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.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Now it is June, and the yellow daisy faces have gone to seed..

Now June is here.  The yellow daisy faces (Bush Sunflower, Encelia californica) that used to greet me on my walk have gone to seed, replaced by the soft yellow of mustard flowers (Black Mustard, Brassica nigra), naturalized long ago from Spain (that grain weed from the "old world").  Normally, I might overlook them, as I commune with the daisies. Yet, they were here all along, waiting to take their place in my focus.

Soon after that, some efficient landowner came and cut down the daisies, the mustards, and all the tall, yellow waving grass in the meadow.  It's the annual "weed clearance time".  I will miss the cheery yellow faces as June ushers in Summer. 

I walk further.  The man who owns this property is not as efficient!  I enjoy his mustards.  I collect his daisy seeds. And I spread them like Johnny Appleseed on my way back home.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Before Summer Takes the Wildflowers Away

Before Summer takes them all away, I wanted to share with you some Topanga Canyon wildflowers that I photographed in April and  May.

Living in the Santa Monica Mountains, I am able to see these flowers every day on walks with my dog, or hikes on the many trails of the California State Parks, even in my own backyard.

Topanga Canyon, situated in the Santa Monica Mountains just outside Los Angeles, is so magical: you can forget you are outside a large urban sprawl.  I invite my friends up a lot this time of year to hike.  They are always amazed at the flowers they see here that they don't get to see "in town."  While annuals like petunias and begonias and such are cheery and colorful, they are no match for the wildflowers, so alive and free!

Matilija Poppies Romneya coulteri with Purple Showy Penstemon Penstemon spectabilis (above), California Buckwheat Eriogonum fasciculatum (right), Monkey Flowers Mimulus Diplacus aurantiacus (below), Daisies (below), Mustard, Sage, Milkweed, Lupines, CA Poppies .. all cover the hillsides with color in the Spring, delighting us with meadows full of bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and of course blooms!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Music in the Canyon

        Topanga Days, and the sound of music fills my Garden. Bodhi, the Garden Peacock, is sharing it with me, listening intently as the music drifts up from the Topanga Community House over Memorial Day weekend. 

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns