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UC Davis Arboretum plant sale October 1, 2022

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The University of California Arboretum will have its first plant sale of the season this Saturday, October 1, 2022, at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive . This sale is for Arboretum members only . The other two fall sales—on Saturday, October 22 and Saturday, November 5—will be open to the public. The availability list for the first sale is now online , both in Excel and Acrobat format. Going through the list takes a while—there are 797 entries on 69 pages—but for me, it’s one of the most fun things to do. As a volunteer, I was able to attend the VIP Early-Bird Sale yesterday and took some photos. The nursery is packed to the gills with plants, many of them blooming (I know many shoppers prefer to buy plants that are in flower). Salvia is the genus with the most individual taxa. There are 73 unique salvias for sale, both species and hybrids, ranging from Salvia ‘African Sky’ to Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’. This includes a few rosemarys, too, now that the former genus Rosmarin

A few things I'm grateful for

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Since we see our own garden every day, it’s only natural to focus on the things that need attention— an area that isn’t quite what you had envisioned, a plant that doesn’t fit in the way you were hoping, or a general feeling of discontent. I’m not immune to this. But I try not to dwell on the negatives and instead refocus on the things that are working, that make me happy. On that note, here are a few things in the garden I’m grateful for. Call it Mindfulness 101, September 2022 edition. The tree in the middle of the front yard is a palo blanco (originally Acacia willardiana , then Mariosousa willardiana , now Mariosousa heterophylla ) I may not love every detail, but overall I continue to be excited about how the front yard has turned out (above and below): This too: I love many types of plants, like this one: Nolina texana , aka Texas bear grass, one of the plants I brought back from the 2018 Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin, TX Nolina texana ...but my heart belongs to spikes and ros

Almost 3" of rain later...

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When I saw rain pop up in the forecast early last week, I was skeptical because I’ve been disappointed so many times. But as the week wore on, the possibility of precipitation became more tangible even as the timeframe kept being pushed out. Saturday brought intermittently cloudy skies and a few sprinkles, but not enough to register on any rain gauge. On Sunday, things became serious: rain was starting to fall, slow and hesitant at first, then heavy at times. I thought it would peter out on Monday, but just the opposite happened: rain on and off in the morning and afternoon, turning into a full-blown multi-hour event with lightning, thunder, and at times pelting rain. Here’s a 1-minute video of the front yard in early evening. The rain was so loud, it’s hard to hear the claps of thunder throughout: When all was said and done, we’d received 1.24" (31.5mm) on Sunday and 1.58" (40.1mm) on Monday for a total of 2.82" (71.6mm), all according to the UC Davis climate station :

A cool nursery in a lush forest on a magical island

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On our trip to Victoria, British Columbia in June , we spent a couple of days on Salt Spring Island . It’s the largest of the Gulf Islands , located in the Strait of Georgia just off Vancouver Island (see maps at the end this post). Salt Spring Island is easy to reach via ferry from Swartz Bay, just north of the Victoria airport. The ferry ride takes about 35 minutes. Salt Spring Island has a population of approx. 12,000. About half of the residents live in Ganges , the largest settlement. It’s home to most of the island’s shops, galleries, and restaurants as well as its colorful and well-attended Saturday market where you can buy anything from arts and crafts, clothing, crystals and other New Age imponderabilia to the freshest fruits, vegetables, and baked goods imaginable. When my friend Dan, who grew up in Victoria, found out that we were going to Salt Spring Island, he told me we had to visit Fraser’s Thimble Farms, a destination nursery on the northern tip of the island specializ