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.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Container Gardening: Summer in Southern California is all about the Water

In Southern California rain is scarce, especially in the hot Summer months. So my thoughts turn to protecting favorite potted plants from too much hot sun and keeping them from drying out. Luckily for me, part of my Topanga Canyon patio enjoys the shade of a large California Oak tree. Every Summer, I move many of my potted plants under its canopy.

Another way I protect my plants is to use Sphagnum Moss as a mulch in the top of my pots. (Canna lilies w/sphagnum moss pic above) The moss works great at keeping moisture in and the soil cool. Plus, it looks pretty! Once I even had a tiny tree frog living in my moss :-)

Summer is time to think about the critters that need water, too. Birds, bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, squirrels.. everybody is thirsty! Birds need to drink and take baths. In Southern California, putting out water for the birds in Summer months is more important than seeds! Pictured above is a small bird bath that I created. I just used a bowl and smooth stones (making it bee friendly). In the center is a Sea Lion sculpture that I got on a trip to Carmel one Summer. My Mother and I had taken a drive up to that lovely town and found this at an outdoor art gallery/garden shop. It was part of a much larger fountain sculpture of an entire sea lion family... all spouting water!

The hummingbird feeder I keep filled, as there is less food for the hummers now that the wildflowers of Spring have stopped blooming. If you have room to plant Cape Honeysuckle, it will bloom all Summer and hummers love it. They also love Bouganvilla and that makes a wonderful privacy screen, as well.

Bees need food and water in the Summer, too. Did you know: they have to fly much greater distances in Summer than in Spring or Autumn to find blooms. One plant you can keep in a pot for them is: Lavender.

Hope your Summer finds you relaxing on your patio with your beautiful Summertime plants and blooms.

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Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns