Craig Levy

Two Houses: Dioecious Plants, part 6

– Posted in: Plant info

Imagine having a garden composed of only female plants. It could be considered a goddess garden. Think how subtle that would be. I wonder how long it would take for visitors to discover the organizing principle. It might be the solution for persons with pollen allergies or provide cuts for their house. I could have [...]

Two Houses: Dioecious Plants, part 5

– Posted in: Plant info

I had a hard time thinking of a vegetable that belonged with this group and then it hit me: Asparagus. Named varieties are usually all male but the grower missed this one. Asparagus is my number one favorite vegetable and the plants from the garden are the sweetest I’ve tasted. Male and female are equally [...]

Two Houses: Dioecious Plants, part 4

– Posted in: Plant info

I never considered it before I started looking for these plants but some of them exhibit sexual dimorphism, an obvious physical difference between male and female. The Silene is a good example. The male leaves are narrower, its sepals are pigmented and the flowers are smaller but more abundant. The females are a brighter white, [...]

Two Houses: Dioecious Plants, part 3

– Posted in: Plant info

The swelling flower buds of Red Maples give some of the first colorings in spring, letting us know that most of winter is behind us. The open flowers reveal that they’re part of this group, too. Another dioecious American native is Kentucky Coffee Tree with the challenging name Gymnocladus dioica (jim-NOK-lad-us dy-oh-EYE-kuh, try it, it's [...]

Two Houses: Dioecious Plants, part 2

– Posted in: Plant info

In the Oakland hills near the Berkeley border is Chapel of the Chimes, a columbarium. Renovated and expanded by Julia Morgan, the architect of Hearst Castle in San Simeon, it is a melding of Spanish and Gothic styles with arches, latticing and copious stained glass. I’ve been visiting since I was very young and it [...]

Two Houses: Dioecious Plants, part 1

– Posted in: Plant info

The street I grew up on was lined with Sycamore trees. Their leafy masses were a delight in summer and always produced some good-natured grumbling during fall raking. These were small city lots and as time moved on problems developed. Blocked sewer lines became common and sidewalks started to lift and shift, making walking difficult [...]

Lucky 7

– Posted in: Plant info, Weather

Instead of a single day of good fortune like yesterday's auspicious 07/07/07, this has been a week of luck for one reason: rain. Although it can't be discerned from the surrounding woods with their uncommon fullness bordering on rainforest-like lushness, this summer has been uncommonly dry. Late spring and summer started out so well it [...]

Servicing my watering needs

– Posted in: Garden chores, Tools and Equipment

I had a conversation with a gardening friend about watering the other day. We each have strong personalities and the talk was lively and interesting, filled with opinions and advice. When the time came for “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” I did and I’ll share them with you too. I have [...]

Classic Garden Structures: Book Review

– Posted in: Book reviews

When I'm thinking of building a garden project, the first book I turn to for ideas and inspiration is Classic Garden Structures by Jan and Michael Gertley. I've read and leafed through many books on making and building objects for the garden but this one remains my favorite. Beyond their inherent usefulness, all of the [...]