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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Japanese Cherry Trees are blooming

The Japanese Cherry Trees at Lake Balboa in Van Nuys are in full bloom. I drove by today and was surprised to seem them fully-engaged. It is best to visit on a weekday, as weekends are very busy at the park.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Garden Tour Reveals the Beauty of California Native Plants

The Theodore Payne Foundation announces their Garden Tour for 2005. I have visited this site on several occassions and always find it enlightening. I wish my garden was a bit sunnier so I could use more natives, but I have a few scattered here and there.

Click on the photo for a small gallery from one of our visits.

Garden Tour Reveals the Beauty of California Native Plants

Southern California residents will have the chance to experience the beauty of and ease of gardening with California native plants at the Second Annual Theodore Payne Native Garden Tour on Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3, 2005 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $20.

(PRWEB) February 20, 2005 -- More than twenty gardens in communities across Los Angeles County will show how easy it is to attract birds and butterflies, use no pesticides and conserve water with little maintenance.

The gardens on the tour reflect different designs, climates and locations, including sunny and shady spots, moist and dry areas, front and back yards, formal designs, including Mediterranean styles, and informal designs that reflect a more natural setting. Gardens in the tour have been created by owners as well as landscape design professionals.

The garden tour is self-guided. A docent and the garden owner will be on hand at every location to answer questions. Many of the plants will be marked and some gardens will have before and after pictures, in addition to comments about how the garden was created.

The gardens are located in the communities and cities of Altadena, Atwater Village, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Eagle Rock, Echo Park, Glendale, Granada Hills, Highland Park, La Canada, Lawndale, Mid-Wilshire, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Sunland, Sun Valley and Tujunga.

For more information and reservations for the tour please call (818) 768-1802 or visit www.theodorepayne.org.

For more than 40 years, the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, Inc. has dedicated itself to restoring California’s native landscape one garden at a time. The Foundation operates the Theodore Payne Nursery in Sun Valley, which offers more than 400 native plant species and 200 seeds to the general public. In addition to the nursery and the garden tour, the foundation conducts classes, and collects and sells seeds of native plants and wild flowers. The foundation and nursery honor the legacy of Theodore Payne, who opened his first nursery in 1903 in Los Angeles.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Compost Tea Links

Delicious (through its "garden" tag) has a flurry of links on compost tea in the last few days. There are all sorts of ways of getting the essence out of your compost beyond simply spreading it on your garden beds. I wouldn't normally take the effort to in creating compost tea, but these links might be enough to push me in that direction.


Friday, February 18, 2005

Anza Borrego Wildflowers by Robert Fletcher

Robert Fletcher shares some beautiful wildflower photos he recently took in the Anza Borrego Wildlife Reserve in Southern California.

Anza Borrego Wildflowers 050215

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Event: Winter Botanical Drawing Workshop

TUES 2/22 11am

Sooky Goldman Nature Ctr

Winter Botanical Drawing Workshop

Join this ongoing gathering of artists. Draw or paint plants while learning
more about our native flora. Group size is limited. Reservations
required 323-656-3899. 4hrs WODOC

Thursday, February 10, 2005

California Wildflower Locations - Wildflower Hotsheet

It's an early wildflower this year, thanks to all the rain we received and a warm January. Carol Leigh's California Wildflower Locations - Wildflower Hotsheet will let you know where all the best blooms are happening througout the season. Check back frequently for current updates as well as a host of photography information.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Geting things done...well....maybe...

Things might actually start getting done around here now that I have a new resource for landscaping help , ideas and sources. I am playing in a talent show with another parent at my son's school and he is a landscape specialist. I have always needed help with repairing the old, galvanized steel sprinkler pipes in the front garden and through a bit of barter for my computer expertise they might finally get fixed. Yahoo!

This old system is a retrofitted lawn sprinkler setup with 9 heads spread equidistant across what once was a lawn. Since this is now planted in geometric beds of azaleas, junipers and rapheolepis, all the sprinklers have 12"-16" risers so the heads are above the level of the shrubs. This is certainly not an ideal situation, but it gets the job done. Unfortunately, as well as watering the beds, it also waters the paths, which quickly and continuously sprout up with grass and weeds.

As part of a solution to this problem, I am hoping my new friend can also connect me up with his sources for bulk deliveries of either good quality wood chips or decomposed granite so we can finally transition the pathways from pea gravel to either of these more acceptable paving choices. I am leaning towards the wood chips as they track less and provide a more rustic feel.

It is amazing how a little change and a little information can energize your work and get you back into the garden. Rosanne and I sat outside sipping coffee today, enjoying our afternoon alone as Joe is off at sleep-over with a friend until tomorrow morning. We never mind having our son around, but it is a pleasure to "turn off the radar" and not be thinking about where he is and what he is doing. We just sat around thinking of things to do with the garden and discussing our annual summer party, which we should start scheduling soon.

We are in cleanup mode at the moment, clearing leaves from all the paths and beds, as well as sweeping off the roofs. This is one downside to having so many trees in the garden. The leaves collect on the roof and make gutters almost an impossibility. It looks like, though, as a part of some roof repairs we are planning, we will be putting gutters all around the house. This, of course, brings up the concept of rain barrels or a cistern to store some of our scarce rain for those scorching LA summers. I will need to put more thought into that.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

10 Free Gardening Products

10 Free Gardening Products

Linda Gray, from Container Gardening, offers these 10 ways to reduce, re-use and recycle in the garden. I'm sure some of these hints may have occured to you, but I can use a reminder every so often to help me get the most out of my garden.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Wisteria anew

Stepping out into the back garden yesterday I noticed a splash of green among the otherwise bare vines of the Wisteria that graces the large, "dining room" trellis just outside the back door. The bloom has been small over the years we have lived here, but it is still wonderful to see the large, drooping, purple flower bracts when they arrive. The trellis is somewhat shaded and I am sure this has something to do with the below-average bloom.

I had meant to do a hard pruning on the wisteria, so I could do some repairs to the trellis that supports it, but, as sometimes happens, time ran away with my plans. I guess this project will have to wait until next Fall.

There is a host of wisteria information to be found over at Google.com.