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Saturday, January 17, 2004

You Snooze, You Lose

Hmmm....there is one problem with being a late sleeper and a late riser. This morning, the workmen arrived to finish our sewer line project long before I was awake. I hadn't had time to remove the rose bushes, so they did it on their own.

Unfortunately, instead of taking a nice root ball with each plant, they reduced them to something that looks like a bare root rose you might find at the nursury. I was a bit peeved, but really only had myself to blame, since I wasn't there to supervise.

I have taken all the plants and stashed them in a tub of water, to keep the roots moist. Once the work is done, I will transplant them back into their bed and cross my fingers. Where most gardeners would relish the opportunity to buy new plants, I have grown somewhat attached to these roses and would like to keep them around a while longer.

Wish me luck!

Discuss Gardening

Friday, January 16, 2004

Gardening on demand

There is nothing like a broken sewer line to force you into a bit of gardening.

While gardens are a wonder,however, large trees in close proximity to aged sewer lines are not a happy thing. The clay tile pipe from 1942/43 finally succumbed to age and roots and left us with major problems. Time to call in the plumbers!

We now have several large holes in the garden (6' long x 3' wide x 6' deep). So far, we have only had to sacrifice one azalea bush, but we were already planning on refurbishing that particular bed, anyway. We also got lucky, in that there had been a rose bush directly where this large hole is situated, but it died a few years ago. Finally, a lot of the digging is taking place in the alley, which only has plantings directly against the cement block wall.

New technology usually allows the plumber to pull new PVC piping along the path of the existing clay pipe with an interesting hydraulic machine. While this worked for a portion of the job, the plumbers found out that the original builders had placed the sewer line and gas line in the same trench. So, a large portion, aboutharms 20 feet will need to be completely trenched out and replaced by hand.

This change means that I have to move 5 rose bushes out of harms way. Of course, transplanting fully-grown rose bushes is a cumbersome task, so I looked for a few ways to make it easier. First, since it is pruning time here in Southern California, I decided to do the hard pruning before we dug them up. This will allow us to move them around more easily. Since I was doing these roses, I figured I might as well do the rest of the front yard (12+ roses) I was almost finished when a friend stopped by to chat, so tomorrow I will need to do the transplanting and finish up the pruning as well. I have some large trash bags that I will wrap around each root ball to prevent them from drying out. A quiet resting place in the shade should get them through the day without too much trauma.

I don't anticipate too many problems with the transplanting. Since the entire bed will be ripped up, I plan on taking very large root balls for each plant. This will allow me to easily reset them on top of the refilled trench once the job is complete. This will also cause as little root damage as possible. It will also give me a chance to redistribute the roses throughout the bed. The eastern end has been falling into heavier and heavier shade beneath a pine tree, so this should help. It will also help to disguise the hole that was left when the one plant died. By tomorrow night, they should all be happily re-installed in their new/old bed.

More later!

Discuss Gardening

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Take The Gold Line To The LA Arboretum

You can now get to the LA Arboretum using the new Metro Gold Line and Foothill Transit Bus.

From the arboretum's web site...

Just take your favorite MTA bus or train to Union Station, and then take the Gold Line to the Sierra Madre Villa station.

From there you can transfer to Foothill Transit busses that will take you within short walking distance to the Arboretum.

  • Take Gold Line to Sierra Madre Villa station.
  • Take Foothill Transit Bus #187 East
  • Get off on Baldwin & Colorado.
  • Walk south on Baldwin to the Arboretum entrance.

    For more information on the Arboretum, visit their web site:

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  • Tuesday, January 13, 2004

    I posted this as part of my Events listings over at My Word, but thought it also might be interesting to local gardeners in and around Los Angeles.

    Nature Journaling: Wintertime

    SUN 1/18 11am

    Sooky Goldman Nature Ctr

    Glories of Franklin Canyon

    Renew your spirit through nature journaling. Enhance the way you look at the natural world around you. Provide yourself with a record of your observations, thoughts, and feelings. Bring a sketchbook or pad, pencil, pen, and a small folding chair for your comfort. 2hrs WODOC

    From the Santa Monica Mountains Outdoors Guide

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