A blog by Jorge Garcia.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Garden Gush: Birds and Purps

I just noticed something. I am partial to purple flowers. That's right. I ain't afraid to say it. 
If I see a purple flower at the nursery, chances are I'm going to buy it (especially if I've never seen it before). I bought a flower today. And then surveyed my garden and noticed that purple flowers seem to be a recurring theme. 

My favorite might be this one. 
It turns out it's a jalapeno plant. I didn't know they came in purple. 

People who come to Los Angeles from other states often claim to "miss seasons" this is always sounds ridiculous to me. L.A. has seasons too. They are subtle. But they are there.  My favorite is when the Jacaranda are in bloom. 



Now... I'm growing tomatoes. I grow them because I got tired of buying tomatoes that get overripe or rotten too quickly. I figured if they just hung out on the vine until I need them then they will always be ready. But this morning I was anxious to pick my first tomato to use in a sandwich. I walk outside and find the tomato has been eaten off the plant. It was eaten practically all the way to the stem. I could tell it was  a bird. 
Damn! Now I'm going to have to wait for the next tomato to turn red. 
But later the afternoon I saw the damn bird struck again. 
Then standing at the washing machine I saw the culprit. A bird sitting there on top of my tomato plant. Fearless. 
I went to the hardware store immediately. It turns out the guy there new exactly the bird I was talking about. He called it a "bobo" but I think officially it's a  bulbul. Red-vented bulbul to be exact. Word is they like to eat anything red.
And it is kind of cocky. While I was gone my girlfriend told me he came back and was eating a different tomato.
 
When she walked outside, it didn't move. She walked closer, it didn't move. It wasn't until she was at the plant that it finally flew away. So now my tomatoes are in a cage of bird netting. 
Hopefully that means "bobo" will have to find a new place for lunch.

45 comments:

rubbercement said...

maybe next time she can pull a matador stunt... wave a red cloth and catch mr. bobo. i wonder if he would eat ketchup.
those jacaranda are gorgeous... but i like purple. you don't see stuff like that here on the east coast.

Candice said...

But... what will the birdies eat now? I've never seen a red-vented bulbul. And now you want to be rid of him! Oh, but how I do so love tomatoes. Conflicted!

Rachel Snyder said...

I agree about the seasons and LA. I was there once several years ago in the springtime, and it was gorgeous! And if winters are mild, it beats the hell out of the Midwestern and Northeastern deep freezes I've experienced my whole life. Beautiful pictures!

litlnemo said...

Thanks for the jacaranda picture. I've never been to LA in the springtime, so I've never seen them. Very beautiful!

Up here in Seattle at the moment we don't have those, but the cherry trees are blooming, despite the bizarro snow flurries we've been getting. It's really pretty, but damn, it needs to warm up.

Yule said...

Wow, Jorge, your photos are fantastic.
In Italy there aren't wonderful seasons. Today there is a wonderful sun, but yesterday there was wind and cold.
Your little friend is a bird tremendous.
You have done a good job to close plants under a fence. Even I want to try them in my garden.
See you soon..is a pleasure to read your blog. Sara

Nicole said...

I am about 200 miles from LA and we DO have "seasons" but usually it just goes from "cold" to damn! it's hot in less than a month so if you blink you may miss it (though we are famous for the blossom trail each year, which is beautiful but my allergies hate it!)

I have tomatoes planted as well. Luckily we don't have problems with birds eating them :-) We just have a pesky pair of woodpeckers determinted to put a hole in my house!

Rhea said...

Great cage for the tomatos! The Jacaranda trees are incredible! I love your affinity for purple flowers.

Topanga said...

Wow!! Those purple blossoms are amazing. I'm no stranger to blossoming trees, coming from the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, but our apple blossoms have nothing on those purple trees!! Beautiful!!

céline M. said...

Hello Jorge!! I would like to know if it is you who do this blog or if it is someone who does it for you?
If you could answer me here c-coudu62@hotmail.fr thank you!! bye!!
PS:-the carrot is very strange!!
-soon yourn birthday!!;)

groovymom said...

Great Post - Nothing beats purple flowers! I love purple tulips, Foxglove, creeping phlox, and this amazing "drippy" plant called a Fuschia - to me it's so pretty, it shouldn't even be real.

Had never heard of / seen that beautiful tree. I checked & it won't grow here (mid-Illinois). Big bummer.

Your bird looks like he's sporting a mo-hawk & should have been in a gang in an 80s movie. Made me laugh. Good luck w. your plants!! :o)

Kaileigh Blue said...

All the more reason to think you are an awesome guy. Purple Flowers and tomatoes.. some of my faves too. In the spring my yard is a carpet of violets and Grape Hyacynths.

silvia said...

This pictures are amazing!! (like Josh Holloway!!) :-), Jorge you're too nice!!!!

Sabrina said...

The jacarandas are breathtaking--especially the bird's-eye (tee-hee)view. Hopefully your nets protect your 'maters now!!!

Heather said...

Beautiful photos. I'm still wondering about your camera (just curious -- I love photography).

The Jacaranda is beautiful, but I lived in FL for awhile and missed the true Autumn and Winter that I was used to. (Of course, I've been back in Boston for several years and I'm pretty much over the winter now...)

Siv said...

Wow, those plants make the area look so amazing..

You don't get much of that here in London. :P

Lool, as for your protected tomatoes..Ever thought of buying a greenhouse? It will go equally well with your passion for gardening..

Anyway, just wanted to give you the heads.

Siv

Gevalher said...

Nice pics of jacarandas in LA!

And the name of the movie is:

"Attack Of The Tomato Killer!"

Gracias Jorgito, siempre me haces reír, descubrir tu blog, fue como haber descubierto un secreto de La Isla

Bye...

bethany leigh shady said...

le sigh, i miss LA

James Hernandez said...

Jorge,

Welcome to the War! Birds are the least of your problems. Rabbits love the tender shoots of plants, racoons love to knock down corn plants to get at the tenderest (re youngest) ears of corn, possums are notorious for foraging for anything. I'm surprised you don't have aphids, potato beetles or Ustilago maydis (corn smut).

It's a war out there brother!!

AvianMaven said...

If the netting doesn't work, or to further intimidate would be birdie freeloaders try a visual deterrent. Irri-tape or TerrorEyes from Bird-X are very effective, humane and eco-friendly.

bignivanut said...

I love purple flowers. I have creeping charles (a weed actually)which have a deep purlpe blossoms and look terrific in the green grass. Those trees are stunning! Don't have those up here in Ontario, Canada however we have spectactuar autumn colours!

maven said...

I live in LA, and I sure do appreciate those "subtle seasons" when I see pics of snow storms in the mid-west and east coast!

Those jacaranda are awesome, but they sure do "leave" a mess on cars and streets.

Desmond_Pen said...

purple flowers - now I love you more.

Bonni said...

If I may ... here's a tip about the tomatoes. You can pick them while they're still green-yellowish, take them inside and put them on a windowsill that gets a lot of sun, and allow them to continue riping away from that blasted bird! They will taste the same and will be free from bird-pecks and squirrel-scratches. :-)

redelf said...

The Bobo war!! Those poor tomatoes they were so young!!!

Purple flowers are cool. My moms favorite color is purple. I think purple flowers are happy without be obnoxious like red or yellow flowers.

MoodyBlue said...

The jacaranda pictures are just SO beautiful & so are the purple flowers in your garden. How cool that you have a "green thumb"!

I'm from NJ and we have a Cherry Blossom season that people come from all over the world to come see. It is this month, they are gorgeous. So I totally can relate.

Jackie Sullivan said...

I had no idea there were purple trees like that in LA! What a beautiful sight!

Chelsea said...

Don't wait until the tomatoes are red to pick them or you'll lose them to the birds every time. The previously mentioned windowsill trick works great.

Hannah said...

Wow. Those Jacaranda trees are stunning. Beautiful picture.

layla72 said...

I've never heard of the jacaranda! How beautiful! Thanks for the education!

kats said...

You tried to get the tomato, found out about the bird AND made the cages all in one day? That's what I call a problem solver...

I live in San Diego and work in LA, so I get to see the seasons change on the mountains, during the commute. A couple of months ago I could see snow on the top and now most of them are covered with yellow flowers. WE DO HAVE SEASONS! Humpf.

miss twisby said...

i love posts about biota. if this entire blog was about biota instead of your life, i would still read it with the same enthusiasm. awesome pics!

Miss Scarlett said...

Gorgeous pictures of the Jacaranda.

Is there something else you can offer Bobo now that your tomatoes are off limits? Think how far he had to travel to find your beautiful tomatoes...

Love your garden & gardening in general. I'm partial to purple plants myself.

Ralph- said...

Jacarandas are great, they bloom in May and when they get in the gutter they smell. If they land on your car they leave Ectoplasm all over your ride!

But they are very pleasing to look at!

mabochda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
txvoodoo said...

I have NEVER seen those Jacaranda before - thank you for sharing!

I'm envying you your tomatos - I used to grow them, but haven't had any success since I moved to Texas.

Desmond_Pen said...

How's Bobo doing? How are your tomatoes? I agree with Kats.
And Ralph - Ectoplasm - too funny!

Boomer and his mom Carol said...

I live in Whittier, outside of Los Angeles and we have lots of streets lined with Jacaranda's. They are so beautiful when in full bloom but it's such a pain when they drop their flowers! Too much cleaning!

Lissa101 said...

WOW! I have never seen the Jacaranda, and they are breathtaking. Thanks so much for sharing.

I think it's so hysterical (sorry) that the plants in your yard are so lush and growing and the yard they sit on (in all their potted glory) is still so barren! Poor baldy yard!

Want2BontheIsland said...

So in a reader's opinion, the bulbul is kinda like a "Hurly bird"!

shanzy288 said...

The purple flower trees look like my street on Oakhurst in BH. Is that where you got the picture?

Ale said...

Impresionante la calle enteramente violeta, desde arriba una vista espectacular, y desde dentro debe ser totalmente extraño y gustozo ^^

Muy buenas fotos!

Kristi said...

I tend to buy all the purple flowers too. I don't know why. It just happens. In all shades of purple. Light. Dark. It doesn't matter. I guess it is something about how purple and green look to me. They just seem to be so full of life. So...purple on my friend. You are not alone.

yovib said...

I never knew about the jacaranda, but then I've only been to LA a couple times. I'm crazy about purple...and of course have lavender at home. I would LOVE to have jacaranda!!!! The tomato plants look awesome. I'm growing them for the first time this year. What kind did you get? I got a beefsteak, two early girls and two cherry tomatoes. I can hardly wait for fresh tomaters!

The Hoffman Kids said...

Haha, the bulbul was "kind of cocky!" In Hebrew "bulbul" is the term kids use for "male part."

Last year the public voted for what Israel's national bird should be. The bulbul was pretty popular. In the end the hoopoe won out.

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