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Saturday, October 18, 2003

Gardening Festival

The November 2003 issue of Sunset magazine contains a listing for the Beverly Hills Flower and Garden Festival at Historic Greystone Estate

The festival is being held November 8 and 9 and the cost is $25/person, $12 for children over 10, children 10 and under are free.

The 2 day event will host guest lecturers and top gardeners from Beverly Hills. A complete list of topics and speakers is available on the web site. You will also get a chance to see the inside of Greystone Mansion, a frequent location for television and film productions.

Fall has come and gone

Over the last week it appeared that we were headed into Fall. Temperatures had dropped, the leaves on the liquidambar were starting to change and all seemed right with the world. Today, though, my thermometer currently reads 91 degrees and Summer is back with a vengence.

It is true that we often don't have much of a Fall season here in the San Fernando Valley. Usually it simply progresses directly from Summer to Winter. Still, these throwbacks to the heat we thought we had left behind can be a bit disheartening. I guess the plants are probably well adapted to such things, but for us gardeners it is a burden.

I have 2 bags of daffodil bulbs I want to get into the streetside bed, ready for the coming Winter rains, but I can't see sweating into a wet dishrag while trying to do it. It looks like we have at least another week of the heat to go, but I will try to get them in before the end of the month.

Grass Amuck...

This is a picture from the neighbor a few doors down. This Pampas Grass (Cortaderia jubata ) started off as 4 small plants but have quickly taken over this street-side area. I have noticed that this grass can be extremely invasive and I often see it cropping up in the wide variety of wild areas surrounding the San Fernando Valley. Worse still, we have a man-made wildlife reserve less than a mile away and I have seen large clumps of this grass popping up there as well.

The National Park Service has a page regarding the invasive nature of Pampas.

It seems the grass can create seed without pollination and it produces a large amount of seed that is easily distributed on the wind. I am a bit surprised that it isn't more widespread here, but assume that the dry climate helps to keep it in check somewhat.

While it can be very pretty in your garden, you might want to think twice about planting Pampas. It might take over your garden and those of your neighbors, as well.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Yet another book...

Trowel & Error: Over 700 Shortcuts, Tips & Remedies for the Gardener

Here is another book that I have found fun and informative. This collection of tips and hints is great for the beginning or intermediate gardener, especially if you are looking for non-toxic (at least to you and yours) ways of handling pests and infections in your garden.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Wonderful Pumpkin Faces

Saxton Freymann has a way with pumpkins. These are not traditional "jack-o-lanterns", but amazing expressive sculptures in Cucurbitaceae. (The scientific Family name for pumpkins!)

If you are looking to do something a little different with your pumpkins this year, both of these books offer some amazing ideas. While Play With Your Pumpkins, is a "how-to" book, Dr. Pompo's Nose is a children's story book, illustrated with Freymann's work.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Garden Structures (Smith & Hawken)

I am always looking for books to spur my thinking, gardening and otherwise, and this one caught my eye at the library the other day. I am researching ways to dress up my cement block walls and a tumble-down fence on the south side of the garden. This book has some wonderful examples of garden structures and how they can be used to add excitement and beauty.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Sunday Oct 26 10:00 AM

Descanso Gardens Pumpkin Parade

Venue: Center Circle

Railroad Bill returns by popular demand to entertain and lead costumed youngsters in the parade through the Gardens. Parents will want to walk along–or beat the group to the end of the parade–to take photos of their own children at a special photo-op spot. Don’t be surprised to meet families who come every year to add to the photo diary of their children’s lives.

Free With Garden Admission