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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Last Year/This Year

Last Year
Originally uploaded by dewelch.
A photo from a short hike I took last week. The dried head from last year stands out against the new grow from this year.

Wildflowers are starting to hit their stride here, although they were few and far between on this walk.

More photos are available on Flickr.com. Click the photo to see my collection there.

Link: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Link: Rocky Oaks

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Flowers from the Getty

Blue Flowers
Originally uploaded by dewelch.
Here is a great shot for use as a desktop picture. You can download the large version directly from Flickr.com. (Click the picture to link there)

We took some out of town visitors to the Getty Center last weekend and I found a few shots like this when wandering the garden there. I have a photo tour of the garden from 2003 available here.

Link: The Getty Center
Link: Walk through the Getty Garden Photo Gallery
Link: Books abou the Getty Center

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Walls, garden photos, bulb care, full moon gardening and more - March 16, 2006

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bugs in the garden paper crafts

More great paper crafts, this time via ReadyMade, the blog of the great magazine that presents all sorts of DIY projects for almost every aspect of your life.

The Rodale Institute provides these excellent models, educating us all in the amazing world that exists just outside our door or, in the case of the bacteria series, right inside our own bodies.

There are enough activities here to keep everyone busy through even the longest rainy day.

Paper Garden

While they are probably meant for kids, these paper model projects featuring assorted plants, insects, and organisms are fun projects for any age. Models include your standard garden fare; lady bugs, and butterflies but take learning about the ecosystem of the garden to another level with nematodes, bacteria, and more.

(Via ReadyMade Blog.)

Related: Previous papercraft projects
Link: ReadyMade magazine at Amazon.com

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Weekend Project: Build a bird feeder

Here's a couple of quick projects to attract wildlife to your garden. Birdfeeders need not be pretty to be effective. Witness the ugly, yet functional, pole feeder that still sits outside my window, which I built from scraps 10 years ago when we first moved into this house. Its pole has rotted off at least once and the top is threatening to collapse under the weight of our well-fed squirrels. (SMILE)

So I guess that the coming demise of this feeder has me looking for alternatives. Something that doesn't cost $100 or more.

Weekend Project: Build a bird feeder

Lowe's has posted a guide for building a bird feeder from wood scraps you've got let over from other handy-man jobs.

Whether you're feeding birds for the winter or attracting them to your yard in the spring, these feeders are a great way to recycle your shop scraps. This also makes a great project to share with a child.

With spring just around the corner, this should make for a nice project that'll bring some birds to the backyard.

(Via Lifehacker.)

Related: Previous mentions of bird feeders
Link: Bird Feeder Items from Amazon.com

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Monday, March 13, 2006

New Maple Leaves

New Maple Leaves
Originally uploaded by dewelch.
The Japanese Maple is bursting with new leaves.

I love the colors on this tree, which appear both at the beginning and end of the season. I has a nice, slightly weeping, habit and bobs and moves well in the breeze.

Mine has been fairly slow growing, almost a miniature, and doesn't encroach on other plants around it. It seems to do well, even though it is planted very close to a large eucalyptus that towers above it.

I wish I had more space for them in the garden.

Related: Previous mentions of Japanese Maple
Link: Books about Japanese Maples

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Garden wall saga completed

Well, this week brought the new back wall to completion. The crew took 2 days and seemed to move at a blistering pace, completing 5 feet on the first day and another 5 feet the next. It is amazing to see how quickly professionals can do something.

Here are 2 pictures of the wall 1/2 completed and the final look.

The wall is a bit taller than we would have liked, although it looks about 1 foot shorter from our side, as the finished grade on their side was about 2 feet lower than our property. One complaint -- they didn't backfill the wall on our side, so now we have a 6 inch trench that will have to be filled with something.

At least the new wall blocks out the lights from the car lot. It has been blazingly bright in my back office since the old wall came down. They had to trim some tree limbs to make space for the new wall, but it doesn't appear they did anything too drastic. I was asked to remove a few more vines, as they would encroach on the wall. I did as they asked, but now I noticed that it wasn't really necessary as the vines would have cleared the wall anyway. Grrr. Getting the vines to climb this new wall is project #1 now. I need to clear out the vines I cut and find the most vigorous ones to re-attach to the wall. I will probably head to the nursery to find some replacement vines, as well.

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