Welcome to my Garden Blog

Nature: wild & untouched. Photographing it, preserving it, taking walks and drinking in the landscapes as they unfold.

Gardens: touched by loving hands. Cultivated, nurtured. Drinking in those landscapes is wonderful, as well.

In my garden one enjoys some of both. Generally unpruned & wild, my plants reshape the garden as they grow.

Beyond the garden borders, natives from the Santa Monica Mtns await. Oak trees with their shady canopies. Cactus & Sage in the sun.

Always there are animal creatures to join in the fun.

I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you as they unfold.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't Miss the Fall Festival & Plant Sale at Theodore Payne Nursery

 If you are in LA County, you will want to put this one on your Calendar.  

October 7&8 - Members Days (not a member? come & join)
October 14 & 15 - Open to the Public

I love this place to shop for Native Plants and Wildflower Seeds! 
Always knowledgeable staff on hand to answer questions. 

10459 tuxford st, sun valley, ca 91352
818 768-1802 | theodorepayne.org

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In the News: Backbone Trail may soon be linked..

A popular hiking trail that crosses through a trio of state parks and boasts panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean is inching closer to completion, thanks to a recent land acquisition.

It's taken more than two decades to forge, clear and maintain the Backbone Trail, which stretches from Will Rogers State Historic Park near Brentwood to Point Mugu in Ventura County. It will be 65 miles long when complete.

With the recent acquisition, only two private pieces of land - roughly 1.4 miles - stand in the way of having an unbroken trail. Mountain bikers and horse riders also use the trails in various spots.

"We are so close to completion," Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Superintendent Woody Smeck said   continue reading...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Washer Woman & the Rattler Snake

    Young Southern Pacific Rattlesnake,  photo courtesy 
    of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Well, it figures. Just as I was bounding out the door to throw a load of delicates into my outdoor washing machine, I happen to look down. There, looking up at me from the other side of the glass door was Rattler! With his tongue out all slitherin-like!  He was looking into the house, and the door was just slightly ajar, enough so that he could slither right in if he liked. My guess is he was thinking about it!

It's funny, most Rattlers are more brown, whereas this one was black, but still the unmistakable diamond markings.  I did what any Washer Woman would do:  I got hubby and handed him a broom!  He started to sweep it on out of there, which caused Rattler to start up hissing loudly. (If you ever hear a sound like water running, when there is water nowhere about, it's Rattler.)  Of course, he was as scared as I was.  Hubby held him off while I got the delicates going.  We shooed him down the hill, but who knows when he will come back.  We saw this same Rattler just the other day, in a standoff with Cat!

As if Washer Woman hasn't got her work cut out already.. I really did want to get you a photo, really..

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wildlife Encounter in the Fog

photo by Kathy Vilim

On this morning, the fog has come in from the Ocean, making Topanga Canyon a soft palette of pastel greens, golden brown & blue.. I walk quietly, listening to the sounds around me with my dog.  I feel like someone is behind me, so I turn.... continue reading

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In the News: Lost Manzanita Found in San Francisco


UPDATE—9/7/11: Endangered Status Proposed for SF’s Miracle Manzanita

UPDATE—6/14/11: Lawsuit Filed to Protect Franciscan Manzanita

                            (from the Wild Equity Institute)

A San Francisco resident recently got an astounding view while driving the Golden Gate Bridge—the first sighting of San Francisco’s namesake manzanita in nearly seventy years.
Dr. Daniel Gluesenkamp, Director of Habitat Restoration for Audubon Canyon Ranch, was driving home from speaking at a climate change conference when his attention focused on an unusual-looking plant. A few days later he revisited the site and discovered the first living specimen of the Franciscan or San Francisco manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana) seen in the wild in nearly seven decades. continue reading..

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In the News: Lessons of the Meadow

From Lancaster, PA, Marylou Barton wants to teach children to care about their community. All of it.

"All community members ... including bugs and native plants," Barton said as she strolled along the north side of the Manheim Township Public Library with 3-year-old grandson Gabriel Sheaffer

It is there that the new Discovery Meadow will officially open Saturday, Sept. 10, at 595 Granite Drive.

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns