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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Elsewhere Online: Five views of one path: Garden Bloggers’ Design Challenge

This article gives a wonderful view of how one environment can look so different throughout the course of the year. It makes me homesick to see such dramatic seasonal changes. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't miss the snow necessarily, but the dramatic progression from season to season is amazing to witness.

Five views of one path: Garden Bloggers’ Design Challenge

Perhaps it is a bit extreme to say “Paths make the garden,” but ever since I was a child paths have been an emotionally significant element to my enjoyment of a garden. I didn’t realize this until we moved to the rural 15 acres where we now live, when I struggled with how to turn acreage into a garden.

That a path exists gives a sense of safety. You know you won’t get lost or swallowed up as long as you can see the path. The fact that you can’t see where a path leads is what lends it the air of mystery, what gives you a little tingle of excitement.

Once I realized that paths were called for, the problem became one of creating and maintaining them. (I still feel abysmally ignorant about this subject, so if anyone knows of a book on trail maintenance, please let me know.)

(Continues on site)

(Via Cold Climate Gardening.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

A little Fall Color in Los Angeles

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from WelchWrite.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the US, so from all of us to all of you, Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are! We are thankful for much and many. May your day be filled with food, fun and family!

Listen to our audio message

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

After-Thanksgiving Sales at Amazon.com

Get your holiday shopping started with these special After-Thanksgiving Day deals from Amazon.com.

After-Thanksgiving Day Sales from Amazon.com

...or check out my recommendations in...

The WelchWrite Store

The Greenhouse - A social network for gardeners

Eric Rochow of GardenFork.tv has started a new socail network for gardners called The Greenhouse. Come and join in the fun!

Visit The Greenhouse

Monday, November 19, 2007

Have a Very Vegan Thanksgiving!

I got this reminder from our friends, Molly and David Anderson over a Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana. A wonderful alternative to the usual carnivorous feast day, if you are so inclined.

Thanksgiving To-Go

We have a full To-Go Thanksgiving Meal featuring all of the traditional faves (seitan, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, stuffing, pies, etc.). It's available for pick-up the day before Thanksgiving - Wednesday, November 21st (you can also pick it up Thanksgiving Day). The price is $45 per person. Call (818) 758-6971 or e-mail madeleinecuisine@sbcglobal.net for more info.

Join Us Thanksgiving Day

We will also be open on Thanksgiving Day - Thursday, November 22nd, from 12:00pm - 5:00pm (last seating starts). We are offering a five-course prix fixe menu chock full of holiday favorites. The price is $75 per person. Reservations are required. Call (818) 758-6971 or e-mail madeleinecuisine@sbcglobal.net for more info.

Join our e-mail list today so that you can keep up-to-date on all the happenings at Madeleine Bistro throughout the year. Just e-mail to suscribe@madeleinebistro.com and we'll add you to the list.

Visit the Madeleine Bistro Web Site

Thanks for your support,
Molly & David Anderson

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Something stinks in the Valley!

As if we needed yet another reason to dislike lawns in this near-desert environment, this month brings yet another, pungent,reason.

Since I don't have a lawn on my property, I am not exactly sure why this is done each Fall, but steer manure seems to be the top-dressing of choice. Of course, this has to be the stinkiest top dressing ever invented. Where most manures seem to be composted and most odorless, this manure can be smelled blocks away. Now imagine 25% of the lawns on a given street covered with the stuff. Yeech!

My wife and I like to take a walk through the neighborhood for exercise and usually follow a particular route of a know length. A few nights ago, we spent the entire walk choking on the smell.

This article, Winterize? Some truths about cool season lawn care gives some reasoning behind the manure for "winterizing" your lawn, although winterizing seems a grand word to use here in Southern California. This article, Ann's Organic Garden: Simple technique transforms a sorry lawn advises against it due to the high salt content.

Whatever the reason, though, can't we all find something a bit less smelly to get the job done so we can enjoy the usual fall smells without feeling we live next to a feed lot?

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Video: Red-tailed hawk in the garden this morning (Update)

Update: 11/18/07 4:00pm PST) My friend Keri from Animalbytes informs me this is an immature Cooper's Hawk. Thanks for the info!

Wow! This red-tailed hawk decided to visit my bird bath for over 30 minutes this morning. It was a great opportunity to watch one of these large birds up close.

Watch the Video

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Douglas quoted in "Composting - The California Garden - Los Angeles Times"

As I figured when I gave a phone interview with Joe Robinson from the Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago, only one quote made it into his article on compost...

'"I'll be at a Hollywood party and all of a sudden we'll get into a riff on composting," says Douglas E. Welch, a computer consultant and backyard composter in Van Nuys who has a blog called A Gardener's Notebook.'

...but something is always better than nothing, especially the mention of the name of this blog. Although a URL and link would have been even sweeter. Mainstream press seems reluctant to give out URLs. I imagine they are afraid a given URL might expire and redirect readers to something nasty.

Nevertheless, I shall bask in my one-quote glory for today, at least. (SMILE)

The California Garden - Los Angeles Times By Joe Robinson, Special to The Times

"The little wigglers double as heroes of composting, which is no longer seen as merely a fringe solution."

SHARING lunch with students at the Santa Monica College cafeteria one recent afternoon are a couple hundred thousand lowlife diners that most folks would only be caught dead with. Inside a giant, hydraulically operated bin behind the kitchen, 800,000 red wiggler worms are chowing down, as they do 24 hours a day here and at an increasing number of homes and eco-leaning facilities in Los Angeles. It's part of a makeover as dramatic as anything since a mouse got named Mickey.

(Continues on web site)

(Via The Los Angeles Times.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Elsewhere Online: The Great Aerogarden Experiment Day 3

I had not heard of this device, but now I will be paying more attention to it. I know that this really isn't "Gardening" with a capital G, but for those of you in colder climes who just can't let go of growing for the Winter, it might be an interesting conversation piece.

I know I will be following along in Achieve It!'s experience with the Aerogarden.

The Great Aerogarden Experiment Day 3

Back in September I posted a little blurb about the Aerogarden - a new gadget that sits on a tabletop and grows literally ACRES of fresh herbs and vegetables. Well, maybe not acres, but it’s supposed to produce enough… say… lettuce to feed 2 people salad for 6 months.

(Continues on web site)

(Via Achieve IT!.)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Product: Compost Keeper from Amazon.com

Funny. I have been looking for something exactly like this for the kitchen, to hold kitchen scraps between trips to the compost bin, and looking through my Amazon recommendations I saw this. This would really help to neaten the kitchen counter and might even fit under the sink for an "out of sight, out of mind" sort of deal.

Link: Compost Keeper by Norpro

Bulbs are a wonderful thing!

Thank goodness for bulbs, those low maintenance, vigorous and recurring part of my garden. I see that I know how Amaryllis, paper white and freesia coming up in the back garden. This is usually followed quickly by the snowbells and daffodils. I need to go pick up some more bulbs so I can have an even better show next years.

It is so great to see new life in the garden after our dry, dry, dry summer. We had some drizzle today as I was driving to my client's office, so hopefully we will get a little something at the house. It is cool and grey and I am wearing a sweater - finally - so I am at least enjoying the weather.

Pictures to come!


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Japanese Garden - Van Nuys, CA

Originally uploaded by jensonw02
This garden is an easy bike ride from my house, but I haven't visited in years. It is a beautiful place, although it can be a little loud due to departing planes and jets from Van Nuys Airport. There is also a nice wildlife area nearby with great birdwatching opportunities.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Douglas Interviewed about composting...

I had a nice talk with a reporter from the Los Angeles Times today about composting. Hopefully, you will be able to read my words of wisdom in the Home Section in about 2 weeks. I'll post a link when the story appears.