Rodent barriers

Proving that poor aesthetics have no boundaries, this apparent rodent barrier doubles as a solar cooker on sunny days.

Seriously, what was this guy thinking? There's no particular reason for rodents to be in this tree and it's not near his house. And what's with the double row of circular concrete pavers? They look like manhole covers.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone

Madia elegans ii

The Madia elegans (Tarweed) is blooming nicely. It's in the Asteraceae family and the seeds were used as food by native people.
This was a "try one to see if you like it and it likes you" sort of garden effort, so I tucked it into the corner of the rose bed in front.

The photo above was taken in the a.m., when the flowers seem to seek light. They are fully open and the look of the plant is quite nice.

But by the end of the day, the flowers shun the more direct sunlight that the plant receives on the western side of my house. Some seem to close entirely and others pivot away from the sun. This is a known behavior of the plant.
- Posted at great expense from my iPhone


Madia elegans (Common Madia)

It's started to flower now, and looks to be coming on strong with many more flowers. Red roses in the background sort of set the scale and lets you know that these flowers are significantly larger than your garden variety daisy.

Madia elegans (Common Madia, Tar Weed)

This is, of course, a California native plant, but not exclusively: It is endemic to the western states.  One of the common names is Tar Weed, because it has a strong and distinctive smell, unlike tar if you ask me, but strong and distinctive nonetheless.  This was a one-off purchase / experiment from Annies and it's done quite well.


Don't do this

It's so much easier to be a critic than to be a force for knowledge and goodness.  Plus it's fun to point out others' mistakes while revealing none of your own.  In that spirit, I offer two things you should strive NEVER to do in the garden.

First up is crappy topiary that looks like tuna cans then we talk about dangerous and strangely shaped trees.