Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bay Friendly Garden Tour


This past weekend was the Bay Friendly Garden Tour, which promotes lowered water usage, reduction of chemicals, composting, food-production (for humans and wildlife) and re-purposing of materials. It's a fun, funky tour of East Bay gardens.

Robb quickly discovered that the squishy walking surface created by thickly applied "gorilla hair mulch" sends his feet and legs into wracking muscle spasms. Sadly, he gave up on the tour after only one stop. This was a shame, because there were a lot of beautiful things to see.

I'm a bit conflicted on the subject of mulch. Sure, it suppresses weeds, and holds in moisture, but it's not always good in all parts of a habitat garden. If you want to give your native bees a place to raise their families, they have to have direct access to garden soil.

It was a great pleasure to see what my neighbors were growing.

Strangely, this photo got bleached out when I uploaded it to the blog. I'm not sure what they flowers are. Currants, perhaps?

This year was a lovely year for ceanothus. Or, perhaps every year is a good year, and I only recently bgan to appreciate this plant. I wasn't aware that the beautiful blue blooms are followed by berries. Are these a good food source for the birds? I wonder.

I was really struck by the variety of plants grown in Oakland. Unfortunately, many of my photos didn't do justice to the beauty of the gardens. The seventy-five year old olive trees didn't photograph well. I wasn't able to capture the playful spirit of many of the gardens.

I was able to get a good shot of this female hummingbird, sipping nectar in a succulents-only greenhouse. Imagine the size of her tiny toe-bones!

So much love, and so much work, went into the gardens on this tour. It was really a delight to be allowed to visit these splendid spaces.


JGH said...

Enjoyed your tour- and I must say nobody's ever made me contemplate hummingbird toe bones before! Great pics!

Eliza said...

I love the "shhh" sign on the birdhouse. :) Also, I agree about native bees having a mulch-free patch or two in the garden. It's so easy to leave some bare spots.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

The "babies" were chestnut-backed chickadees.

Carol said...

I love the birdhouses and your hummingbird photo is so sweet... that last shot is a perfect ending to your tour. Gorilla hair mulch?????? I must have missed something there.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Carol -- if you click on the highlighted words, you'll be taken to a photo of the mulch in question. It's made of shredded redwood bark, and it really hairy.

Zerlindatar said...

Lisa, I live in South Bay and our tour was a few weeks ago. I think your photos are great. The hummingbird shot is spectacular!


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