Other WelchWrite Blogs: My Word with Douglas E. WelchCareer Opportunities

Home -- Contact Me -- Search Welchwrite.com -- Subscribe to AGN
Join the AGN Mailing List!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Event: It's (almost) Cherry Blossom Time Again!

I did a quick reconnaissance run over to Lake Balboa today to check out the Japanese Cherry Trees that surround the man-made lake. Most of the trees were showing big, fat buds, but as I left the park on the west side I noticed one tiny tree with blossoms already out. My calendar shows that the trees were in full bloom last year on February 27, so things should start happening pretty quickly. Lake Balboa also sports a dazzling wisteria bloom around the same time each year.

As I was looking for web links for Lake Balboa in preparing this post, I came across the Lake Balboa Model Yacht Club, which just happens to be holding their monthly regatta this Sunday, February 26, 2006 at 11 am. This sounds like a fun time, even if the cherry trees aren't in full bloom.

Link: Photo Gallery from 2003 Bloom
Link: Lake Balboa Information
Link: Lake Balboa Model Yacht Club

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The saga of the wall continues...

Today was the day to dig for the footers of the new wall between our garden and the car dealership behind. It was also a great object lesson in the need to be around whenever anyone is doing anything on or near your property.

As the workmen began to dig, my wife walked out in the garden, as we have done every day, to check out this new phase of the process. As she watched them work, she noticed that the new footing and wall was going to encroach on "our" property about 6 inches. Previously we had been told by the construction supervisor that this would not be the case, but supposedly the latest survey had shown that the old wall had been at least 6 inches into the dealerships property.

At this point we could have shut down the whole operation, but I try to find a balance when such issues arise. We had informed all the workmen, nicely that we were trying to maintain the vines that had been growing on the old wall and, in doing so, we had laid out certain limits for their work, even if they were unofficial. We also continued to watch as they continued to dig the footings, noting anywhere there was subsidence of the soul. Before they had removed 2 bucketfuls of soil, though, we heard the backhoe operator and his supervisor talking. The decision was made, on the spot, to move the footer over 4-6 inches further from where it had been planned.

Had this happened because we were standing there watching? It seems obvious that if we hadn't been observing earlier, we would have returned to the typical construction fait accompli. There would have been little recourse then.

While we are being as cooperative as we can, I figure you get more if you, at least, start out nicely, we are also watching the construction very carefully to insure that we don't arrive home some evening to some major problem. Even if you have to talk off work or otherwise juggle your schedule, I highly recommend you be close at hand whenever any major project is underway.

A Good Thing

In all the "observing" today, I think I have noticed one good thing. The new wall is supposed to be 10 feet tall. This seems a bit extreme for us and we had lobbied, unsuccessfully for it to be lowered. today, though, I noticed that the finished grade of the dealership property seems to be about 2-3 feet below the grade of our garden. Now, depending on the height of the footer, this might mean that the finished height of the wall, from our perspective, might only be 8 foot or so, much like the old wall. This would certainly be a nice accident, if it occurs.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Fine Gardening Pronunciation Guide

You've heard me joke about my lousy Latin pronunciations. Here is a site that can help to raise your botanical naming skills to a higher level. While the list is a bit limited in scope, it hits some of the more common genus and species and offers up high-quality WAV audio files so you can listen and compare your own pronunciations.

Link: Fine Gardening Pronunciation Guide

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Podcast delivered...

Why yes....yes, they are, right here at A Gardener's Notebook!

Guerilla Gardeners Hit London In The Middle Of The Night

Could your neighborhood use a little brightening up? It looks like guerilla gardening is making the news in the UK. Take a bare, blighted spot, clean up the trash and enliven it with some new plantings. Some people might take offense at your operations, that is always a risk, but maybe this is one way to improve life for everyone who passes just a little.

Guerilla Gardeners Hit London In The Middle Of The Night

“I just thought dammit, I am going to sort this out, so I set my alarm clock and got up in the middle of the night… The police have stopped us loads of times, they just say, “What are you doing?” I say “Gardening.” And they say, “Great.”’ These are the words of Richard Reynolds, the man behind London’s growing Guerilla Gardening scene.

(Via Treehugger.)

Link: Previous mentions of Guerilla Gardening

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, February 13, 2006

Wisteria Returns...

It looks like we completed the pergola just in time. The wisteria is already making a big push after its major pruning. I had to strip all the long vines off of the old trellis in order to dismantle it, but 3 of the 4 plants are showing signs of new growth. The one in the picture is producing the most visible growth right now, but 2 others are showing buds and the first hints of green leaves.

Unfortunately, one plant, along the Northeast corner of the new trellis is showing no signs of rejuvenation at all. I will be disappointed to lose this one, but a 75% survival rate isn't too bad for a project like this. I haven't given up hope yet, though, perhaps it is just a late bloomer.

As these vines re-grow, I will begin training them to the uprights and over the top cross pieces. In the new open pergola design there will be plenty of space for blossoms to hang down through the structure. In the old trellis, the flowers would often just lay on top of the lattice work and never be seen. Each year, from now on, I will treat this wisteria as it should be treated, trimming it back hard each year, etc., instead of letting it run wild.

Link: Related posts on Wisteria
Link: Previous wisteria pictures
Link: Google Search on Wisteria Care
Link: Books on Wisteria

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Gardener's Notebook 003 - Projects, Composting, Azaleas and Propogation

This week's show touches on recent gardening projects, including the completion of our pergola, 2 gardening books, composting workshops, propagating azaleas by layering and some ideas for growing more Brunfelsia. (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow).

Listen to the Podcast

I'd love to hear what's going on in your garden. Post your comments here or email them to agn@welchwrite.com.

Link: Homescaping by Ann Halpin
Link: Sunset Western Garden Book

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,