Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! This is a happy day! And Happy Passover, a couple of days late!

Our kids still get Easter baskets, because you're never too old for chocolate, or Legos.

Our neighborhood has a big egg hunt for the little kids, and then an outdoor brunch. Everyone brings a dish to share, and whatever patio furniture they can haul over to the yard where the brunch is held. This year I volunteered to do the flowers for the tables. There's a lot blooming already, so it was fun to make about 10 tiny posies, or Tussie-mussie's, as I like to call them. I know very little about flower arranging, but it seems to me that if you add a lot of color and variety, they turn out nicely.

Everything laid out for arranging

Here they are all together, waiting for transport

Saturday was the Great Tomato Sale, a local fundraiser put on by the Master Gardeners. I bought four slicing tomatoes, four cherry tomatoes, and four paste tomatoes. I also bought four sweet peppers and four hot peppers.

I plant most everything else from seed, including a few herbs like cilantro and basil. (Other herbs, I buy starts.) I don't know why I have a mental block about starting my own tomato seeds indoors and then transplanting them in to the garden - it might be that we just don't have room - it might be that I don't want to buy all the equipment, like grow lights. I'm happy supporting the Master Gardeners, who do good work, by spending a very reasonable $3 per veg.

Nothing got planted this weekend, though, between one thing and another (and a little RAIN!), so I'll try to get to that this week.

But first, I have to solve a problem. We're having some issues with Tasha the cat in the prepared, but unplanted, raised beds. And Joe the dog has been digging near the huckleberry. This never happened on the South Garden, but this back garden is firmly in house-cat/house-dog territory and I think the pets are really noticing that their hang-out space has been reduced. For the dog, I noticed that the digging happened when I hid his frisbees (because they are always littered around the yard), so I've given him those and hopefully that will appease any boredom when he's left alone in the yard (which isn't often, let me be clear). For the cat, I'm going to try a technique I found on the web, very scientific :), where you stick plastic forks, tines up, in the beds. I can't imagine those will feel good on soft padded paws. I'll let you know how this works. I'm not worried about beds where I am planting seedlings and cages, I'm more worried about where there are seeds. I don't mind pee - pee is nontoxic and a good source of nitrogen - but I don't want feces in the beds. And I don't want things dug up after the hard work of planting them.

I had a wonderful afternoon walk with Joe in the foothills of Mt Diablo/Shell Ridge area on Saturday. The hills are so green right now, and the wildflowers really lovely.

CA willow tree seed pods

Hills covered in purple vetch

Elegant Brodaiea

Blue-eyed grass and vetch

As I was heading toward the gate at the end of our walk, I looked back up the hill and saw a creature  loping down. Something made me stop and watch. It continued loping down towards me, while another one split off and went up the side of the hill. As the creature came closer, I realized it was a pair of coyotes, and the one heading my way was still coming, and was going to cross my path. I moved forward with Joe and got to the gate and watched the coyote lope up the opposite hill, then stop and look around. It was young and fairly small and quite beautiful. Normally coyotes, though curious about humans, stay well away as they are very shy. This one seemed unafraid. 

I love seeing predators in the wild. Mostly because it's unusual, I guess, where deer and turkeys are as common as  pets, it seems. I've never seen a cougar but would love to.

Hope you're having a wonderful Easter weekend, and that it involves chocolate. :)