Felton Covered Bridge

Ha! This old article shows how less uptight I was about blogging three years ago.

Tony Tomeo

04Now that I have been watching a few other blogs for three months, I notice that some people write some very interesting or at least entertaining articles about topic that are not directly related to the main topic of their respective blogs. Most are just like old fashioned slide shows (remember those?) with cool pictures from around the neighborhood, travels, home projects, or whatever might be interesting. I have not done this yet; but I happen to have a bit of free time at the moment, so thought that I would post these three pictures of the historic Felton Covered Bridge. Although I am technically from Los Gatos, my home is in the Santa Cruz Mountains between Los Gatos and Felton. I also have history in Felton, since my grandparents and my Pa used to live here.

In an attempt to keep this post relevant to horticulture, I should mention…

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Horticulture – It’s What I do.

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Rhody, . . . because everyone loves Rhody, . . . and this is not about horticulture anyway.

This is not a misspelling of a misspelling. There is no misspelling of “Horticulture” in the title this week. “Horridculture” is typical of my rants on Wednesday. It is not the only deviation from the norm here. I included the contraction of “It’s” in the title. I have been trying to relax my otherwise objectionably uptight writing style; but a contraction in the title still makes me cringe.

Horridculture – It Is What I Do Not Do.” would be consistent with my style, but silly, and not so relevant to the subject matter. I am a horticulturist, arborist and garden columnist. I enjoy what I do very much, which is why I made a career of it. It is demanding work though, and does not afford much time for blogging. The quality of my blogging is consequently compromised.

I still work as many as three days weekly at a job that was supposed to be temporary two years ago! It is so excellent that I can not bear to leave, although I must eventually do so. It entails the maintenance of many acres of landscapes and forest at a Christian Conference Center. We have been unable to work for the past month, so will be busier than typical as we resume work.

Mondays and Tuesdays are my days for writing my weekly gardening column. I should probably retire from this work, but enjoy it so much, and would prefer to instead expand it into other publications to fill in the gaps between San Francisco and Los Angeles. I do intend to simplify this writing, even if expanding it; so that I can do it all on Mondays like I used to not so long ago.

For more than the past two years, I have not inspected trees or landscapes for other arborists or landscape professions. There just is not sufficient time! I do miss that work, and composing reports for those who dislike writing. (Arborists and landscape professionals who enjoy their trees and landscapes innately dislike writing.) If I ever resume such work, it will be only rarely.

I intend to eventually return to the farm where I belong, and resume production of horticultural commodities. As much as I enjoy the rest of what I do, growing things is what I do naturally. It is why my ‘temporary’ job was supposed to be ‘temporary’ two years ago. It will involve even more demanding work than what I already can not keep up with, but it is what I need to do.

Therefore, I will have even less time to devote to blogging. I intend to continue to post my brief weekly gardening column in two parts on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as old articles from the same gardening column in two parts on Thursdays and Fridays. I would also like to continue with Six on Saturday and other brief posts for Saturdays at noon, Sundays and Wednesdays.

I write for my gardening column weekly regardless of the blog. Old articles from the column are already written. Only new posts for Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays need to be written separately; so some or all will be omitted if necessary. What I must discontinue now is my involvement with the many compelling blogs that I have been following for the past many months.

I will not stop following any of the blogs that I presently follow. I will just not be able to read all of the posts, or interact with them like I had been. For me, it will be quite a weird adjustment. I feel obligated to read much of what others post into blogs that I follow. If someone puts effort into positing it, then it must be important. I certainly enjoy how others interact with my blog.

I certainly do not want anyone to think that I lost interest in their respective blog. Many of them provide ideas for what I should write about within the context of my own weekly gardening column. Insight into horticulture in other climates, regions and even cultures has been fascinating. This is merely something that I must sacrifice in order to continue on with my own writing.

Felton League

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When I started posting my weekly gardening articles here, along with a few other odds and ends, I reserved the right to occasionally post articles or information that is not directly related to horticulture. I do not do it often, but I will do it now, in order to briefly explain another blog that I started today.
Felton League
It will feature articles and insight about the distinguished small group of displaced or socially marginalized people and their friends in Felton in California. In other words, it will be about our homeless Community.
In about 2013, at a time when the homeless were more openly persecuted and assaulted, and evenly violently attacked, Felton League began as an informational forum on Facebook. We had been discouraged by the portrayal of the homeless in other so-called ‘community’ groups. Disparaging pictures, often contrived, were shared openly for the amusement of haters. This is common on the pages of our local law enforcement agencies.
Well, that seemed like a good idea. We started sharing pictures of those taking pictures of us, and describing how they stalked us for the sake of taking such pictures. They did not like that, and accused us of stalking, harassment, and all sorts of nonsense. They were also much more careful about how they stalked us.
In fact, the stalking subsided so much shortly after the establishment of Felton League, that the page was almost deleted. Instead, it remained as a Community forum for topics that were of interest to our segment of the Community. It was designed to appeal to less than one percent of the populace, most of whom do not use Facebook, but gained quite a following. There were nearly a hundred followers, but less than a dozen homeless.
That seemed rather odd, especially since a local hate group that specializes in the derision of the homeless, and claiming to represent ‘everyone’ in town, had only about three dozen followers when an associate checked in on them about a month ago. It became obvious that others beyond our Community appreciate the insight.
It is now time to expand Felton League. I hope that this blog makes it more available to a broader audience. I will not post daily. Nor will I discuss certain local events and news that are not directly related to our distinguished small group. As unpleasant as homelessness is, I hope that readers find Felton League to be insightful and perhaps, in some ways, encouraging.
The three men in the pictures above and below are three old friends and members of our Community who have passed away since the establishment of Felton League, and are three of the reasons why I continue to write.

Felton League can be found at feltonleague.com

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Schedule Adjustment

P80624Something that I neglected to consider about the first year anniversary of this blog is that what was new is now old. The articles from my weekly gardening column that were new when posted last year are now a year old. That necessitates an adjustment to scheduling.
Recent articles get posted on Mondays and Tuesdays. Each article gets split into two separate posts. The first part on Monday is the main article, which is about a specified horticultural topic. The second part on Tuesday is about the featured species. Older articles from the same time a year earlier get posted in the same manner on Thursdays and Fridays. That format worked well until now. Articles that were new in the beginning of September of last year are scheduled to be recycled now, for the beginning of September this year.
Obviously, there is no point in posting the same articles twice. ‘Flowers Might Be Getting Scarce’ and ‘Fernleaf Yarrow’ were already recycled earlier, before I noticed that they were two of the first articles posted a year ago. The simple solution would be to back up a year, to recycle articles from 2016 instead of from 2017. However, those articles were already recycled on Thursdays and Fridays. Therefore, the schedule will be backed up even farther, to recycle articles from the same time in 2015. I am trying to keep this simple. Of course, no one should notice. The articles are appropriate to the season regardless of what year they were written in.
What might get noticed is that a few extra articles will be added to the mix. This will only continue between about now and the beginning of November, which was when I started recycling articles last year. Because the blog started in the beginning of September, and I started recycling year-old articles in the beginning of November, there are articles from September and October (between about September 1 and November 1) of 2016 that have not yet been recycled. I want to use them up just to that none get left out.
This is probably way more explanation than anyone needs, particularly since it is mostly in regard to something that should not get noticed; but it will explain the few extra articles between now and November. If I get a bit of time later today, I might add the first of the superfluous articles tonight.

Saint Fiacre Day

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Today, September 1, was the Feastday of Saint Fiacre, the Patron Saint of gardeners. I would not have known if I had not earlier seen this very thorough and informative article written by Doctor David Marsh of the Gardens Trust;

https://thegardenstrustblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/01/st-fiacre/

In all my writing, I had mentioned Saint Fiacre only once, and only in regard to garden statuary. I described how Saint Francis, who happens to be the patron saint of animals, is popularly believed to be the patron saint of gardeners because his statue is so popular in gardens, often in conjunction with statues of frolicking animals, but that statues of Saint Fiacre are very rare.

Besides the Feastday of Saint Fiacre, this September 1 also happens to be the first year anniversary of my blog. I have now been posting articles from my weekly gardening column, as well as other elaborations, for an entire year. With the exception of September 2, the day after establishing the blog, I have posted an article daily. Since participating with the Six on Saturday meme, I have been posting two articles on Saturday. There were even a few days in which three articles were posted.

Unfortunately, back in February or March, my weekly gardening column was discontinued from the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, which was the first newspaper group that I started writing for nearly twenty years ago. Silicon Valley Community Newspapers still has access to the articles, and can use them if they choose to; but I am no longer employed with them. Because I write for several other newspaper groups, I did not want to stop writing my weekly gardening column just yet. I enjoy it too much. I will have been writing it for twenty years in October, but blogging is still new to me.

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Upgrade Today

P80624This is it; the big day. I will delay it no longer. I said that I would upgrade quite some time ago, but had not yet done so. https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/06/24/upgrade/

Will this upgrade improve anything? I really do not know. I tried to do a bit of research in regard to the advantages of an upgrade, and could find very little of the information that I was looking for. It seems to me that upgrading will initiate more work for me, but will not necessarily make my articles more accessible or appealing. I will need to make improvements to the presentation of my articles on my own. Upgrading makes these improvements possible, but does not execute improvements without my efforts and direction. Nor does it change the content to improve accuracy for a broader audience. My articles will still be half a year late-or-early for Australia and all other places in the Southern Hemisphere. Harsh summer heat and winter cold will still be topics that will be lacking merely because the climate here lacks such variables. Upgrading can do only so much.

After my minimal research, I determined that the most efficient means by which to determine if an upgrade would be beneficial is to try it.

Something should be done. The newspaper group that I started writing for nearly twenty years ago no longer features my gardening column. Other newspapers that feature it only do so occasionally. Some do it monthly. Some do it when space is available. One of the larger newspapers features it weekly, but only for their online version. It is not easy to justify writing my articles if they are not being distributed like they had been.

By the time you read this, the upgrade will have been initiated. We will see what happens.

25 Yrs