Luther Burbank Home & Garden

It was a perfectly sunny and warm day in Santa Rosa, California.  But sunset was fast approaching as we took a stroll at the Luther Burbank Home & Garden.

Luther Burbank (March 7, 1849 – April 11, 1926) was an American botanist, horticulturist and pioneer in agricultural science.

He is credited with introducing more than 250 new varieties of fruit, including a large number of plum varieties that are widely used in agriculture.

A portion of the property was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

Read more about his life and work via Wikipedia.


Blooming Wax Flower

I’ve owned my wax plant (Hoya Carnosa Plant) for about four years now and it finally gave me one bloom.

The buds took a few weeks to open up.  And once it did bloom, it lasted about 1 month.  It was a pleasant surprise to finally see what type of flower it would turn out. Since there are so many varieties of wax flowers.

It didn’t have any kind of scent.  The leaves are really hardy and doesn’t need much attention or watering.  I just grew up next to a tall bush and it started to climb up the limbs.

I’ve been tempted to make cuttings, but it seems easier to just separate the root ball and re-pot them.  So far I have about 3 plants in small pots and will give some away as gifts.


Cherimoya Fruit Tree

Just last weekend I was browsing our local Lowe’s garden center and was really surprised to come upon these great selection of tropical fruits.  Especially the cherimoya tree since they are one of my favorite tropical fruits.

I was tempted to purchase one, but since I live in Northern California this was not possible.  It takes a lot of dedication to successfully grow these tropical fruits here.

This one named “Honeyheart” sounds really delicious.  Another variety available was “Chaffey”.   The plants were from La Verne Nursery in Ventura county.  They have a great list of Sub-tropical fruit trees, but are only sold wholesale to retailers such as Lowe’s.

In the meantime it was a nice surprise and neat to see Lowe’s offering such a diverse selection of plants.  Here’s a list of the tropical trees available: Goji berries, Dragon Fruit, Loquats, Sapote, Mango, Guava, and Avocado.

Summertime Cat in California

This is our previous neighbor’s cat, they’ve moved out of state for a few months now.  I sure miss seeing this cat around.  He would always greet us and just likes to lounge around on the cool sidewalk next to the shrubs.

The neighbor said the cat just showed up to their doorstep one day and never left!  That is pretty much the story around here.  This cat has the bluest eyes that remind me of the deep ocean with fur that’s beige in color like sand.  Such a neat looking cat.

The neighbors were waiting until retirement to finally leave California in order to find their dream country home. I wish our neighbors and their cat all the best.  Life in this state has it’s high and lows, but for the most part it’s pretty sweet.  The weather is mild (despite the hot summers), and winters are short.  The Pacific Ocean is only a few hours away going west, so day trips are always fun and sometimes spontaneous.  So for now, California is still home to me.



A Few Summer Fruits

Our little backyard orchard hasn’t been doing well at all this summer.  Each tree has only been producing a few fruits.  The Asian Pear tree had lots of new growth in the spring, but some of the branches turned black and just died out.

But we did manage to get at least 10 fruits growing on different varieties of Pear branch.  Even with the small amount of fruits that showed up, the birds are trying to get to them before it’s ready to pick.

I think I’m going to have to take some small brown bags or newspaper and wrap each fruit to prevent birds from attacking them.  It won’t be too hard since I only have a few fruits on the tree.  I know Asian pear farms in China hand pollinate their trees and hand wrap the fruits too.  No wonder it’s so expensive!

In the beginning of the year, I had decided to prune down the Mexicola avocado tree because it was just getting too big (wide and tall). Now I’m starting to think the heavy pruning caused it to fruit less. Even after the pruning, it did send off lots of blooms and even started to form tiny fruits. But most of the tiny fruits started to drop by end of spring. And now I am just down to 2 fruit on the tree. Well, maybe the tree is just taking a break and next year it will bear more fruits.  We’ll just have to wait and see.



Snapshot of a street in Leucadia, CA

Leucadia is situated just miles from the Pacific Ocean.  It is a very serene and scenic little beach town.  And next door was Encinitas, where it seem more popular as sidewalks were full of people walking and biking.  There were also many beach cottages dotted along the coast, each filled with lush foliage.  Hopefully I’ll get to come back again and spend more time here.

May 2017


Spring Blossoms 2017

Spring has arrived!  And that means blossoms are popping out left and right.

The Asian Pear is again blooming and coming out strong.

The cherry tree has a few more blossoms, but I doubt I’ll see even a handful of cherries.  Especially if the birds get to them first.


The Mexicola avocado has always been prolific with blossoms.  Even so, the flowers end up dropping by middle of summer.  But since I noticed more bees buzzing around maybe we’ll have more fruit setting rather than dropping.  Maybe we’ll have a good crop of avocado this year.

Even with all the rain we had this winter, the sate of California still encourages us to save water.  Since our mini backyard fruit orchard is on year 3, I would think  most of the roots have grown deep and strong.  So hopefully it will do well with limited water.