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I’d like to tell you today about something new and something old. The something new is a hose. Yes, I know, a HOSE?? Maybe you’ve seen commercials for this hose on TV; I hadn’t, I was introduced to the Xhose by a friend who raved about it. Regarding hoses. . .they are sooooo irritating, especially if you use a long one, as I do. I have only two outside water outlets for my whole house so the two have to cover my entire yard and inevitably, when I’ve pulled my hose out to the very end, there is a kink at the beginning. The number of times this has happened is beyond counting and this is with hose the manufacturer claims “does not kink.” My friend introduced me to the Xhose, the X meaning “expanding.” If I had seen this on TV I would have thought it was a scam. I have 100 feet of this hose, which gets me all the way around to the back of my house. It is feather light and contracts to a very small size and I store it in a black plastic pot. It is amazing. Unexpanded, it probably measures 30 feet; with the water turned on, it expands to its full 100 feet, in about a minute. It DOES NOT KINK! The Xhose is sold by Ace Hardware, I purchased mine at Griffin Ace Hardware, in Carmel Valley. Do not buy the green one. . .it is a copy; you want the blue Xhose. You will love it.
The something old (fashioned) I want to tell you about is African violets. I recently bought two (more) from Home Depot. I regularly buy African violets and they regularly die. This time I decided to research African violet care and follow the directions, and so far, they are doing fine. African violets come in many colors and varieties but they all require somewhat the same care. They like warm filtered light (60 – 80º), moderate water (let the top inch dry) and African violet food diluted to one-quarter strength at every feeding. They will live a very long time if cared for properly. The only particular caveat when watering is to not get water on the leaves, as it will stain them.
Stevie Hall is President of Gardeners 92130, a 501(c)(3) non-profit garden club affiliated with California Garden Clubs, Inc. “I am a California native, born in Santa Monica. My husband, Ned Hall, and I moved back to California from Connecticut in 1987, living first in Rancho Santa Fe, then Solana Beach and, in 2000, moved to the St. Augustine section of Torrey Hills. My very first interest in having a garden and my very first garden was when we moved to our home in Torrey Hills. Along the way I’ve become a certified consulting Rosarian and belong to three rose societies. My rose obsession began to wane a few years ago as I’ve become more and more interested in growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and now succulents. I am an obsessive reader and whenever a new gardening idea begins to beckon me, I head to the (Solana Beach) library for whatever books they have on the subject. I am eager for every growing season. The thing about a garden is that plants just want to grow and if they get the food and water they need, the possibilities are infinite. Just thinking about it makes me want to get outside and get my hands in the dirt.”