Holiday Weekend Flowerworks

Holiday Memorial Day weekend means extra time to work the garden. The man put the finishing touches on his stone layout, then we were off to purchase a rose bush (Neptune) to add to the blue/purple theme. I was then able to finalize our backyard garden and get plants into the ground.


The kids of course were on-hand to clown around and check out the new plantings.

Once the yard project was done, it was time to take stock of what was blooming…

New Backyard Garden

Started the new backyard garden bed this weekend. Want an upper body workout? Start by digging into wet clay…guaranteed to make you sore within the the first 10 minutes.

Then head over to the home improvement store and haul as many bags of garden soil your car trunk can carry (20 cubic ft in a Hyundai Sonata).

Empty about 42 cubic feet of garden soil, compost and landscapers mix into your new bed…and realize you still need more soil.

After all is said and done, watch your adorably cute furkids clown around in the yard.

Bloom-crazy Skullcaps

The Cherry and Violet Cloud skullcaps are announcing what spring is all about: flower power!

The Cherry (or Pink) skullcap is particularly impressive for its masses of blooms. I’m so impressed with this scutellaria. This is a second year plant and has maintained a nice, tight mounded habit since I first planted it.

The purple blooms of the Violet Cloud isn’t as plentiful as Cherry Pink, but it is still a young plant. While it seems to sprawl a bit more than the Cherry Skullcap, its purple blooms provide great color contrast with the yellows and greens in a flower garden.

I read that scutellaria can be propagated via softwood cuttings, so I’ll be taking a few samples this week to try them out.

Luscious Calla Purple and Cream Edition

One of my favorite purples in the colorful flower garden is the Picasso Calla lily (Zantedeschia) aka Purple Wizard, according to Daves Garden Plantfile. This clump is sitting in morning sun and gets afternoon shade in the lee of our Shantung maple, along with moderate watering.

What started out as a trio of calla lily bulbs purchased from North Haven Gardens in 2016 has grown into an impressive stand of speckled foliage and beautiful purple and cream blooms over 2′ high and wide.

As seen in the pictures, its foliage complements a variegated ginger nicely, and would certainly look good paired with other tropical plants.

My man plans to build a water feature in our backyard (as soon as he is done thinking about it), and I have in mind to add more of these Picassos to decorate it. However, it has been difficult sourcing this bulb variety at local nurseries and garden centers this year, and I see that Pacific Callas only offers this to wholesale operators, no longer the home gardener. I did spot these at Brent and Becky’s site, so I do have options.

Adventures in cloud hosting

Free hosting drama has brought my site postings to a virtual standstill in the last 6-8 months. It took me a long time to decide on a new home for my websites, which is why there haven’t been too many entries on subjects such as gardening or cooking.

But I think I’ve found at semi-permanent home at cloud hosts Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Both cloud services offered a free tier on which I could flex my Linux muscle and try self-hosting WordPress remotely.

After several weeks of experimentation and false starts (notably a Bitnami solution that was a headache to learn on top of all the other things I need to be familiar with), I can report that my sites are back up and running. At least temporarily. If administration doesn’t suck up too much of time, I hope to catch up on all the posts from the past year, which I will likely compress in weekly or monthly summaries.

Suffice it to say, my current hosting set up consists of Ubuntu 16.04 running Apache/PHP/MariaDB, with Webmin control panel for client administration. There’s obviously more under the hood, but these are the major aspects.

Let the blogging continue…or restart.