I Like This – July 20, 2010

Elsewhere Online: Cleverly-shaped mirror opens a door in any wall

I repurposed a large mirror from a bathroom remodeling project years ago, but the unique shape of this mirror takes the concept of garden expansion to an entirely different level.

Negative Space Garden MIrror Expands the View

MAKE: Blog via Cleverly-shaped mirror opens a door in any wall.

Daisies at Disney Hall

Daisie at Disney Hall, originally uploaded by dewelch.

While strolling around before a concert last night, I found this lovely patch of daisies in the garden of the Disney Hall in downtown LA.

Foxglove in Kensington Gardens

Foxglove in Kensington Gardens, originally uploaded by dewelch.

A shot from our recent trip to the UK. The white foxglove was growing in Kensington Gardens immediately adjacent to Kensington Palace. The palace ground are undergoing a large renovation at the moment.

Update: I have renamed this. I couldn’t think of “foxglove” when I posted this and had the name all wrong. I meant Foxglove from the very start. Oh well.

Nasturtiums have sprouted!

Nasturiums have sprouted!, originally uploaded by dewelch.

Almost to the time listed on the seed package I see that most of the nasturtiums I planted have sprouted. A quick count shows around 80-90% germination.

It is good to see them come up. I can only imagine what they will look like when we return from our 10 day trip to the UK. We have friends housesitting while we are gone, so I will instruct them to pay special attention to this area.

Looking to speak with UK Allotmenteers

Image by muggers! via Flickr

One thing I am looking to do is grab some audio and video with allotment gardeners in the UK. I hear so much about allotments and the various reasons people garden there and I want to take some time to talk with them and get their thoughts and advice.

I am scanning the maps and satellite pictures of the UK cities we are visiting and think I have found several allotments. Now I just need to take the time to go there and see what is happening. If you have any advice on places I might visit, please pass along a note in the comments.

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New Nasturtiums

I am on a kick to green up the garden this season, even if we are entering the hot part of the year.

To that end, I have recently upgraded some irrigation using soaker hoses and today, on a whim, I planted some nasturtiums (seed packet in picture) in the patio bed outside the back door. It is probably not the best time of the year, but I am running forward full speed ahead. My watering costs are usually not the largest part of my utility bill, so I am ok with a bit more watering this summer as I try to make some changes. That said, I don’t mainly use sprinklers. Every thing is on soaker hoses at the moment, so that helps make the watering as effective as possible.

So, I took a few minutes this evening to carefully plant the seeds. Unlike my typical, sloppy planting methods, I took note of depth and spacing and really tried to make sure I gave them the best chance possible. 9-12 days should show if that was truly the case.

Video: Water features from nature – Water in Millard Canyon, Angeles National Forest

Images from a short walk in Millard Canyon, Angeles National Forest, just north of Los Angeles.

While these shots are out in the “wild” mountains north of Los Angeles, there is a gardening link. If and when you design a water feature in your garden, it pays to go out and take a look at the way nature does it. In this video, I especially noted how twigs and limbs that have fallen from the surrounding trees have created dams which collect smaller stones and directly effect how the water flows down the creek. It also is very important to the sound of your water features. You will most likely have to change the position of the elements in your water feature until it sounds like you want.

Sound is also very important for attracting wildlife, if you wish. Birds and other animals are quickly attracted to the sound of running water, especially if other sources are limited. This is one reason I am working hard to get a water feature  installed in my garden. I love having the birds here, so anything that helps attract them would be great.

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I Like This – June 2, 2010

Jacaranda mimosafolia on my walk

Jacaranda mimosafolia on my walk, originally uploaded by dewelch.

The jacarandas are in bloom here in LA. A great bright purple show that takes place every year.