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, July 3, 2011

Today the Firemen Came and Visited my Garden..

Today the firemen came and visited my garden.  The two of them were sitting together on my garden bench, enjoying the dappled shade that the big Pine tree makes, and no doubt marveling at the tangle of Iceplant at their feet.  They chose to write their inspection notes from this spot, rather than going back to their truck.  I have to say, it was a bit strange to see the dark blue uniforms on my garden bench. 

It's July and time for brush clearance inspection in Topanga Canyon.  Of course, I passed.. I always do.  As usual, the firemen were mostly concerned with clearance around the perimeter of the house, so in case of a fire they can get in there to put it out.  Some folks in Topanga think you have to scalp your hillside yard of every living thing for 100-200 ft from the house.  THIS IS NOT TRUE.  In fact, a good thinning of bushes and low tree branches is much more effective at stopping a fire than removing everything.

"What's happened to your house numbers?" one of the firemen asked me.  "They must have come loose.  I promise I'll take care of that," I replied.  He reminded me how important house numbers are to the firemen: in the event they get called out to fight a fire they have to know the correct address.

Well, a wonderful breeze has picked up on this warm July day and strewn more leaves onto the deck from the Walnut trees.  So, off I go to sweep them all up.  Another pile of 'brush' is born!


  1. Great share about fire clearance for our dry weather that's upon us. I keep my firebreaks mowed along the frontage street fence lines and around the houses...30' is required here I usually mow 60'

  2. Thanks for your input, Annie. Have you seen those huge houses right on top of ridgelines that clear everything for 100' plus? Looks terrible. Where's a rabbit to go to hide, I wonder..

  3. Good reminder! 100' feet required here, but my irrigated area around the house I don't count. We have our trees trimmed pretty well and 'islands' of plantings out further. We mow the 'grass'(native and non native grasses, tarweed and weeds) nice and neat.

    I don't know if we'd pass an inspection...we don't have them here. There are billboards reminding folks of the requirement, but everyone is very conscious of fire here. (Central California foothills) EVERYONE waves EVERY time you see a fire man or a truck coming down the road.

  4. Thanks so much for your comment. I think the 'islands' of plantings are just the thing needed. They give wildlife a place to hide & pollinators something bloomin'.


Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns