I Like This – March 18, 2011

    A collection of career items I found interesting this week.

  • Come for the cherry blossoms, stay for the bento box – This weekend at Descanso Gardens – March 16, 2011 – I highlighted this earlier on the blog, but wanted to share their direct posting from today. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to make it as family commitments fill the weekend, but I would highly recommend that you attend, if possible.
  • Building a sub-irrigated planter – March 12, 2011 – I am starting to investigate sub-irrigated planters in an attempt to grow some veg, even here in our rather shady garden. I figure I can place these in a sunny area the yard to take advantage of the like we do get.

    One common problem with containers here in Los Angeles is that they dry out much to fast — often going bone dry in only one 90 degree day. The wicking action of SIPs can help to moderate the moisture in the pots and give us a bit more leeway in our watering without killing our plants.

Photo: “Bewitched” Rose

These are the roses that line our driveway. They were planted many years ago by the previous owners of the house. The “Bewitched” name comes from the 1960’s television show, which just happens to be one of my wife’s favorites from her childhood.

Bewitched Rose

Event: Rain barrel classes and distribution

I came across this in my feeds today. We got our current composters via a similar program. — Douglas

Rain barrel distribution

Los Angeles residents can help conserve water by using rain barrels that collect run off from gutters that can then be used for landscaping.

The Hollywood Beautification Team, working with the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation’s Watershed Protection Division is offering the following rain barrel trainings:

  • March 26: Hollywood City Hall (6501 Fountain Avenue); Classes will begin every 30 minutes between 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
  • April 2: Micheltorena Elementary School (1511 Micheltorena Street); Classes will begin every 30 minutes between 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

All training participants will receive a free rain barrel at the end of the class.

Click here for more information about rain barrels and water harvesting.


via Rain barrel distribution via lacityorg13.

California Wildflower Hotline and Report

The Theodore Payne Foundation updates its wildflower hotline and online report each weekend. Want to know what wildflowers are blooming in California give them a call or download the PDF file.


Wildflower and California Poppy Bloom info

After a good year for rain, like this one, the California Poppy bloom, along with other wildflowers should be quite dramatic. You can keep abreast of what is happening by visiting the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve SNR web site or calling their hotline at (661) 724-1180.

Click to see many pictures from our 2003 trip to the park

Here is there latest report…

Latest Poppy Reserve Research Field Notes and Observations
3-10-11: Mary Wilson
Antelope Trail North Loop
Poppies are just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, and slender keel fruit.

Antelope Trail South Loop
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, and slender keel fruit.

Lightning Bolt Trail
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, bush lupine, slender keel fruit, lacey phacelia, red maids, Western for-get-me-not, a tiny for-get-me-not, sun cups, hairy lotus, cream cups and rattlesnake weed.

Poppy Trail North Loop Trail
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, slender keel fruit, fringe pod, wild onions, red maids, sun cups, gold fields and owl’s clover.

Poppy Trail South Loop
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, goldfields, silver puffs and slender keel fruit.

Tehachapi Vista Point Trail
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, goldfields, pygmy-leaved lupine, slender keel fruit and grape soda lupine.

Valley Vista Point
Poppies just starting to bloom.
Look for blossoms on filaree, fiddleneck, pygmy-leaved lupine, and slender keel fruit, forget-me-nots and evening snow.

3-10-11: Mike Powell

I think the best trails right now are the North Poppy Loop trail (it has some, already, impressive displays of owl’s clover, the cream cups, goldfields and a few poppy blossoms among others). The northern segment of the trail leaving the parking lot (it has some nice displays of forget-me-nots and, late in the afternoon, evening snow and a few poppy blossoms). The last is the Tehachapi Vista trail with its grape soda lupine, goldfields and some poppy blossoms.

In the news for Tuesday, March 15, 2011

#alttext#Urban homesteaders find ideal ground in Altadena

Neighbors swap produce, honey, eggs and much more in Altadena, where the urban homesteading movement has produced much more than sustenance.

March 10, 2011 Los Angeles Times By Veronique de Turenne

Sometimes, the peach on a backyard tree is just a peach, a sweet, home-grown bonus. In certain circles of Altadena, though, that peach is a gateway fruit.

One tree becomes three, which becomes an orchard. The quest for organic fertilizer leads to a flock of chickens, which beget a garden. Before you know it, there’s a herd of goats out front, heritage turkeys in back, a beehive, a rabbit hutch and a guard llama.

Read the entire article

Side note: Rudicel is my wife’s office mate at Cal Poly Pomona. Small world!

In the news for Monday, March 14, 2011

#alttext#The Dry Garden: Southern California’s most interesting experiment in water-wise landscaping
March 12, 2011, Los Angeles Times, Emily Green

“Spotting a pumpkin identified as a gourd prompted Leigh Adams to write John Lyons. She was (and is) an expert in gourd-craft as well as the artist-in-residence at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Lyons, whose website carried the photo of the pumpkin, was (and is) a garden designer and lecturer at the arboretum. Yet until Adams wrote, they had never met.

That was two years ago. They now joke that they are “as much in love as a non-couple could be.” And they have a baby, a 4-month-old garden that is brimming with art, native sages and fruit trees and is irrigated by rainwater harvested from the street.”

Read the entire article

AGN Gardening Events Calendar

Check out these gardening events in the Southern California area and elsewhere around the world. If you hosting gardening-related events, let me know and I will add them to the calendar.

Photo: Freesia

Freesia, originally uploaded by dewelch.

A lovely freesia arrives as the earlier bulbs (paperwhites, Snowbells and daffodils) fade.

Taken with Instagram iPhone app.

Descanso Gardens Cherry Blossom Festival, March 19-20, 2011

cherrybridgemzDescanso Gardens

1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011. (818) 949 4200

The flowering of cherry trees is celebrated around the world as a herald of spring. Descanso Gardens will welcome the season with a new, Japanese-themed Cherry Blossom Festival on March 19 and 20.

Witness a traditional Japanese tea ceremony – or watch a demonstration of Japanese cooking. Enjoy bento box lunches and a Cherry-tini cocktail in the Camellia Lounge. Take a guided walk of the flowering cherry trees in the Descanso landscape, purchase a cherry tree to take home and get expert advice on cherry tree care.

Festival highlights include:

  • Japanese Tea Ceremonies, 11 a.m., 12:30 and 2 p.m. Saturday: Witness this traditional ceremony. Seating is limited. Tea and sweets will be sold. In the Minka.
  • Japanese Cooking Demonstration, 11 a.m. Sunday: Learn some basics of Japanese cuisine from Jesse Genovese, chef at Ramsey’s at The Club in Toluca Lake. Be ready to take notes! At Nature’s Table.
  • Prunus lecture, 10:30 a.m. Saturday: The genus Prunus includes stone fruits such as cherries, plums and peaches. Descanso Horticulturist Mike Brown leads a discussion and demonstration on the proper methods for fertilizing and pruning these trees. The class will also learn how to drape trees in order to protect fruit from hungry birds. At Nature’s Table.
  • Cherry tree sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days: Purchase a flowering cherry to plant in your own garden. At Magnolia Lawn.
  • Cherry blossom walks, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. both days: Take a guided walk-and-talk that explores the many cherry trees in the Gardens. Meet at the Center Circle.
  • Bento box lunches and Cherry-Tini cocktails, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days: Back by popular demand, the Camellia Lounge (located in the Full Moon Teahouse) returns. Purchase a cocktail or a bento box to enjoy on the lawn. Bento boxes are $6.95 for the vegetarian option; $8.95 for the chicken or beef option. To pre-order, phone Patina at (818) 790-3663. Bento box lunches may also be purchased at the event. View the complete menu here.

Activities are free with admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors/students, $3 children 5-12; 4 and younger enter free. Details: (818) 949-4200.


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