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.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Old Pine Tree Friends

I recently lost my pine tree friends. All the time I lived at this place in Topanga, these 2 were always with me. Together. Partners. Their branches touching. Stopping spot for birds flying across the Canyon. Resting spot for me, my back to the tree trunk, respite on a hot Summer day, looking out from there to the hillsides beyond.

Now they are no more, thanks to Mr. Pine Beetle. I tried to save them.. Had a tree man come out & shoot 'em up. To no avail. Watched them lose all their pine needles. Still, the birds came & enjoyed them.

Now, I have taken them down, after one broke in half & crashed to the ground quite loudly! Pine trees are not native to the Santa Monica Mtns. The 100ft pines were planted in the '50s back when the fire dept was giving them away for free to encourage planting. Now, the hillside will have a more native look. More open. Goodbye my friends, and now we move on.


  1. Sorry to hear about your pine trees. Where I live Pine trees are native. Acres and acres and acres of forest has been devastated by the beetle. MUch of it is still being harvested to make lumber and paper. Eventually though it will no longer be viable. Every summer we brace ourselves for massive forest fires but so far haven't really had too many around Prince George. In 2006 my husband and I built our log house out of beetle killed pine.

  2. In 2004 we suffered hurricanes, Frances, Jeanne and Wilma here in So. Florida, in a triple-slam. After that, our stressed native slash pines were attacked by pine beetles. We were in shock as we lost many entire stands. It is always hard to loose a tree, but there was an upside, too. The new open areas gave gardeners a chance to re-think spaces, and also gave native pioneer and understudy plants a chance to re-appear in what is,after all, the natural succession. Sieze the day!

  3. Pines are native here in Georgia and having a lot of problems due to beetles. Down the street from me got wiped out. I've jumped through hoops trying to make sure my pines aren't in susceptible environment and can only hope. I feel for you, it is sad when a tree you become friends with goes.

  4. They looked so lovely and your photograph. What a shame but the Pine Bark beetle has really devastated so much of our local forests and I understand they they are also killing White Firs at the higher elevations. Bears, birds and other wildlife depend upon their pine seeds and if these forests disappear, they will too. This makes me so sad


Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns