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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Natives and more...

The native wildflowers we picked up back in February have started to bloom in the shade garden. They bring a dash of color to what is an otherwise rather dismal part of the garden. I have been placing more attention on this area, but it looks like it is going to take quite a bit more time to really make it shine.

The summer heat has started, although it isn't bad every day, yet. The heat quickly knocked down the bulb foliage, so there will be a bit of cleanup to do there. It also burnt up the nastursiums that has been so pretty in the patio bed. I can take heart in the fact that they will both return with the rains next Winter.

The society garlic I transplanted a few weeks ago is going gangbusters, even better that the first group I transplanted last year. Having the trees cleaned up really opened up the light in that area and they are making great use of it.

The heat tends to keep me out of the garden, but I am making an effort this year to use the time around dusk to get something done everyday. Time will tell how well I stick to my plan.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Uphill fountain big hit at Chelsea Flower Show

It looks as if a garden designer in England has discovered a way to make water run uphill in the design for this interesting fountain. In reality, it is a very creative optical illusion and a basic diagram shows how he accomplished it.

[Via Boing Boing Blog]

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Free Trial Issue of Organic Style

I received a nice note from the publishers of Organic Style (who also publish Organic Gardening) offering a free issue of the magazine for readers of AGN.

Three sample articles are available online:

Shopping Organic for less - an Oregon family's shopping makeover

Delicious, healthy organic recipes

10 Women of Organic Style, including Bette Midler, Kelly Preston and Trudie Styler

You can request your free issue or get a subscription for you and a friend for $9.

Best free public gardens - from Sunset

This month's Sunset magazine has a short list of the best free public gardens in the West, including:

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden(Claremont, California)

Bellevue Botanical Garden (Bellevue, Washington)

The Gardens at Heather Farm (Walnut Creek, California)

Desert Demonstration Gardens (Las Vegas, Nevada)

We have friends who live quite close to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, but have never made a visit. It is defnitely on our list of things to do, so maybe this will give us the extra impetus to finally take the time to check it out.

Thursday, May 15, 2003


Jgarden.com - The Japanese Garden Database

A searchable database of Japanese Gardens throughout the country.

We are relatively blessed with Japanese Gardens here in Southern California. I have 3 within easy driving distance and one almost walkable.

The site also includes book recommendations, listing of garden suppliers and other articles.


This event is right near the house. We are pretty busy this weekend, but might try to swing by and check things. Many garden clubs and other garden-related organizations will be there.

Country Garden Fair

Sepulveda Garden Center

May 17-18

Hayvenhurst & Magnolia

Encino, CA

Friday, May 09, 2003

Sprout a Couch

ReadyMade magazine can best be described as home improvement meets junkyard meets punk rock. That said, they never fail to have great projects that you can use in your home and your garden.

This month's cover story is a couch that would easily fit in in anyone's garden. Made out of some wooden forms, soil, chicken wire and grass seed, you could have your very own garden couch and be the envy of your neighbors. Imagine never having to wake up in the middle of the night wondering if you brought in the cushions from the patio chairs. This sofas thrives on the rain and is the ultimate in sustainable furniture design.

Complete instructions on building the couch are available on the ReadyMade site.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Before the rain...

Rain is approaching from the West as I type, destined to hit us tomorrow and Saturday. It is late in our season for rain, especially as much as they are predicting, but we will take all we can get. The summer is always hot and long, so let the plants drink while they may.

With the rain approaching, I took the opportunity to feed all my roses so that it can get a chance to break down into the soil. I use drip irrigation in the dry months, and really should be using some soluble form of fertilizer directly into the water, but lack of time and inclination has insured that it never got accomplished. As it is, I use the natural rain when I can, and a good soaking with the garden hose when I can't.

The Amaryllis are just finishing up for the season. They were much more dramatic this year since I thinned all the morea (Dietes) out of the bed. They were choking out everything else with their vigorous growth. The morea are slowly returning, as their rhizomes are quite tenacious, but now I will keep them more in control.

After this rain storm passes I will need to attack the front garden. The geometrically shaped beds of juniper and azalea are completely out of control. We have had plentiful rain this winter already, so the usually formal looking beds look like shaggy dogs. It usually takes me a few hours of trimming to bring back the clean lines and flat tops and I have often thought about replacing the beds. I prefer a much more casual look to my garden, but they are interesting and provide a nice look to front garden.

My new planting of coreopsis in the front, streetside bed has taken off very nicely. This is one of the "gold" elements in my purple and gold theme. The purple lantana has always been quite robust, but the gold elements have been harder to establish.

Spring has nearly gone here in California, even though it is only starting in other parts of the country. Our planting season is almost over until Fall and this will probably be the last significant rain we get until October. Enjoy your Spring and may your garden be the best ever...at least until next year!

Click on the picture for 2 additional photos.