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, July 16, 2011

Topanga is a Special Place

Topanga is a special place.  It is a respite from urban life.. but not just for people.  The Santa Monica Mountains are a place where animals and native plants can thrive in the ecosystem they were made for.  The mountains support an entire community that goes from basic organisms in the soil, to a variety of insects (some of which are 'specialists' that are attracted to only certain native plants), to birds, reptiles, bats, and larger animals like the Coyote.

                                   Cactus Wren Nest on Pear Cactus Leaf

This community is made more clearly special when you look at it from afar, when you step back, or even check out Satellite Images on Google.  There you will find the green of the Santa Monica Mountains surrounded by urban sprawl.

It is a delicate balance that maintains this community.  As development progresses, animals and plants are pushed back or erased altogether.  Fortunately, zoning ordinances have kept development to a minimum, and most of us that choose to live here know it is a special place.

People need a respite from urban life... not just a park filled with green turf and a few non-native trees.  People need to spend time in nature's communities.. to observe wildlife, to watch baby birds be born, to see what plants butterflies feed on.. We as humans are part of nature.  It is not us or them.  We are all one.  We don't even know how much we need the  natural world, until we spend time in it. Then we realize..


  1. Thanks, Sue for trying to post a comment. Hope you do get to visit Topanga Canyon. And I would love to visit you & Yosemite sometime.

  2. I wish you and that area good luck. I hope you folks can preserve as much as possible and keep it that way......I like mountains anyways, all kinds,and yours look mighty nice. And I love the wren's nest on the cactus leaf too, .... a garden without birds is a poor garden indeed.

  3. Dear Native Gardener, thank you so very much for your posts.. We are having a move in our near future (summer 2014) and from spending we week in and around the northwestern part of LA, I could ONLY see us living within Topanga Canyon.. All other areas just made me feel so out of touch... We are hoping to be able to rent a home and become a part of the canyon.. Do you happen to have any advise on how to go about finding some place peaceful to rent? Much Love, Patrick, Lucy, Tijmen and Wietske

    1. Thank you for stopping to read my post :-) Topanga is indeed a special place! I am happy to hear that your family is thinking of moving here. If you are looking to work with a local realtor for finding a rental home, may I suggest you contact Cryssa Lightheart at Prichard Rapf Realtors. She is very knowledgeable about the community and cares about her clients. Hope this helps you out. Keep me posted. I would love to hear where your beautiful family ends up. All the best~


Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns