Photo: “Shoseian” Whispering Pine Teahouse & Friendship Garden in Glendale, CA

I have been using Flickr to share my photos since 2003 and have over 5,300 photos there which have been viewed over 33,000 times. I’ll be re-visiting some of my favorite pictures and also those most popular with other Flickr users.

Tea Room

Tea Room

“Shoseian” Whispering Pine Teahouse & Friendship Garden info from the City of Glendale



Photo: Matilija Poppy at Theodore Payne Foundation of Wildflowers and Native Plants

I have been using Flickr to share my photos since 2003 and have over 5,300 photos there which have been viewed over 33,000 times. I’ll be re-visiting some of my favorite pictures and also those most popular with other Flickr users.

Matiija Poppy

Matilija poppy

I took this shot at the Theodore Payne Foundation of Wildflowers and Native Plants in Sun Valley, CA. I was there looking at their nursery for natives to plant in my own garden and found many of these springing up naturally in the area. The crepe paper like look of their petals almost makes them look like artificial plants, but the large honey bee in the center of this shot shows that it is indeed real.

These poppies can grow quite large. This one was about the size of a dinner plate from one edge of the white petals to the other.

Couldn’t you use garden tool storage close to your work?


Below is one idea for tool storage that is close at hand whenever you want to go to work on your garden. I have seen many other permutations of this idea and all of them are great.


Source: via Douglas on Pinterest

Tool shed small

It only makes sense to put your tools in close proximity to where you will be working. Why carry everything, or put everything in a wheelbarrow, to transport it to your garden site when a mailbox, as in this example, an outdoor storage tub, or even a beautiful handmade garden tool shed could be placed right at the edge of the beds.

I know that for me, I tend to be reminded of garden jobs as I am walking through the garden to do something else. Imagine if you could just grab a pair of pruner and quickly take care of that wanton rose bush in this serendipitous moments. I know it will help me greatly. I find that I make a point of deadheading the geranium that hands on the end of our porch whenever we are saying goodbye to visitors that might have come by for the day or evening. It is right there. It is at eye level. It tends to get all the attention it needs. Other parts of the garden can suffer from a bit of neglect as they are off my typical paths.

If you find yourself carting your tools hither and yon in your garden every time you want to do a little work, maybe a little garden-close tool shed is just what you need.

Photo Right: Gardeners Tool Shed from


Re-use: Futon frame as garden gate

I LOVE creative reuse of materials in the garden (and anywhere, in fact) and I was blown away by this project I first saw on (BTW, you can follow me and my garden finds on PInterest, too)

This gardener used an old futon frame, hung on end, as an interesting garden gate. I have on older futon I am about to give away, but now I am thinking of doing something similar with it. The sleek modern lines of most futon frames work well for this type of arrangement. It might be a bit too modern for some gardens, but I am sure there are ways to paint and theme to fit in almost anywhere.

It is great to see such creative thinking and reuse of materials that might otherwise simply be thrown out.


Source: via Douglas on Pinterest


Five garden-related Twitter Chats to check out

Ever see hash tag like #gardenchat and #treechat go spinning by in your Twitter stream and wonder what they were? These hash tags are used to facilitate Twitter chats. Much like the chat rooms of old, these scheduled chats bring together like-minded people to chat, using Twitter, about their favorite topic. Running a chat in Twitter, like this, also allows everyone to simultaneously share their chat comments with all their Twitter followers.

One of the easiest ways to engage in a Twitter chat is by using the TweetChat web site. This site allows you to log in via your Twitter account, select which hashtag you want to follow, and also automatically includes the hashtag in every tweet, so everyone else sees your messages.


My usual hangout is GardenChat, held each Monday night at 9pm EST/6pm PST.  Join us some evening. I think you will enjoy it. Transcripts of past GardenChats are available in the transcript library of the GardenChat site.


Here are 5 garden-related chats that I know occur on a regular basis. Click each link for schedule, information and transcripts of previous chats.


Photo: Daisies in the neighborhood

I came across these daises (unknown type) as I was walking the neighborhood. The bright sunny day shows them off excellently.


Daisies Daisies Daisies

Free Garden Wallpaper for your smartphone – Cherry Blossoms

Click the image of link below to download your very own copy of this photo, formatted for use as an iPhone or Android wallpaper on your smartphone. I plan on producing these once each month.


Click to download your own copy of this Cherry Blossom desktop for your smartphone

For iPhone, tap and hold on the image, then select Save Image
Wallpaper will now be available as an option under Settings, Wallpaper

Photos: Cherry Blossoms at Lake Balboa, Los Angeles, CA

A friend mentioned that the Cherry Trees at Lake Balboa near me here in Van Nuys, CA were blooming. It seemed much too early of that according to my records of previous blooms, but I decided to drive buy today and check things out.

Well, as you can see from the photos below, there are indeed some cherry trees blooms, but these are on the smaller trees which I think are slightly different from the Japanese Cherry trees that fill the interior of the park. I did notice a few sporadic blooms on the larger trees, but I would goes they have about another 2 weeks or so before they are in full flower.

That said, the blooms that are there are quite striking. I hope you enjoy the photos! As always, click for larger images via Flickr.

Pictures of Cherry Blossoms in Previous Years – 2003 2008 2010

Cherry Blossoms at Balboa Park, Los Angeles, CA

Cherry Blossoms at Balboa Park, Los Angeles, CA Cherry Blossoms at Balboa Park, Los Angeles, CA Cherry Blossoms at Balboa Park, Los Angeles, CA Cherry Blossoms at Balboa Park, Los Angeles, CA

Lake Balboa is located in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles, CA, near the intersection of the 101 and 405 freeways. Here is a map showing its exact location.

View Larger Map

Photo: Wisteria leaves are popping

The wisteria that covers our back pergola has always struggled. Like some other gardeners have written, wisteria is a finicky beast that blooms only when it really wants to and only under the perfect circumstances, which can vary from plant to plant and variety to variety.

Our wisteria has only bloomed twice in the past 15 years, if memory serves and never prolifically at that. It throws off lots of leaves but no flower pikes. Even worse, when we built the new pergola a few years ago, we had to cut it back hard in order to tear down the old structure that was there.

Link: Constructing the new pergola – February 2006

With all of that history, though, I am optimistic for the next couple of years. We recently removed a pine tree that heavily shaded the entire pergola. Now that this has been removed I am already seeing a difference in the wisteria. It seems a bit healthier overall and I think the extra sunlight will do it well.

Here are some photos from today showing leaves both just starting and fully expanded to take in the sun.

Wisteria Leaves Popping

Wisteria Leaves

Click photos for larger images

Photo: Tomatoes in February?!?!

Our little volunteer tomato plant is kicking up production this week. I don’t know if it the mild weather or a bit more sun, but I count around 20 new flowers on the plant and I am already seeing new fruit being set. Hard to believe we can have this much production in February, even here in Los Angeles.

Tomatoes in February?!

This tomato was a volunteer that sprouted from the homemade compost I used to start some other seeds. I left in several seedlings until I could identify them and was so happy when I spotted this tomato. It continues to surprise me everyday with its vigor, even stuck in a pot like it is.