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Monday, April 30, 2007

Audio: Interview on "Chrysalis" by Kim Todd (Audio)

I came across this interesting edition of Tech Nation while listening to podcasts today. When we are gardening, it always pays to learn more about the other creatures that inhabit our gardens.

I love both science and biography, so I immediately requested this book from my local library. The podcast, though, gives an excellent introduction to the book and definitely worth a listen.
Tech Nation with Moira Gunn - Click to listen

Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Kim Todd, who in her book "Chrysalis" recounts the tale of Maria Sibylla Merian and her documentation of the secrets of metamorphosis.
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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Roses on my walk - PaD 4/29/07

Rose Picture from Flickr.com
Roses on my walk
Originally uploaded by dewelch.
As I mentioned in my last Gardener's Notebook podcast, the roses in the neighborhood are putting on quite a show this year. Here are a couple of cameraphone shots as I took my walk around the neighborhood today.
Roses on my walk - PaD 4/29/07 Roses on my walk

* Previous mentions of roses in A Gardener's Notebook

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Elsewhere Online: Caltech branches into olive oil - Los Angeles Times

A great story of some inventive students turning something ornamental into something useful. The campus of Valley College, near us here in Van Nuys, is also studded with olive trees. I wonder if they might consider the same idea.

It always feels like such a waste to see the olives on the ground at the end of each season.

Caltech branches into olive oil - Los Angeles Times

The Pit Expulsion Lab? Students will bottle the fruit from campus' copious trees.
By Larry Gordon, Times Staff Writer
April 28, 2007

Take 130 trees dropping olives on campus walkways. Add in students seeking prankish respite from their studies. Mix in a French-born university president with a taste for Mediterranean cuisine.

(Via The Los Angeles Times.)

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ventura's back roads are abloom - Los Angeles Times

Orange burst - PaD 4/21/07 - Flowering Vine PictureThe Los Angeles Times has a nice article on the nursuries and growers of Ventura County, giving a sort of mini-tour of the back roads and places to see.

I am wondering if I can somehow fit this into my own weekend?

Ventura's back roads are abloom - Los Angeles Times

Ventura's back roads are abloom
Discover a stunning array of flowers, trees and shrubs on a tour of growing grounds.
By Nan Sterman, Special to The Times
April 26, 2007

NOT long ago, the Los Angeles area was filled with specialty nurseries that grew nearly every kind of landscape plant imaginable orchids, roses, cactuses. The rise in property values during the last few decades, however, has pushed growers, especially the smaller ones, to the fringes. (Continues)

(Via The Los Angeles Times - Home Section.)

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LIVE from the garden

Streaming LIVE video from the garden again today until dusk.

Press the triangular "play" button to view!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hibiscus recover, Mouse and Trowel Finalist, and The Water Lily Cross

by Douglas E. Welch, agn@welchwrite.com
Reader/Listener Line - 206-338-5832

Links mentioned in this podcast:

1st Annual Mouse & Trowel Award Finalist
The Water Lily Cross by Anthony Eglin - Review
Country Garden Fair - Sepulveda Garden Center - May 5 & 6

A Gardener's Notebook Pictures on Flickr
A Gardener's Notebook Photo Sharing Group on Flickr

Listen to the Podcast

Podtrac Player Pop It At popcurrent.com

Theme Music: The One by The Woodshedders, aka the Hot Club of West Virginia, courtesy of the PodSafe Music Network

Support A Gardener's Notebook:

Join AGN Mailing List | iTunes Review | Digg.com | Podcast Alley | Call the Reader/Listener Line @ 206-338-5832

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Event: Flower Confidential author in Los Angeles

Amy Stewart, author of Flower Confidential, will be in Los Angeles for 2 events next week.

Sat April 28
LA Times Festival of Books--Vroman's Book Bus
(Registration required)
Also signing at Dutton's booth at 2 p.m.
Los Angeles, CA

Sat April 28 5 p.m.
Discussion & booksigning
Village Books
1049 Swarthmore
Pacific Palisades

Link: Read my review of Flower Confidential

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My recent comments on other blogs...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Elsewhere Online: Telerobotic birdwatching

Here is the high-end version of what I have been doing with uStream.tv -- a telerobotic birdwatching system. Signup for free and help to catalog the birds seen via the camera.

What a great way to escape the office for a little while in the middle of the day!

Telerobotic birdwatching

David Pescovitz: CONE Sutro Forest is a new telerobotic birdwatching project from UC Berkeley's Ken Goldberg, Texas A&M's Dezhen Song, and their collaborators. An ultra-high resolution telerobotic camera is mounted outside the home of craigslist founder Craig Newmark, whose balcony overlooks San Francisco's Sutro Forest. (Continues)

(Via Boing Boing.)

** Related posts on birdwatching

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cool Tool: Fiskars Kangaroo 30-Gallon Gardening Container

When I came across these on Toolmonger.com, I had to agree with their assessment that these are indeed a great tool to have in the garden. Light and easy to store, they expand to hold up to 30 gallons of leaves and other garden waste.

I don't know if I would start throwing rose prunings into them, but if you are frequent reader of the Notebook, you will know that I fight a constant battle against the shear number of leaves that fall in the garden. I could have used this the other day when I was cleaning up the driveway.

(Via ToolMonger)

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Event Re-Cap: Free Tree Giveaway

Originally uploaded by dewelch.
As I mentioned in this announcement a few days ago, the Million Trees and Trees for a Green LA program was giving away free trees today in Sherman Oaks. I swung by to check it out on the way to the Brewery Art walk and snapped these 2 pictures.

The trees looked healthy and were more mature than I expected them to to be. I saw Magnolia, Crape Myrtle and Holly Oak (Quercus ilex). There weren't any long lines (thank goodness) and some folks had to ask twice if they were really giving trees away.

I didn't pick up a tree, as I really don't need any more trees on my property and would probably have to take something out to add anything new. Oh well. (Pout)

The location, Sherman Oaks Car Wash, was probably not the best, as the tree traffic got tied up with the car wash traffic and there wasn't really a clear in and out traffic flow or clear signage on where to park..

Overall, a great program. They just need to hold the event in a different location next time.


Orange burst - PaD 4/21/07

Orange burst - PaD 4/21/07
Originally uploaded by dewelch.
While walking around the Brewery Artwalk today (full post and video coming soon) I found these lovely vines and figured I would share.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Finally, a little (or a lot of) rain...

weather radar pictureWe awoke to this on the radar this morning and, as I type, rains is coming down. We haven't quite got to the intense rain (marked in yellow), but it looks like it is finally going to make it here. I have watched several storms pass to the north of us with no measurable rain at all, so I am happy to see that this one looks as if it will finally give us a little relief.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Today's 10-minute Gardening Time

I am trying to split my time between the front garden and the back. Things don't look horrible, but the gardening face I am presenting to my neighbors could be better. Today, I cleaned up the leaf litter from most of the driveway, filling an entire green garden waste bin. Overall, I spent about 30 minutes.

One of the most important lessons I am learning, is to know when to say enough. I could have spent hours in the garden, but the fact is my back won't take it and I have other things that must be done. It can be so difficult to stop before you are officially "done" with a task. This is where most of us go astray and push ourselves a bit too hard.

The truth is, while I didn't get "all" the leaf litter, I did get "most" of it and that will be a large amount that won't have to deal with next time. This will also allow me to use the leaf blower (electric, thank you) to clean up whatever is left.

Overall, another successful bit of work in the garden.

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Elsewhere Online: DIY newspaper seedling pots

You have probably seen something like this before, but this has nice, illustrated instructions. A great way to recycle a bit of your newspaper.

DIY newspaper seedling pots

Outside it may be Nor'eastering, but inside it's time to get your seedlings started for summer planting. Eric from Japan details how to recycle your newspaper into biodegradable seed-starting pots. (Continues)

(Via Lifehacker.)

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Event: Free trees in Sherman Oaks this Saturday - April 21

The gang over at LAist clued us in to this event. If you have a need for a tree in your landscaping, be sure to stop by.

Million Trees program comes to Sherman Oaks

Contributed by: GM Communications on 4/13/2007

What: The Fashion Square Car Wash, in association with the Million Trees program, will give away free trees to the public from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at the car wash.

The program, created by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, distributes trees to all areas of the city. People who pick up a five-gallon tree are asked to plant the tree on their home or business property.

No car wash sale is required to participate in the program. The car wash plans to give away 200 trees during the Saturday program.

Where: Fashion Square Car Wash, 4625 Woodman Ave., Sherman Oaks

When: 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Event Dates: This event takes place on 4/21/2007.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Douglas E. Welch Calendar

Sunday, April 15, 2007

AGN Nominated for a Mouse and Trowel Award!

Mouse & Trowel Awards Logo
I humbly report that A Gardener's Notebook has been nominated for a Mouse and Trowel Award for Best Gardening Podcast.

This is a new collection of awards created by the folks at In The Garden Online. Thanks to all who nominated A Gardener's Notebook!

If you would like to vote for A Gardener's Notebook, and all of your favorite gardening blogs and podcasts, cast your vote here. Voting closes May 11, 2007.

The nominations have been very enlightening and I have been introduced several new gardening blogs. I'll hope you take the time to check out all the nominees.

Roses in the Garden - Photo-A-Day 4/15/07

Out in the garden today and the roses are popping all over the place.

I hadn't seen many aphids earlier, but they are hitting these roses in the back garden a bit. Time to take the hose out and blast them off. The lady bugs will arrive soon enough to polish off the rest. They seem to do this every year.

Click any of the photos to see them, in their full-size glory, on Flickr.

Roses in the Garden - April 15, 2007 Roses in the Garden - April 15, 2007 Roses in the Garden - April 15, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

10-Minute Gardener Update

I took my own advice and talked a couple of 10-minute projects today.

First, I swept the leaves from one portion of the driveway area. The wind piles up the leaves in this particular sector, so this had a lot of effect for fairly little effort. I am still dealing with a lot of leaf litter throughout the garden, but the next step is probably a complete "blow" of the garden using the electric leaf blower. This takes a but more time and energy on my part, though.

Second, I repaired the geranium pot that hangs from the eaves of the front porch. A few weeks ago, one of its rope supports gave way and it had been sitting on the stoop since then. A little rope from the leftovers in the garage, though, and I had it back in its rightful position in about 10 minutes.

Both of these projects are the perfect type for the 10-Minute Gardener. They were discrete little actions that needed doing -- that I could complete in about 10 minutes. Tomorrow, I need to do the same thing -- and the next, and the next and the next.

Previously in the 10-Minute Gardener Series
Removing Friction
Today's 10 Minutes in the Garden

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Elsewhere Online: How to Make a Garden Feel Welcoming

I received in this excellent article today as part of the Fine Gardening newsletter. It has the warm feeling of someone giving you a tour of their garden, something I always love.

Great ideas, too.

How to Make a Garden Feel Welcoming by Gordon Hayward

Use furnishings to create familiarity, invite lingering, and give a sense of coherence

Objects and structures can make a garden feel inviting and personal. A weathered birdbath (B on Site plan) passed on from the author's grandmother enhances a hosta bed.

Every time I walk past the 75-year-old birdbath in our garden here in southern Vermont, I recall when I first saw that cast-stone ornament as a boy in my late grandmother's garden near Oyster Bay, Long Island. It sat in the center of a boxwood-edged rose garden that was crisscrossed with crushed-oyster-shell paths. While visitors to our garden don't know what associations I hold with that birdbath, they can tell that it's old, that it anchors the broad curve of a hosta bed, and that birds do surely visit it. Objects such as this, rife with history and meaning, make our garden feel personal, anchored, and peaceful.


(Via Fine Gardening.)

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Found on my morning walk - PaD 4/9/07

Taking my morning walk, I happened up these at a neighbor' s house. I have taken pictures of them in previous years. They always seem so exuberant and catch the eye as you walk past.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Don't let your garden water go down the drain....

LA Frog makes note of one of my pet peeves, wasted water in our desert environment and provides a bit of the history of Los Angeles and its water.

I, too, hate when I see sprinklers watering sidewalks and driveways, and watching all that liquid gold run down the street into the nearest storm drain. This is one reason why, when we bought our house 10 years ago, I converted 95% of the irrigation systems to soaker hoses and drip systems. Both if these put the water right where it is needed. This also helps to reduce weed growth, since paths and such receive no water, expect from our infrequent rains.

I only have one traditional sprinkler system -- an old set of retrofitted lawn sprinklers in the front garden. We run it as infrequently as possible and most of the plants there mainly azaleas -- have naturalized enough to not need much supplemental watering.

If only I could convince others to get rid of their lawns and the water they require, we would all be better off.

California Water Wars When I drive through residential neighborhoods, and I see water flushing the streets from the garden hosing systems, I sometimes wonder if people even remember that the true nature of Los Angeles is to be a dry, desert land. And that bringing water to the city came at stupendous costs.

It's impossible to summarize the history of the Los Angeles aqueduct -- and the subsequent water wars -- in a

(Via LA Frog.)

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

California Poppies - PaD 4/5/07

California Poppies - PaD 4/5/07
Originally uploaded by dewelch.
I found these poppies on my morning walk around the neighborhood. Everything seems to be blooming right now -- poppies, cosmos, roses galore, orange trees and more.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Spring has arrived, Book Review and the 10-Minute Gardener

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Book: Melissa's Great Book of Produce

A geek in one thing, a geek in all things, I guess and here is a book for all the gardening and food geeks out there. I came across those book while trolling the sorting shelves at my local library. It is one of the best finds I have made in a while.

Melissa's Great Book of Produce: Everything you need to know about fresh fruits and vegetables is a information-filled and gorgeously photographed tome on produce both familiar and strange. For each piece of produce you get information on buying, storage use and even a few recipes along the way. There are some items in here I have never heard of before and it is great to get information on those I have heard of, but never encountered.

A wonderful book for the kitchen or the couch, Melissa's Great Book of Produce will surely expand your knowledge and, most likely, your appetite.

Highly Recommended

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