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Saturday, February 01, 2003

Getting out of the garden

Sometimes I like to get out of the admittedly artificial confines of my garden and take stock of what is happening in the real world.

With that in mind, as well as a desire to exercise my nearly atrophied hiking muscles, I headed out to one of my favorite parks, Rocky Oaks.

Even with our lack of usual rain, Spring is beginning to make a showing. The red leaves at the tips of the Laural Sumac (Rhus laurina) shows that they are beginning to stir. Wild Cucumber, (Marah fabaceus) with its trailing vines and white, surprisingly fragrant flowers, is everyone. It is more visible now due to its bright green foliage against the duskier colors of those plants that have yet to realize it is Spring.

The Ceanothus are covered in their tiny blue-white blossoms. When the lighting is just right, the plants almost look like they are surrounded by a fog or somehow glowing from within.

The black sage (Salvia mellifera) is just beginning to show its tiny, blue flowers and the Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) is blooming with its distinctive vanilla/butterscotch scent.

There were even a few small patches of Deadly Nightshade (Solanum Xanthi) , its purple flowers with yellow centers making it easy to spot.

The lack of rain will probably make this a poor year for wildflowers, but there will be a always be a few to please the eye.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003


Gardening Book Project

I have decided to make a calculated march through the gardening books available to me from the Los Angeles Public Library system, in order to see what useful, fun or interesting books I might have missed along the way.

This is the first entry in what should become a regular feature.


Paths and Walkways: Simple Projects, Contemporary Designs
by Hazel White

I have lots of paths in my garden. Unfortunately, nearly all of them are at the end of their current life span. The pea gravel installed by the previous owners has mostly sunk into the soil or been raked up with the leaves. I have been looking for replacement path coverings, but nothing has struck my fancy as yet. Paths and Walkways has loads of great ideas, though, so I am hoping I will find a few possibilities within its pages.


Tips for the Lazy Gardener
by Linda Tilgner

As much as we all love gardening, sometimes it can be a real pain in the neck (and back and legs and everywhere else). There is no need to suffer, though. Here is a book of great hints on making your gardening "work" even more enjoyable than it already is.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Garden Light Show

On our way back from a weekend in Palm Desert, California we stopped by our friends, the Cadegans in Moreno Valley. The display of color in the Cadegan's garden was unbelievable.

Click for photo gallery

The plant above is Delosperma cooperi. It is commonly used for ground cover throughout Southern California. Despite its sprawling habit it truly puts on a light show in the garden at this time of year. The flowers seem to almost glow from within. In some cases, when planted on high hillsides, the flowers can be seen from a mile away!

Hearst Castle seeks photos from visitors

In today's Desert Sun I came across an interesting story. Hearst San Simeon Historical Monument in California is looking for photos and film which show the original gardens, designed by architect Julia Morgan, from the 1940's and 50's.

The monument is trying to recreate the gardens in order to give visitors a more complete understanding of how the grounds were just as beautiful and important as the grand house itself. It sounds like a difficult project, but I think it is an interesting way to try and recapture a garden that has been lost over the years.