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 7, 2011

Washer Woman, Washer Woman Won't You Put Out the Wash?

White towels hang neatly in rows. They catch the breezes and flutter gently.  The sunrise lights them with an orange glow…

I never was much of a laundry lover... (some folks take so much enjoyment in it)…  that is, until I started doing laundry outdoors in Topanga Canyon! 

My little wooden house came with an outdoor water hook up, not an indoor one.  So, I bought a washer/dryer and set it up.  It wasn’t long, maybe a year or two, before the dryer broke, likely from being outside in all kinds of weather.. including rain.  No matter: I had a clothesline!  That is much more fun anyway.  No need to replace a dryer, just to have it break again, I thought. 

Now, I take my time hanging up the clothes, pausing to feel the sun on my face, or take a glance at a new rose bloom.  My sheets smell like the Canyon, not like some generic perfume smell.  How neat is that?  Now doing laundry is a welcome excuse to spend just that extra bit of time outdoors and drag me away from the computer.

When my mom came out for a visit, the first time, I said she could use my washer if she needed to.  Say no more:  Mom was hooked.  Suddenly, she had to wash her & my dad’s suitcase-size load of clothes seemingly every other day! 

Next, my sister got jealous and during a remodel jumped at the chance to move her W&D outdoors, too!  Now here is a woman that has always looked forward to washing clothes for her family.  Still, she hasn’t moved up that one more step to ditching the dryer altogether.  I can appreciate that.. it IS a hassle in winter trying to plan laundry loads between rainstorms!

Using the clothesline instead of a dryer: what a great way to conserve electricity.  I use the sun instead; we have plenty of it after all in Southern California.  In case you wondered about the laundry water run-off, not to worry, my green, eco-minded friends.  I can use the gray water on fruit trees with no negative impact on the native plants.  (Of course, you have to use organic soap to make this work out.)  So, my laundry does not interfere with any of the natural ebb & flow of life in the Canyon for either the plants or the critters who share my yard with me.

Okay, so there is a down side to outdoor laundry in Topanga Canyon... Here come the Santa Ana winds and then, where are my socks? Blown all amongst the cactus and succulents on the hillside.  Okay, who is going to go down there & collect them?

I walk between the rows of white towels, and they make me smile.


  1. When I show your blog to my wife about the washer and dryer she'll throw both of ours out the door......:) Nice post. Have a nice weekend.

  2. Thanks for stopping by & leaving a comment :-) I'm glad you liked the post. Nice & breezy here today.. perfect for hanging out the wash. Have a great wknd.

  3. You post reminds me of when I used to do my laundry with a wringer washing machine and hang them on the line - long after it was fashionable to do so. I still have an outdoor line which I use except in the very damp winter when nothing will dry outside. Great post... and good luck finding those socks ;) Terrill

  4. How fun: a wringer washing machine! You've got me beat there;)Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day up there.


Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns