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Sunday, January 30, 2005

J Schatz Egg Bird Feeders

I came across these beautiful, if expensive, bird feeders in Dwell Magazine. At $125 each I don't think many of us will be buying them, but hopefully it will spur your own thinking about bird feeder designs you might be able to build using your own unique skills.

The web site claims that these feeders "deters" Grey Squirrels, but I don't think the feeder has been developed that can withstand the amazing inventiveness of these little devils. (SMILE)

J Schatz Egg Bird Feeders

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Benign Neglect and Darwinian Gardening

Others have chimed in with similar comments on this story on Darwinian Gardening. I call it simply "benign neglect. I pay decent attention to my garden, but on a sporadic basis. (SMILE)

Good to know it isn’t just me…

and that there is an explanation for the way I garden:


"Darwinian Gardening: Like everything else, gardening works best if you know yourself. If you are aware that you tend to be disorganized and inattentive, plan a garden that can accommodate this. Choose flowers that can survive a little abuse and ... [Feedster gardening]

What Tree is That? Tree Identification Guide

In the past I had to learn how to identify plants and trees by "keying" them out according to various charts and books. This online version of tree identification leads you through the process, hopefully arriving at the tree you are trying to identify. Even if it doesn't get the right tree, though, you will learn a lot about identifying trees and plants in a systematic way.

What Tree is That? Tree Identification Guide

Monday, January 24, 2005

Cooking on the Radio: A Very Special Interview with Rick Bayless

Crossposted from My Word...

Jeff Nemcher, over at the Cooking on the Radio Podcast & blog has an excellent interview with Rick Bayless, an expert on Mexican food and a well-known author, television personality and chef.

Rick talks about his grant program which offers funding to small, independent farmers in order to insure a supply of fresh, local foodstuffs for his restaurants and the general public.

Well worth a listen. Listen using the link below.

Cooking on the Radio with Jeff Nemcher :: A Very Special Interview with Rick Bayless

Sunday, January 23, 2005

First Daffodils of the Year

The first daffodils of the year are now in full bloom in the front garden. What was a CostCo impulse buy 2 years ago has turned into a reliable, beautiful and annual show. Bulbs are such a great thing to have in your garden. The surprise of leaping leaves and beautiful blooms spontaneously erupting from the ground is wonderful. I was going to buy and plant more bulbs this year, but it looks I have missed the window and will have to wait until this Fall to put more in the ground.

Monday, January 17, 2005

PlantFiles: Your plant database

I came across PlantFiles today while browsing my RSS feeds. This is an excellent resource for gardens of all skill and interest. It is part of the site, Dave's Garden, which contains even more information, including discussion groups, The Garden Watchdog, Sed/Plant Trading information.

Register for a free account and you get access to the entire site.

PlantFiles: Welcome to PlantFiles, your plant database: "

From the web site...

Welcome to PlantFiles, the largest plant database in the world with 89,058 entries, 60,013 images and 35,423 comments. Currently entries are from 352 families, 3,345 genera, 3,364 species, and 61,401 cultivars. PF continues to grow through the collaborative efforts of 9,197 gardeners from around the world, most notably the Uber Gardeners. "

Friday, January 14, 2005

Butterfly Gardening 101 from Heavenly Butterfly Garden

If you are looking to attract butterflies to your garden, here is a great place to start. I get quite a few butterflies here due to the original design of the garden, but I could always have more. The active enticement of butterflies to the garden could defintely be one part of this year's garden rehab. This page has excellent and detailed information for those of you who want to do the same.

Heavenly Butterfly Garden - Butterfly Gardening 101

A Gardening Haiku from tinywords.com

the greenhouse--

on the seed catalogue

a half eaten red apple

-Jörgen Johansson

Get a daily haiku to your email, RSS, cell phone or PDA at tinywords.com

Thursday, January 13, 2005

When the yard's a blank slate - Los Angeles Times

I found this interesting article, When the yard's a blank slate, in the Home Section of today's LA Times. (Free reg. required)

This is bascially what the previous owners had done to our property in the years before we bought it. They had pictures of the bare dirt and one, scrawny tree that occupied the space when they arrived.

I am a big proponent of gardens over lawns, especially here in LA, so it is heartening to see others with the same idea.

There are quite a few good ideas in the article for softening and enchancing the typical, flat, LA back yard.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Upscale Birdhouses

If you are lover of modern architecture, and have a few hundred bucks to spare, check out these upscale birdhouses available from Modern Birdhouses.

These are hardy constructions made from cedar and aluminum and designed as an homage to various modern architects.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Garden "Bones"

This pictures, one of the many I took in Ohio on our holiday trip, shows the clear importance of the "bones" of a garden design, especially in Winter.

The trellis, tree and evergreens provide the sense of the garden, even when it is deep in snow. I haven't had to think about this very much here in Los Angeles, but the same thoughts apply even when your garden never really goes to sleep. Even with the various dormant plants around the garden at this time of year, I think it looks more alive and green than it ever does in Summer. The structure of the deciduous trees is beautiful in a totally different way than the leaf-covered structures of the Spring and Summer, even though that the very same tree.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Snowy Ohio Holiday Adventure

I just loaded up a photo gallery of 85 shots from our holiday trip to Ohio. There are some neat photos of snow and icicles for those of you who wonder what Christmas in Ohio, during and after a blizzard, must be like.

Many of the photos are "nature shots" showing just how much beauty there can be even while most of the garden world sleeps. I love the stark relief of trees, snow and sunlight.

If you like a particular picture, I can make it available for printing via DotPhoto or set up cards, postcards and other merchandise over at CafePress.com. I plan on adding a few of the photos to my existing stores in any case.

Let me know if anything grabs your attention and I will set it up post haste.

Click on the photo to link to the complete gallery of photos.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Roses and Rain

After returning from our snowy adventure in Ohio, we found our roses to be in full bloom again. The rains have arrived with a vengeance here in Los Angeles and everything has jumped up in response.

I would have posted a picture, but it is raining so hard at the moment that I would be soaked to the skin in seconds if I stepped off the porch. The sound of the rain on the roof of my office, a half-beamed affair where the beaded-board ceiling is also the outside roof, almost makes it difficult to hear the television.

We haven't seen rain like this since our last El Nino year 5-6 years ago. We live in the flats, so mudslides aren't really a danger to our home, but the Valley is flooded, as it usually is during storms, and getting around is a bit of a mess.

Still, I love what the rain brings to the garden, so I am willing to suffer a little inconvenience for future beauty.

Stay dry, wherever you are!