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beyond the lawn; part 2

“Leave, my friend (for it is high time), the low and sordid pursuits of life to others, and in this safe and snug retreat emancipate yourself for your studies.” — Pliny the Younger

Another house on the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour in Los Angeles this early May had some wonderful ideas. Right at the […]

potted@lazybones: the start of a beautiful relationship

If you jump out of bed on weekends and race past the old, cat-clawed couch in the living room to head outside, scanning for the perfect spot for your shiny new Fermob table and chairs, then you probably already know about Potted, Los Angeles’ premiere outdoor living shop in Atwater Village, birthed by Annette […]

beyond the lawn; notes on 2016 LA Garden Conservancy Open Days

Since the 5/7/16 tour, Gov. Jerry Brown surprised us all by announcing that mandatory water restrictions are now suspended except for agriculture. Water use policies will revert back to the local level. So pat yourself on the back for enduring those spartan showers, ditching the lawn, adding in more permeability to your garden, and overall […]

Bloom Day May 2016

Welcome to the jungle. (Okay, so it’s a dry jungle.)

This will be an abridged Bloom Day post, looking at the telescoped view through my office doorway and describing the big stuff that stands out in the frame. Rudbeckia maxima on the left is nearly as tall as the pergola but not as tall […]

the exacting requirements of pitcher plants

Growing sarracenia in a sink, as seen at Flora Grubb Gardens, is a not-too-subtle reminder of the one thing you must never forget to grow them successfully. Water, of course. These are bog plants after all. But there’s something else…

Never, never give them water out of your faucet. Or water you’ve […]

busy, busy

It’s spring. Feeling a little pressed for time yet? Join the club. Some of what I’ve been up to the past few weeks include:

Cutting sweet peas from my mom’s vines. Buckets and buckets. Mine planted at the community garden withered away from lack of attention/water. Suffering a severe case of garden-neglect guilt, I […]

an abbreviated look at the 4/17/2016 Los Angeles APLD tour

Of the eight gardens on the tour, divided into four in the morning, four in the afternoon, I visited six and drove by all of them. I’m including photos of just three gardens from this tour themed “The Watershed Approach to Landscape Design.” (Another garden I visited was posted on here.) This excellent tour was […]

a garden by Urbafloria

It’s a rare opportunity for me to be able to provide before-after photos of a dramatic garden transformation Garden designer Jacky Surber of Urbafloria sent me this “before” photo after touring this garden on the Greater Los Angeles APLD Garden Tour 4/17/16.

With the kids grown and the backyard no longer needed for […]

status update Rudbeckia maxima 5/2/16

Another example of the odd juxtapositions that occur in my garden from year to year, due to an unremitting curiosity about plants I just don’t get to see locally:

Lights, laundry shed, giant coneflower!

The cabbage coneflower, Rudbeckia maxima, known for growing in moist ditches from Arkansas to Texas, bizarrely enough, is settling […]