The Traveling Adventures of Gardenerd

Gardenerd joined me at our local post office for his last excursion in San Jose. We’ve had such a good time. As plush carrots go, he really has quite the personality.

He briefly considered auditioning for the part of a California Poppy, but alas it was time to hit the road.

gardenerd and poppy

To be [a poppy], or not to be, that is the question.

Gardenerd arrived in San Jose via Sarah the Gardener. He spent time in the gardens of Upper Hutt and Waiuku, New Zealand before traveling to the States. He’s now on his way to Des Allemande, Louisiana, a small community in the southern United States.

While here in San Jose, Gardenerd posed for the obligatory “I’ve just arrived and I’m happy to be out of my box” pics.  Then I put him to work. He supervised the VegTrug planting bed assembly, then helped us celebrate the arrival of some much-needed rain.

In between storms, Gardenerd came along on a walk through Martial Cottle Park. I plan to write more about this wonderful new place in a future post but in summary: Martial Cottle arrived in the valley in 1864 and farmed the land for over 150 years. The Cottle-Lester family resisted eager developers swooping in for years. At his death, following his mother’s wishes, the family transferred the remaining 287 acres to the state and county for development of a public park and urban farmland. They opened to the public in December of 2014.

I’ve walked there two or three times with my friend Mary Ann, and I’m eager to share this gem of a place with others.

At the end of his first week, Gardenerd traveled with us to beautiful Carmel-by-the-sea. Doesn’t he look rested? I think it’s that wonderful sea air.

gardenerd in carmel

He lounged in the room, considered a game of chess and enjoyed the beautiful gardens.

Alas, it was time for Gardenerd to move on to his next garden adventure. Safe travels, little buddy. I’m looking forward to seeing you on Twitter and Instagram.

Where Did He Go?

You can follow Gardenerd’s travels via Instagram or Twitter by using the hashtag #wheresgardenerd (just one ‘n’)

Additional photos on my Facebook Page Gardening Nirvana

My heartfelt thanks to Christy at for allowing us to host Gardenerd in San Jose, California.

Wildflower Hike

Karen and Dylan weren’t able to join me on Monday for our walk. Instead I hiked the Quicksilver trail on my own in search of wildflowers. I hoofed it up the hill and got my heart rate going, but I also enjoyed the opportunity to stop several times along the way.

The hills, parched and dry, are a worrying site this early in the year. Most of the grass along the trail’s edge is golden brown instead of green.

dry grass along the quicksilver trail

View of Silicon Valley from the Almaden Quicksilver Trail

Here and there, though I spotted tiny dots of color. It stands to reason that wildflowers native to our region are able to withstand the drought.

Here’s a sample:

variety of wildflowers

Santa Clara County wildflowers


This reminds me of a delicate orchid

assorted wildfowers 2

I also passed several happy pooches enjoying the trail. A few of them stopped for a photo-op, but they were more interested in walking and playing.

blonde dog on the trail

Cutie-patootie number one

dogs on the trail

Cutie-patootie number two

Birds flew in and out of the dry brush, camouflaging well among the branches.

bird at quicksilver

Can you see me now?

Half way down the hill, I heard a cacophony of birds in one tree, clearly distressed.  Here’s a sample:

I strained to see what I assumed was a predator, moving the lens of my camera back and forth. In the split second it took to adjust my eyes, I spotted the hawk. Just as quickly it flew away, a jay hot on its tail. My reflexes just weren’t fast enough.

Steller's Jay

Steller’s Jay

On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I spotted a Who from the beloved book Horton Hears a Who!  That, my friend, made my day.


Who-ville? Who knows.