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.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bees & Agave

Everyone's been wondering where all the Bees have gone.
Not to worry: they are all here enjoying the Agave's blossoms!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

One Agave's Amazing Journey

Agaves (Agavaceae) are abundant in Southern California. Their natural habitat is chaparral below 1500 ft and from San Diego south to Baja California. They are drought tolerant succulents, adapt easily to sandy soil, and take sun & heat. There are different varieties, but most form new rosettes at the base of the plant before they bloom. Over the course of years, a single plant may create a whole family.

I have enjoyed watching my Agave families grow over the many years I have been in my Topanga Canyon home. One of the most exciting times is when a plant becomes "pregnant" and begins to grow a center stalk full of seeds. This happened recently in my garden and I decided to get some pictures of the process for you.

As you can see, the center has begun to open. This was November 11, 2009. This is one Agave in a family, and the only one that is "pregnant".

Okay. Now we have some growing going on! This has taken two weeks (11/24) .

And, just one day later (11/25), you can see how long the center stalk has gotten. Also, if you look closely, you can see it has started to "unravel"!

I check back a couple days later (11/28) happy to see a lot more growth.

This picture was taken 6 days later (12/4/09). Again, you can see how long the stalk has gotten. But another exciting development, too: seed pods have formed.

Finally, January 27th, 2010, Agave gives me flowers. Small tubular white flowers that attract Hummingbirds and Bees.

That is where I have to leave you, as far as photos go. The rest has been captured as Video! I will post a link soon. Hope you have enjoyed watching the Agave's progress as it unfolds. How I wish I was set up for time-lapse photography!

You should know also, that after this amazing journey, with many babies added to the family, the Mother Plant will die. So, I enjoy the wonder of her amazing journey now.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Grab your Hat & Read with the Cat

Today is an important day in literary history: it’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday! Celebrate the beloved children’s writer with the National Education Association’s Read Across America. http://www.readacrossamerica.org/

Whether your child enjoys The Lorax or The Cat in the Hat, The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew, Harry Potter or Huckleberry Finn, all you need is a hat, a cat, and your favorite book. Take some time to read with your young ones today.

More than 45 million children, teens and adults take part in this celebration every year, and NEA members across the country are mobilizing millions of students, parents, VIP readers and leaders to join the nation's largest reading celebration.

Take this day to share the wonder of reading with your loved ones.

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns