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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

California Dreaming


California dreaming. San Diego dreaming actually. Garden dreaming.............. about my father-in-law's garden to be exact. Ever since that first BBQ back here when I was only 16, meeting Jim's family for the first time, I have loved being in this backyard. His family moved into this house when he was just a child, so for many many years his Dad has cultivated and cared for this yard. The lovely San Diego climate has certainly been an advantage but I think part of his secret has been that over the years he has consistently nurtured the soil, not with chemical fertilizers, but with fish! Before he retired he was the owner of numerous Charter Sportfishing boats that operated from the landings there in San Diego.....so there was always an abundance of fish. Remember the pictures in your second grade reader of Squanto and his friends digging a hole and showing the pilgrims how to bury a fish to fertilize their corn crop? Well, evidently it works.










My father-in-law is also a bird lover so he's always thinking of ways to attract birds to his yard. It's fascinating to me to watch the dozens of yellow finches that show up at his feeders.













Now if anyone can tell me what this beautiful red plant is I would certainly appreciate it. My father-in-law doesn't know either because he bought it as a tiny forlorn little thing that was so dehydrated that he got it for almost nothing.....no name tag or anything! The garden center did not stock anymore like it and no one seems to know it's name. Garden books and Googling haven't brought up the right information either. It reminds me of some sort of bottle brush but I don't think it is because the flowers themselves have such a soft velvety feeling. I love this fuzzy little guy and have tried unsuccessfully to propagate cuttings from it. Maybe if I knew what it was........any ideas?











The lemon tree is a Meyers Lemon and if you've ever had one I guarantee you'll never want any other kind!







Lots of beautiful Jade bamboo.....






 
Daisies everywhere.......






 
Several different colors of Bougainvillea....






We always call these pinwheel daisies






 

Brilliant Orange Lily




It's the perfect place to relax with a cup of coffee in the morning or a cool drink in the afternoon........oh and lots of good reading material! While we always visit the beaches and enjoy the sights whenever we're in San Diego, I've got to say I'm very contented just hanging out a good deal of the time right there in the garden. Can you blame me?
I can't pack my bags just yet.....but who knows....maybe before too long!




Join Susan at A Southern Daydreamer today
for other lovely outdoor posts.
And if you enjoy watching the birds like I do you'll want to check out the participants in

26 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Elaine, Your father-in-law's home is gorgeous. I've seen that fuzzy flower before --but cannot think of the name of it. His feeders look alot like mine. We have tons of Goldfinch also...

The yard and flowers are gorgeous...

Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

The Glamorous Housewife said...

What an amazing garden! I don't know the name of that red fuzzy plant, though I have seen it before. But I do know the name of the pink flowers in the photo of the lemon tree. They are called 'naked ladies'. When the plant first starts out it has long thin leaves- sort of like an agapantha- but then the leaves die and the plant flowers- hence they are 'naked' without their leaves!

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

Amy said...

Hi Elaine...thanks for stopping by and the good wishes. I loved all the garden pics....especially the bougainvillea. We don't have that here in Michigan (I think it's a warm climate flower), but I sure do enjoy seeing it from time to time on the blogs.

Just one more load and I'm done for tonight........have a sweet day tomorrow!
Love,
Amy

Ginny said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful girl! I'd want to hang out there too. I would have guessed that the red fuzzy was related to the bottlebrush but you're right. Not if it's smooth and velvety. I'll check out a few things and see if I can find out. Let you know if I do!

Meagan said...

I lived in San Diego for several years when my husband was in the Navy. We loved living there. And what a growing season!! Beautiful shots of your father-in-law's yard. It looks like he spends a lot of time taking care of it!

Lori E said...

I would love to have some of those pretty birds here. They have a lot of green belt to live in near me so they are not too interested in what is in our yard.

storyteller said...

Lovely outdoor images ;--)
I live a couple of hours north of San Diego and see some of the same birds and plants here in Orange County. Although I see that 'bottle brush looking' plant everywhere and ask others often, no one seems to know what it's called. I hope someone here provides the answer for both of us. I'm participating in Outdoor Wednesday for the first time today at Small Reflections ... sharing 'surfing' images I photographed and collaged with Photoshop Elements over the weekend at the US Open International Championships.
Hugs and blessings,

Regina said...

Very lovely!
Happy outdoor.

Mary @ Framed and Tagged said...

California must be a wonderful place to live! We have tons of goldfinches in the winter but in the spring they leave...do you think they go to the west coast?
Great post!

Happy OW!!

YayaOrchid said...

Oh, Elaine! What a magnificent garden! I don't blame you for wanting to spend time there. I wish I could be of help in identifying the plant. It looks like you said a bottlebrush.

One thing that puzzles me, is how does he get so many finches? Is it maybe the place is on their migration route? We have set up feeders like that, and while we do get a couple of finches to visit each winter, they never use the feeders! It's that niger seed, right what he uses? And these pictures are recent, as in Summer pictures? They only come by here during the winter.

Elaine said...

Ya Ya....Yes the seed he uses is niger seed and I am constantly amazed at home many birds it attracts. It can go on all day long. These are summer pictures...and San Diego does seem to be on the migratory route of quite a number of birds.

Terry said...

I used to go to a doctor who used fish as fertilizer. He would dig a hole and plop them in. It must work, look at your father in laws flower garden.

Denise said...

Hi Elaine, I just followed your link from Today's Flowers and am enjoying your wonderful blog and its beautiful photography. Your father-in-law's garden is magnificent. We lived in San Diego many years ago. We loved our time there. Now onto your other posts :)

Mary said...

What a lovely home. I think we all could crash quite peacefully there.

Blue Creek Home said...

Hi Elaine,
I love the little touch of romance in your Outdoor Wednesday!
A beautiful yard, indeed!!!
And thank you so much for visiting!
Rhonda

Kelly said...

...wow....those are a lot of goldfinches. I just love when they do that! ...and what gorgeous flowers (I have no idea what the red flower is). I bet a lot of butterflies hang around those flowers!

Kelly said...

p.s. I like your little countdown Christmas tree in the left sidebar. Totally fun!! :-)

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

What a beautiful yard! And the photo of the finch at the feeders is incredible! Your f-i-l obviously loves gardening, and his garden obviously loves him! Spectacular. laurie

Ebie said...

This is my blog.
Hi Elaine, we are just neighbors (125 miles away, giggles!) That is a gorgeous garden and very well maintained and healthy!Love the varieties of the flowers. Thanks for stopping by.

jeanne said...

Good morning Elaine. Your outdoor post is wonderful. I so enjoyed your FIL's beautiful yard and garden. His flowers are awesome. I do not know what those cute fuzzy flowers are either. The finches are so sweet. We JUST hung a finch feeder. The funniest thing happened. Our hummer tried like crazy to find a way to get food from it. Probably because for a few years, the hummingbird feeder hung there. We did the terrible thing and moved it to a different place. He finally found it, thank goodness.

Thank you for your visit. I appreciate it very much.

Hugs...Jeanne

Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

That is a gorgeous garden, Elaine! Just wonderful. I would give anything to have those darling finches in my garden, but I don't think we have them here in Dallas. And thank you for the link to Bird Photography Weekly ... I can't wait to see them all!
Cheers, Andrea

Darcel said...

Beautiful pictures! I love the orange flower towards the bottom.
Stopping by from SITS.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

What a pretty garden. Sorry - can't help on the flower. I would have thought bottle brush myself.
Glenda

Gingeyginge said...

Such beautiful photo's

Margaret said...

Wow that's backyard is so beautiful. I hope to have one like that someday! Hopefully... haha. I wish I could visit his garden.

Mikki Black said...

What a pretty garden! It was totally worth the (not very) long and tedious trip over from SITS. :)

Is you plant perhaps an acalypha hispida (chenille plant)? Check out this nursery's site. (the page has a lot of pictures and takes a while to load, but the plants are listed alphabetically)

Happy SITS-S-S