Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gardening Inspiration- UC Santa Cruz Aboretum

This weekend I visited to the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum for some gardening inspiration. The arboretum features native plants from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand that are compatible with our California Climate as well as highly drought tolerant. Wow, it was hot, but so gorgeous.The gardens overlook the beautiful Monterey Bay. It's a nice outing for a very reasonable donation of $5 for adults and $2 for children.

Visitors can meander along the beautiful pathways throughout the gardens.

Individual sections are devoted to different areas of the world-South Africa, New Zealand and Australia

A library and gift shop are also available to visitors. Plants may be purchased and taken home.

Friday, September 11, 2009


A few months ago, with permission I had the opportunity to divide a succulent plant (Hens and Chicks)from a spot nearby my home. I had a bare spot in my yard after some gophers had done damage and a tree was removed.

Free plants are great and this particular one grows well and is easy to care for.

A family member was also disposing of some irises that did not do well in her shady yard so I made use of them too.

They were a little droopy when first planted, but three months later they've really filled in.Now I have a new stash to plant this weekend. They are very drought tolerant and are supposed to be fairly tolerant of the cold, at least in this mild California climate. In colder climates they can be taken inside.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Capitola Begonia Festival Parade

The Capitola Begonia Festival has been a tradition in Santa Cruz County for 57 years. Every Labor Day Weekend Floats are decorated using local begonias and paraded down the Soquel Creek. Floats are generally either paddled or pulled down the river by kayak, canoes, surfboards. It's a small, but beloved tradition and I'm ashamed to say that before today, I had never gone. It was fun to watch from the train trestle. I wondered how a hundred people were going to escape if a train should arrive, but was assured the train did not run on Sundays. Then, I just worried that the old thing would cave in. Anyway, we survived and were entertained. The first float was manned, by a group of rowdy Cal Poly students. I'm not sure what their theme was, but they liked to chant. Other floats included various forms of transportation such as planes, automobiles and Captain Hook's boat from Peter Pan.

Taken from the Train Trestle high above Capitola, people on the Stockton Bridge and beach beyond are waiting for the parade to begin.

Spectators looking down from the train trestle which is high above the River below.

For those of you that don't know what a begonia looks like, here's a close up.

Click here to view a cool video for by Romney Dunbar of Dunbar Productions. Romney was also one of the event MC's.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Capitola Sand Sculpture Contest

This morning my son and I went into Capitola to take a look at the Annual Sand Sculpture Contest that is actually just one part of the Annual Begonia Festival. The theme this year is Up with Capitola so several entries featured balloons, and various forms of flight although that may not have been a requirement. Children and adults got into the action. I am posting a few of the photos I was able to get. Size and angles made it difficult to get great views, but it was a great day. The weather was perfect.

Some of the entries. Some of the larger one's were difficult to photograph