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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tearing down the trellis

Blooms in the garden - March 20, 2008

Bewitched Roses
Originally uploaded by dewelch
Quite a bit is blooming in the garden, thanks to all the rain we had in January and February. March has been try, though, so I hope we get another good soaking before the heat of summer hits.

Here is a collection of photos from my Flickr account showing everything in bloom around here. The orange blossoms are from a neighbor's yard up the street, but the smell is everywhere.

Rosanne and I tore down the old trellis behind the office today, as it was starting to fall apart on its own. It is probably almost 20 years old, do it has certainly put in good service. Now we have to figure out what we want to put in its place.

One photo is off the Troy-Bilt Electric Cultivator I received for review from the company. We put it to work first thing yesterday and I am quite pleased. It is going to make some jobs around here a lot easier. Full video and blog reviews coming soon.

I hope March treated you well and April is even better. I know it is "mud time" in other parts of the country, so keep your Wellies by the back door so you can get out in the garden, even if it is a bit wet.

Spring is on the way!

More Photos:

Shurb rose Bankside roses Lantana Rose Gardenia Yellow Hibsicus Freesia Troy-Bilt Electric Cultivator Orange blossoms

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Neighborhood blooms and today's work

Originally uploaded by dewelch
Since I am walking everyday now, I am finding more blooms around the neighborhood. I only had my cell phone today, but here are two pictures I was able to capture. Not sure what this flower is, but the second is of the orange trees that suddenly came into bloom this week, The air is filled with the smell of oranges.

I took some time to rake up one area of leaves before trash day tomorrow, as well as prune off the dead limbs on the Japanese Maple. Last year's frost seems to have it hit pretty hard. I couldn't tell where to prune until the leaves started to show, which happened this week.

Orange Blossoms:


Monday, March 24, 2008

Mouse and Trowel Awards - Nominations now open!

Nominations for this year's Mouse and Trowel gardening blog awards is now open. Click the link below to nominate your favorite gardening blogs and podcasts.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Do you take cuttings from your neighbor's gardens? from Seesmic

I must say I have been fairly tempted to take some illicit cuttings as I walk through my neighborhood.

iPod Ready Video

Tomato Mania is coming to Encino - April 4-6

One of Los Angeles' oldest garden traditions meets one of its newest sensations as Tapia Brothers Farm Stand again hosts the largest of the TOMATOMANIA! seedling sales.

Driving south on the 101 exit Balboa, turn left at the light and turn right on BURBANK BLVD, then right on Hayvenhurst.

We'll be open from 9am to 5pm all three days and there's plenty of parking available.

How many seedlings do you need? We'll have almost 300 varieties waiting for you!
Get everything you'll need to have the most successful tomato season ever!

April 4 - 6
9:00 5:00 both days

Tapia Brothers Farm Stand
5251 Hayvenhurst Ave.
Encino, CA

See http://www.tomatomania.com/ for more info

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cherry Trees at Lake Balboa 2008

Cherry Blossoms at Lake BalboaWe finally made it back to Lake Balboa today, since the boy was off for Spring Break and neither Rosanne or I had any appointments scheduled. Unfortunately, the cherry trees were well beyond their peak bloom. I had simply waited too long to get back to the lake. I knew this was a possibility, but figured I would try to shoot some photos anyway, capturing whatever remained.

That said, if you click on the photo, you will find a gallery of 16 photos I was able to shoot, even if I did miss the height of the bloom.

As we walked around the lake I noticed that many trees were lost over the last year. I am guessing the same frosts that damaged my garden also hit them fairly hard. It appears that most of the damage occurred on the north slope above the lake itself. Perhaps these trees were simply more exposed and didn't get the benefit of the lakes moderating influence. I hope they decide to replant some more trees to keep the bloom going. This is one of the highlights of my Spring here in LA.

Link: Cherry Trees at Lake Balboa 2008 - Gallery

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Birdhouse Building from Gardenfork.tv

Eric, over at Gardenfork.tv, produced this excellent video on birdhouse building and has some great links to free info on building your own birdhouse, including downloadable plans.

The photo to the right is a picture of my own build of a one-board birdhouse which I built using plans from Birds and Blooms magazine.

[Plans - HTML] [Plans - PDF]

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Camillias in the neighborhood

Camillias in the neighborhood
Originally uploaded by dewelch
Spotted this lovely Camilla bush on my walk this morning.

Elsewhere Online: Cuttings in a Bag: Am I The Last To Know?

Here is some info on a different way to "pot up" seedlings and cuttings. It might be worth a look if your space is limited or if you are looking for different methods of starting plants.

Cuttings in a Bag: Am I The Last To Know?

Some ideas are so simple. I am wondering if this simple idea is one that everyone knew about except me?

It's such an easy thing to do, and saves a lot of space.

It's a "cutting in a bag".

I had never seen this before until this Saturday when I went to the African violet show.

The grower had several cuttings in plastic bags for sale. He said he roots new plants like this all the time.

(Continues at May Dreams Gardens)

(Via May Dreams Gardens.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Blossoms in the neighborhood

Blossoms in the neighborhood
Originally uploaded by dewelch

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Flowering in the Garden

Flowering in the Garden
Originally uploaded by dewelch
Here are a couple of pictures of what is flowering (orin one case "leafing") in my garden. This is one of the azalea bushes, although several more are bursting with blooms, a freesia, a geranium that was a housewarming present 11+ years ago and the first leaves on our Japanese Maple.

More photos:

Flowering in the Garden Flowering in the Garden Flowering in the Garden

Thursday, March 06, 2008

California Poppies are coming!

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve 2003Every year, around this time, I start to check out the status reports from the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. When we have a good rainy season, as we have had this year, things can really be amazing with hillsides covered in poppies and a host of other native wildflowers.

Noting that March had arrived, I just checked the park's web site and found the following report...

Wildflower status: 03-05-08

It looks like it might be a great year! We've now received over 9 inches of rain, compared to only 1 inch at this time last year. Watch our rain gauge and compare to past years' data at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryFx?s=POP. There are several tiny poppy plants germinating, and our first poppy flower has been spotted! A few other species such as loco weed and lupine are beginning to bloom, as is the Joshua Tree by the visitor center, with white, artichoke-shaped flower buds on several branches. Looking across the fields, there's a green tinge to the tan hills of last year's grasses.

The wildlife is returning- gliding hawks, singing meadow larks, and lizards zipping across the trail. Lizards coming out also means rattlesnakes are coming out, so stay on the trail! The natural spring on the North Poppy Trail is running again with rabbit brush coming back around it, which makes it a good place to sit quiety and watch for wildlife.

Cool! I think we will definitely be planning a trip out this year, from the sound of it. Interested? Drop me a comment below or send an email to agn@welchwrite.com to get a notice of when we plan on going.

Link: Info and pictures from our 2003 trip

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Red Hibiscus

Red Hibiscus
Originally uploaded by dewelch
Caught this on a walk around the neighborhood today.