Tag Archives: birthdays

birthday seed-card

A card showed up at my desk, a few days early for my official birthday. Some people can restrain themselves from opening cards until the appointed day, but I’m not one of them!

Birthday Card 2009

The card was one of those that has wildflower seeds incorporated into the paper’s fibers–Maybe you’ve seen them? The basic idea is that you can enjoy the card, and then plant the pieces of paper and end up with flowering plants as the seeds germinate and grow. I really like the idea.

Tree-Free Greetings of Swanzey, New Hampshire made the card, and the back of the card lists the species of seeds: sweet william, pinks, rocket larkspur, candytuft, baby blue eyes, corn poppy, forget-me-not, wallflower, columbine, zinnia, lemon mint, five spot, catchfly, English daisy, sweet alyssum, spurred snapdragon and black eyed Susan. At least two of them I recognize as being California wildflowers, baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii) and five spot (Nemophila maculata).

After my real birthday, I’ll plan on cutting up the paper containing the seeds, putting a small piece in each of several little pots, covering the paper with a fine layer of seed mix, watering them in, and seeing what comes up. I’ve always wondered what effect paper-making–a wet process–has on the viability of the seeds that are incorporated into the pulp. By now you probably know how much I like little experiments and adventures like this. This should be fun–I’ll keep you all posted!

citrus birthday presents


My father’s 92nd birthday was last week, and some of my family congregated yesterday to celebrate at his house in Oceanside. He’s not one to make much fuss about his age, maintaining he doesn’t ever feel old. I think he appreciated that we’d switched the digits on his birthday candles.


His current house is on a residential lot planted with a guava tree and several kinds of citrus. When we left, we were sent home with a couple bags of tangerines and tangelos, sort of a reverse birthday present. Here’s the counter this morning, after we’d already helped ourselves to several of the presents.

Because of the warm winters, we struggle to grow certain kinds of fruit–apricots, for instance–but at least citrus does well. Unfortunately, where my father lives, along with much of San Diego County, is under a citrus quarantine against the Asian citrus psyllid that prohibits moving plants around. [ My post on this last October ]

For a while plants vanished from the local nurseries while they were off getting “treated.” The plants returned with labels detailing their treatment, and verifying that they were legal to sell. Also, there’s a requirement that any commercially grown fruit must be cleaned prior to sale. But fortunately there’s no restriction on transporting and sharing home grown fruit.


Unless you have a young or dwarf tree, sharing fruit is something you almost have to do when the citrus trees do their thing. I was pulling grapefruits off my tree this morning, thinking about doing some sharing myself, when I saw this unusual fruit in the middle of the tree, courtesy the kids next door.


Driving home from my father’s the afternoon ended with some birthday balloons. Here are just a couple of more than a half dozen that were airborne for the sunset rides they offer out of Del Mar. My father is a cautious human being and would never be caught dead in anything like a hot air balloon, but it seemed like they were helping him celebrate his day…