush them.


This clump of coast melic grass (Melica californica) sprouted in a most inconvenient location.


Noone tells you to grow a garden like this. People advise you not to have a garden like this. They tell you to have wide paths. They tell you not to have "too many plants", that having too many plants in the garden is "not relaxing". So I apologize to anyone who feels unrelaxed. I'm sorry. I can't help myself.

The narrow strait between the tomatoes and raspberries is the worst. And now the artichoke leaves aren't helping.


This is also the scene of this morning's wildlife encounter. So to speak. Someone's cat shat in my dill-and-carrot patch (under and around the artichoke) and kicked a bunch of dirt into the path.


It's important to find and remove the offending turd. Otherwise, I'm hosting a fly convention. I can't do anything about the dirt in the path except cover it with more gravel (which I did). And I have to do that otherwise Guy will come through with a hose like he did last year and spray the path which makes a big mess.

I'll have to re-sow carrot seeds now too.


Like the cat who comes here bearing gifts, I sure do love the cocoa hull mulch. I'm always afraid the nursery will stop selling it because, as a cocoa plant product, the mulch is allegedly toxic to dogs. My question is what kind of nervous, hyper dog gulps down mouthfuls of garden mulch?

The blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii) was smothering the blueberry, so I parted them and that seems okay.


I planted out some of my 'Magda' squash a little too soon I think. One seems dwarfed. I'll take him out and replace him with an 'Eight Ball' I have growing inside. I have more hope for the other Magdas. And the leeks are doing really well! I want to grow some more leeks.


Spittlebug is not as bad this year as it has been in years past. Mostly I ignore it, but if there's a lot, I'll wash it off.

spittlebug! my springtime companion

Really, I have no idea why I'm growing lovage (Levisticum officinale), or where in the garden to put it. I blame seed catalogs for seducing me with their fancy writing sometimes. I love this picture of it. Looks like something you'd expect to find in my garden, I think.


I have a bunch of meadowsweet too (Filipendula ulmaria). I think I was reading Piet Oudolf when I bought this seed. Does that sound right?

Filipendula ulmaria

Does it really get 7 feet tall? Yikes.


Les said...

Despite the spit, shit and narrow paths - your garden looks great. What is that intense beet juice colored plant in shot 2?

chuck b. said...

That 2-ft tall cineraria has naturalized in places around San Francisco. It comes in whites, pinks, blues, violets, but usually reverts to that color after a year or two. Annie's Annuals sells it as Senecio stellata.

chuck b. said...

I should rename the blog post "Spit, shit, and narrow paths".

Pam/Digging said...

Cat gifts. I just hate those. But your garden looks beautifully lush, and those narrow paths will just make visitors slow down to look at everything, so don't worry!

CiNdEe's GaRdEn said...

LOL the cat deposits! I really hate when that happens in the garden. I guess they like the loose dirt to dig in.
I love your garden. I have paths too and most of the year they are over grown with plants hanging into them. I clip them back but they just grow right back. I did start off with about a three foot path though(-:
I have a plant in need of id'ing if you could stop by my blog.(-: It grows wild and is kinda woody with a lavender flower that reminds me of a potato flower. Any help would be much appreciated!

Jenn said...

I love your little plot of chaotic exuberance. It's charming.

Every 'visit' I'm able to notice something new, and isn't that what it's all about?

CiNdEe's GaRdEn said...

Chuck you are so awesome! That is what it is for sure!!! Thanks so much(-:

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I love this post and the comments. I like how you describe how you have to walk down some of your narrow paths. I once made a path that my husband immediately widened because he said no one could walk through it. If it's too wide you lose valuable planting space in my opinion.
I love cats, but why can't people keep them in their house so they don't use my vegetable garden as their litter boxes?

chuck b. said...

If I had a bigger space, I'd have wider paths for sure. But I would also have some very narrow ones too, because they are more fun. Deer paths, in the garden.

Christopher C. NC said...

How about you and Guy buy the house next door with the unused back yard. You could have one loose plank in the fence to squeeze through to the annex.

chuck b. said...

Believe it or not, Guy's talked about doing just that. Heh! I think we're saving our money to move to the 'burbs tho'.

Anonymous said...

I know that I've read that making a path purposely difficult (narrow, with uneven steps, whatever) is a trick used to make people slow down and take their time, especially in a small garden. And isn't that what you want people to do in yours? (It's what I want them to do in mine!)

By the way, to quote a Mike Patton song: "I... love the lovage, baby!" Seriously, I do--I wouldn't bother to grow and blanch celery, so I use lovage all the time in recipes that call for celery. Good flavor. :)

(Posting "anonymous"ly because Blogger won't let me sign in tonight... *sigh*)

gintoino said...

I love the unorganized, overcrowded look of your garden. If I had a smaller garden it would look like that for sure. Actually even though its bigger it does look a bit like it :-)

Michelle said...

I love your narrow paths and unrelaxing garden. Who says that a garden should be relaxing? What gardener can actually sit in their garden and relax regardless of how busy it looks or not... there's always something out there begging for attention.

Chloe Marguerite said...

I love the many plants in your garden. Plants are WHY we garden after all, otherwise.... what's the point?

I like the narrow paths too - it makes it more mysterious.

Chloe M.

Germi said...

Don't you listen to ANYBODY when it comes to your gardening! Your garden makes me so HAPPY - who cares how wide the paths are? If it is your dream space, where your passion gets a workout, then it is a TOTAL SUCCESS in my book!

...and everyone who sees your garden images has to agree

Annie in Austin said...

Public caverns & caves always have one spot where the line of tourists squeeze between rocks, cleverly named "Fat Man's Misery". Maybe that's what you have, Chuck?

The abundant confusion looks great. You could also train limbs & branches to lean over the path so the visitor not only walks slowly to pay attention, but also bows down in honor of your floral wonderland.

Cold Climate Kathy had a quote that I love:
A garden is a private world or it is nothing, and the gardener must be allowed his vagaries.
Eleanor Perenyi

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Brent said...

I planted lovage last year and it's bolting now. In between then and now it's made numerous appearances in soups as a celery stand in.

lisa said...

I find your garden super-relaxing, like a beautiful little jungle to explore and hide in.