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end of month February 2016

Since it’s the last day of February, I suppose it’s time to admit defeat and clear out all the drafts that never made it to proper posts. There’s the draft post tying in to last night’s Oscars, where I muse about how each spring in the garden seems like a new production, with brand-new plot […]

trialing Rudbeckia maxima

Overnight rain had me up early to check out one of my favorite sights (leaves soaked in rain).

After lots of trial and error, most of the plants in the back garden have earned my confidence in their ability to survive on once-a-month irrgation during our dry summer, and sometimes I neglect […]

Agave xylonacantha near 6th & Fig

I have a lot of affection for Downtown LA, our underdog of a city center that lay fallow and forgotten for so many decades, its opulent old movie palaces abandoned or turned into dollar stores. It’s a boom town now, with brands like Urban Outfitters moving into those old movie palaces. I worked in DTLA […]

Bloom Day February 2016

This warm weather (90 again today!) is pushing an early spring. The first bloom of the many reseeded Papaver setigerum obligingly opened this morning for Bloom Day.

Meanwhile, the winter-blooming aloes aren’t ready to yield the spotlight yet. Aloe ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ is building up into its ladder-rung bloom formation.

Aloe cameronii […]

Happy Val Day

Interesting, isn’t it, that one of America’s most notorious authors of books banned under then-existing obscenity laws had the middle name Valentine? All true. Henry Valentine Miller. “The publication of Miller’s Tropic of Cancer in the United States in 1961 by Grove Press led to a series of obscenity trials that tested American laws on […]

Occasional Daily Weather Report 2/11/16

While it seems everyone else is diligently topping off their water table with generous rainfall and/or snowfall, there’s no use denying it’s already chair cushion season here. Los Angeles in February decided to go high 80s, tipping into the 90s. It feels like a Peanuts/Charles Schultz setup, with Charlie Brown (me) trusting Lucy (weather people) […]

growing a planet

Have you noticed how plants really seem to be having their moment on design blogs? Seems like there’s not a photoshoot now without a potted plant lurking somewhere in the frame. Well, plants are getting their due from mainstream science, too, as the carbon dioxide-chugging, oxygen-giving cornerstone of life on earth. In between binge-watching reruns […]

the junk I keep

I’m starting to see my old friend, the pipestand, in decidedly more upscale places than the louche environs of my backyard. (e.g. West Elm here)

I still find a pipestand endlessly useful for framing pots and hanging essential stuff that has temporarily lost its purpose. A girl’s gotta have a place to […]

Thursday clippings 2/4/16 (love letters to trees)

Not my street. Our parkways are a hodge-podge of palms and jacarandas, magnolias, overgrown oleanders and scheffleras. The City recently sent out crews to work on our street trees, and the snarl of power tools and episodic rise and fall of cherry picker machines in the sky like so many feeding brontosauri was […]