Where to Find the A Unique Dining Experience Near Sacramento

High Hand

When you visit a new area, do you use Yelp or other applications to find restaurants to visit? Yelp gives the High Hand Conservatory (website link) in Loomis, CA four stars, and TripAdvisor gives it four and a half stars. Traveling and Blogging Near and Far gives it five stars. 

High Hand

To get to the spacious, moderately-priced cafe, you’ll weave your way through a beautiful nursery wonderland. We arrived at a good time, about 8:00 on a Saturday, after the early birds but before the late risers. Timing is everything. The food and service were so fabulous that I forgot to take pictures and enjoyed my meal.  You can check out their menu on The TripAdvisor website.

High Hand

As much as I love food, the atmosphere made the experience unique. We ate in the covered courtyard, open to the garden vistas and could hardly wait to tour the outdoor and enclosed nurseries as well as the shops housed within the long metal building called a Fruit Shed.

High Hand

Have you ever bought a grocery-store succulent and two weeks later it turned yellow and the leaves withered and fell off? I’ve done this. Neither spritzing nor ignoring it seemed to halt the dropping leaves. If you enjoy succulents, you could pick out small ones and plant them yourselves at one of the outdoor stations.

High Hand

 You could find more than unique gifts here.  Classes for arts and crafts fill up quickly. We walked into one class, and several participants allowed us to photograph their gourd projects.

High Hand

For my quilting and knitting friends, one of the stores had plenty of “yard goods,” as my grandma used to call fabric.  Loomis, CA would be a great place to schedule a retreat and come for classes or just to sew together. 

High Hand

If you watch American Pickers, the cost of junkyard cars and parts seems out of range for the average buyer, but nothing draws attention in a professional garden or nursery like a great old car.  The cars in this nursery did not have a  price tag. To complete your home gardens, you could find fun garden art at High Hand. I loved the lasered shovel. Ideas are free.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief tour of High Hand. Pictures don’t do it justice. It’s only about a twenty-minute drive north from Sacramento to the small town of Loomis, CA. The two hours my family and I spent at High Hand went too quickly. I’m ready to go back. Want to join me?

High Hand
Featured Puzzle

If you are interested in having one of these pictures as a puzzle, check out my puzzle website. If you have a picture from your travels you’d like to turn into a puzzle, you can make it yourself or send it to me, and I’ll set it up for you.

New Adventure – Puzzle Me

Adventures become a venture – creating puzzles from my travel photos.

“This Was So Much Fun.”

Ever wonder what to do when you have company and it gets dark, and everyone’s on their cell phone except you?

Our son and his girlfriend came this weekend, and I set up a mat and got out a simple, 300 piece puzzle and started working on it. Soon all four of us were thoroughly engaged. 

My son said, “This was so much fun. I haven’t done a puzzle since I was a kid.”

First Three Puzzles

Puzzle
This picture of the Double Take Rose  from the Woodlake Rose Garden is now a puzzle.

His reaction inspired me to create some puzzles from a few of my photos and give them as gifts and also try to sell them.  It’s easy to do, and not too expensive. The price to purchase them is about the same as I’ve found in stores.

Puzzles come in several shapes and sizes.

Since I use my iPhone for taking photographs most of the time, I’m limited to creating small puzzles. Now I have a great excuse for sorting through all my photos and pulling out ones with better resolution. 

Puzzle
Sedona, AZ Bell and Courthouse Rocks

What Do You Think?

To purchase puzzles, click here.

Woodlake Kiwanis and Partners to Assist in the Woodlake Rose Garden

Do You Love the Woodlake Rose Garden?

Yes, the roses are still beautiful. They need our love and care to get them back to their best.

Kiwanis Seeks Partner Organizations

This bush had lost its shape with wild branches growing out of the rose bush.

 People come from all over the world to enjoy the National Park. Right on the way is one of the largest rose gardens in the state of California. Formerly part of the Woodlake Botanical Gardens, the Rose Gardens have fallen on hard times.

The City is not able to care for the 2,000 + plants in this part of the Botanical Garden with the personnel and time they have to spend on the gardens. Rather than giving up on this California Treasure, Kiwanian and rose expert, Chuck House, makes plans to put his knowledge of and love for roses to great use in the Woodlake Rose Garden.

Rose after the October 27 Kiwanis One Day pruning and weeding

 On October 27, twenty-seven Kiwanians and youth from Builders and Key Clubs cleared weeds and trimmed most of the roses bordering the parking lot.  What Chuck hopes is that, like Kiwanis, other organizations and their student and neighboring club volunteers will choose an area in the garden to work in about one day per month.

Woodlake and Tulare County can buff this garden back to perfection. In only three hours a month using 10-50 adult and teen workers, interested groups can make a measurable difference in our City and County’s Treasure started by Woodlake Pride and Manuel and Olga Jimenez.

Chuck House Has Subdivided the Garden to Manage Its Care

Chuck’s plan is to subdivide the garden into workable sections and ask organizations or individuals to take one small section and maintain it. He has made a detailed chart of the sections and counted the plants, both dead and alive.  Organizations, businesses, or individuals can schedule Chuck to come and explain the plan to their group. Kiwanians have chosen to care for Section A, the area around the parking lot. (above)

In the section above, Chuck started pruning the rose bushes. Cutting back the wild growth, stimulates the plant to produce more flowers.

The City gardeners, one or two people, usually only get about one day per month to work in the garden. It took twenty-seven Kiwanians and friends aged middle school to 77, three hours to weed half the parking lot area on October 27. The new plan for community service encourages each group to bring in volunteers at least one day per month. 

Much better after weeding and pruning on October 27.

Kiwanis has scheduled a workday on Saturday, November 17 from 8:00 – 11:00 am to finish weeding from the east end of the parking lot to the gate. This will be our regularly maintained area. We welcome your help with this.  For those who like to bring your own equipment, you might want gloves, arm protectors, and your choice of loppers, clippers, shovels, rakes, and hoes. The City will provide a few shovels, rakes, and hoes if you forget.

Is it worth it to have our roses back? Picture taken November 12, 2018.

To Sign Up to Help

Please call me, Marsha Ingrao, if you can help us on Saturday. 559-303-9241. Or sign up on our Facebook Page @WoodlakeKiwanis1. We will have snacks and water available. 

Rose Societies in California

According to the Northern California/Nevada/Hawaii District, “There are twenty-five rose societies make up the Northern California-Nevada-Hawaii District of the American Rose Society.” They have over 2100 members, almost 200 Consulting Rosarians, 11 Rose Arrangement Judges and 64 Horticulture Judges. The Northern California-Nevada-Hawaii District is a Benefactor Patron of the American Rose Society.

Here are a few rose society websites in CA. Does Woodlake need a Rose Society?

Are you interested in preserving Woodlake’s roses?

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How to Escape the Heat – Discover Newport, Oregon

Escape the Heat and Fire

Escape the heatThe worst fire season in California history sent thousands like me fleeing to see relatives and friends in Oregon looking for clean air and cooler temperatures. Disappointment drifted around our plane as we flew into Portland International Airport. The air quality in Portland looked nearly as smoky as it did at home near the Sequoia National Park.

Escape the Heat
Rough Fire near Fresno

Visit the Oregon Coast

Temperatures reaching nearly one hundred degrees in the Pacific Northwest dried grasses along the freeway and turned the surrounding hillsides brown. Traffic thinned by the time we passed Salem, Oregon and we continued south to the Corvallis exit.

Escaping the heat
Newport Bridge

A turn to the west took us onto the direct road to Newport, Oregon. As we continued west, grass and trees greened and by the time we reached our destination, we breathed in the fog instead of smoke or dust. We threw open the door and leaned over the patio to enjoy the bay view.

Embarcadero Resort, Newport, Oregon

We stayed close to our hotel, The Embarcadero Resort because we could walk to everything we needed in the Historic Bayfront District.

Escaping the heat
Embarcadero Resort

The unit came with a separate bedroom, one bath, living area, dining area and a full kitchen for $120 per night.  The bedroom comes with a king sized bed and the living room has a queen size pullout bed, which is less comfortable. The view makes up for it.

Escaping the heatMy brother grabbed the binoculars every time a ship motored by the window.

Escaping the heat
Embarcadero Resort Room 252

This morning we awoke to more fog. Donning our coats we walked into Historic Bayfront for breakfast across from  Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Breakfast Cafe in Historic Bayfront, Newport

Breakfast was more than I could eat, but I couldn’t help sampling it before I took a picture. I give it five stars, but don’t ask me the name today. I’ll tell you in another post, so come back again.

Quaint shops line the road on both sides along with a fish processing plant and several restaurants. We ate at Moe’s for dinner two nights in a row to enjoy a beautiful view and delicious, reasonable meals.  – two dinners including salmon came to only $23.00.

Lincoln City, OR

Lincoln City, OR beach

We drove to Lincoln City and walked along the shore for a short time. On a gray morning, few people joined us. Not even boats ventured out in the choppy waves. Tomorrow we are going on an ocean cruise to hunt for whales. They feed here from July to October.

Historic Bayfront, Newport, OR

Escape the Heat
Pier at Newport, OR

It was too early for lunch after eating the huge breakfast, so we headed back to Newport and visited the three tourist attractions, Ripley’s, the Wax Museum, and the Undersea Gardens.

Undersea Gardens

Escaping the heat
Undersea Gardens, Newport, OR

The Undersea Gardens was actually a once-working ship. A diver spent about fifteen minutes displaying the Garden residents, a Dungeness Crab (pictured in front of Eddy’s face), anemone, starfish, and everyone’s favorite,  a  blue shark, were among the many species named.

Escaping the heat
Undersea Gardens, Newport, OR

Wax Museum

From there we crossed the street to the Wax Museum and cavorted with several stars. Some of them would pose up close and personal with you.

Escaping the heat
Wax Museum, Newport, OR

Others appeared too deadly to approach.

Escaping the heat
Wax Museum, Newport, OR

None of them scared us, even the guy who popped out of the wall. One old wax guy sat in his room and watched you on television watching him.  Randy caught him red-handed.

Escaping the Heat
Wax Museum, Newport, OR

We left these jokers and went over to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Escaping the Heat
Wax Museum, Newport, OR

At that point, I spent more time reading and watching videos than I did taking pictures. In fact, I didn’t take one picture so you will have to go and take your own and link them to this article.

Escape the heat
Wax Museum, Newport, OR

Tomorrow more explorations. Stay tuned. Where have you been this summer?  Link your articles in the comment section. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

Creative Gardening Ideas You Can Steal from the Experts

Garden in the Morning

In the Central Valley of California work your garden in the morning like the experts. Woodlake Pride’s Botanical Garden is a working garden. You will find structure parts and plants and structures in various stages of growth here. Gardening is an adventure. But don’t get lazy, or you might get a timeout like the poor fellow in the background.

gardening advice

On June 18th before the temperature reached 250 degrees,  Monica Pizura and I headed to the Woodlake Botanical Gardens for a walk to see the blueberries and blackberries. We picked a bucket full of delicious blackberries, thanks to Olga Jimenez.

gardening advice

Then we wandered into the garden off the beaten path. You can see the main path in the background.

Grow Your Own Shade in Three Weeks

Woodlake Pride’s Botanical Garden is like a secret garden. You can see that Puppy Girl loves this little TP-type structure made of bamboo poles covered in morning-glory. This particular structure features three varieties of Mexican/Central American Morning Glory; President Tyler, Heavenly Blue, and Grandpa Ott.

gardening advice

This secret garden is Woodlake Pride’s Botanical Garden. It’s a showcase for unusual species and annuals. You can only go into this part of the garden if the gate is unlocked and Manuel is in it.

Crooked Rows? Try this.

Manuel Jimenez plants thousands of seeds a year. It takes about 40,000 seedlings to grow his garden. High school students and other volunteers help him plant the tiny seedlings.

Gardening advice

Others he plants directly into the prepared soil. It would take thousands of hours to plant them on his hands and knees as I do. So he simplifies his life with this nifty hand-held seed planter.

Since my rows are usually (always) imperfect, he suggested that I get a seed planter. Pardon my sunglasses for photobombing my video that explains how it works.

Plant Multiple Crops Together

Here Manuel planted papaya next to peppers, something short that we can’t see here, then a beautiful red canna in the background.

gardening advice

Here’s a better picture of the canna.

gardening advice

Have Fun, Grow What You Love

You’ve noticed that Manuel isn’t stingy with the flowers in his vegetable and fruit gardens. The vivid colors pamper the eyes and make gardening a delight.

Gardening advice

I’m not creative with gourds but I have friends who make gorgeous decorative objects from them. These grow along a row that has 2×2 wooden posts with string on both sides of the posts to hold up the vines. You can see the post here better than the gourds.

gardening advice

They are ornamental but hard to spot among the foliage.

gardening advice

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short piece of gardening advice.

If you haven’t visited the garden recently, take a stroll and check out the wonderful changing gardens. My friend, Manuel Jimenez is the Small Farm Advisor (emeritus) for the University of California, Davis. He is a world renown expert on berries, especially blueberries and row crops. His wife, Olga inspired him to create the beautiful gardens we enjoy in Woodlake, CA.

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