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, November 23, 2011

Her First Autumn Leaf

It was crisp and clear the day after the rains.  Golden leaves of the Sycamores rustled in front of  blue sky, the sun glinting through them.  Everywhere around me sandy soil was soaking in rain.  I set out for a walk up the street with my old dog.  A neighbor friend was walking too, pushing her 5 mo old baby girl in a baby carriage.  So, we walked together.

Passing under the Cottonwoods, I realized Baby had a great view of the sky and the tops of the tall trees from where she sat.  Yesterday's winds had blown down a lot of yellow leaves and left them piled on the roadside.  I picked one up and held it out to her.  She took it from me with her tiny pink fingers and thanked me with a warm smile.  Her mother was afraid she would put it in her mouth.  I had a feeling that she would not.  No, she held it while we walked, her other hand feeling its texture.  It was like no texture she had ever felt.  Similar to the pages of a book?  Perhaps.  But this was a new touch sensation.  This was Baby's First Autumn, and I felt a sense of joy at the thought that I had given her her First Autumn Leaf.. a gift of Nature.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friend or Foe in the Canyon? #gardenwalk

                                 Topanga Canyon, California

Friend or Foe? Is this vine-like plant eating the Sumac or is it harmless? Growing strong still in November sun~

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

West Coast Monarchs

Cruising at 1000 ft.. searching for “that tree”.. ascending to a height where land could only be a dark blur.. Orange-gold wings against blue sky..    

Every October I think about the Monarch migration to Mexico from the East Coast.  And I wonder: where do the West Coast Monarchs go? Continue reading here..

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

As Autumn Leaves Fly

The owls call out to each other, their voices low and solemn in the predawn darkness.  The coffee pot gurgles reassuringly.  I hear the light footsteps of coyote in my garden.  My head is full of thoughts of butterflies, Monarchs migrating, golden wings against a blue California sky. And Autumn leaves, the yellow of Cottonwoods...

I found myself disappointed yesterday as I walked past a tall stand of Cottonwoods.  They didn't have much color.  They seemed to have gone from green to brown without the glorious color of other years.  But, just then a breeze came and rustled the tall branches way up high.  Dozens of leaves were sent flying downward, above my head, swirling, gliding, laughing "What fun!"  I couldn't help but smile and stop to watch them.

And, at that moment, it didn't matter about their color.  They held in their flight the magic of all the other times I'd watched Autumn leaves fall.  For that moment... it was all Autumns.

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns