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garden notes 12/30/13

Over the holidays, daytime temps have been hovering around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering my sister-in-law’s flight into Los Angeles from Cody, Wyoming, was delayed by storms for four days, it seems churlish to complain about the warm weather. I’ll just say that it was intensely exciting to see wisps of fog begin to blow in […]

holiday lull

How are we all doing? Holding up okay? The first holiday is already a wrap, and we’re suspended smack in the middle of the countdown to the next, so resumption of routine is still a week away. (And happy holidays, if I didn’t say so already.) If you’re in Los Angeles, may I suggest a […]

flea market 101

Getting to our first ever flea market as buyers sellers last Sunday was a journey of just five miles. Still, it was epic in scope and had all the hallmarks of a serious expedition: Not sleeping the night before, endless mental checklists, thermoses, camp chairs, rising before dawn, no breakfast. It was a good thing […]

ghosts of gardens past

Cleaning out old photo albums releases lots of ghosts of gardens past. Do I feel guilty and as greedy as Scrooge over all the plants that have come and gone? Not a bit. I do notice that I’ve become more of a climate realist, following the rainfall patterns, with less emphasis on masses of summer-blooming […]

I wish I had a river I could skate away on

Digging out from under piles of work, with holiday prep woefully inadequate to date, I’ve been daydreaming, romanticizing really, what I could do with a pair of ice skates and a frozen river. The reality is, in Los Angeles it was too hot yesterday for an extra sweater over a T-shirt. But I can’t […]

so cold that plants are turning purple

The cold weather is coaxing some fine seasonal coloration out of plants, especially those whose names hint to a destiny with the color purple anyway.

Acacia baileyana ‘Purpurea’

deeply plummy mid ribs on the leaves of Melianthus ‘Purple Haze’

Yucca aloifolia ‘Purpurea’

I hope your gardens are faring as well […]

flea market prep

I had so much fun yesterday organizing for the flea market this Sunday. Tapping poppy seeds into packets, gathering up all the lab beakers into a partitioned wooden box for a safe journey, making bunches of dried poppy seedpods to work their dessicated charms in old pharmacy jars.

But […]

history of my garden, part VIII

I decided last year that I needed to break up the big border that covers most of the back garden and carve a narrow, oblique path through part of it. Nothing formal and really just an access path, curving probably not more than 10 feet in length. As I’ve mentioned frequently before, this is after […]

Sunday clippings 12/8/13

(baby, it’s cold outside…) The cold front that’s been scaring the bejeezus out of Central Valley citrus growers hit new lows last night. The back garden temperature gauge registered 40 degrees at 7ish a.m., but that’s our moderating coastal influence looking after us. I can remember maybe once in 25 years at this house waking […]

a very merry flea

Where & When: Find us Sunday, December 15, 2013, at the Long Beach Antique Market. It opens early (6:30 a.m.!), so it won’t take too big of a bite out of your day.

Who: Me, garden designer Dustin Gimbel (non-secateur), and graphic artist Reuben Munoz (RanchoReubidoux) will be manning the stall for a winter […]