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.

Friday, October 28, 2011

In the News: Huntington Library to Archive & Exhibit Al Martinez' Work

Martinez will be only the third L.A. Times person ever to have his works collected by the Huntington. The other two are editorial cartoonist Paul Conrad, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and columnist Jack Smith. Conrad died last year and Jack Smith in 1996. 

Since leaving the Times in 2009, Martinez has written two columns a week for the L.A. Daily News that appear on Mondays and Fridays. In addition, he is working on his thirteenth book, freelances for various magazines and conducts the Topanga Writers Workshop, which he created three years ago. (continue reading)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yearning to Burn

 Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa) Topanga, CA, Photo by Kathy Vilim

I am Manzanita, a chaparral bush in Southern California.  I can sense that fire is coming.. I have lived here without fire for over 30 years.  I yearn to burn and make new growth! Smoke is in the air.. Soon fire beetles will flock to me from far away to mate on my branches as the flames heat them … [Continue Reading]

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pitter Patter.. First Rain for Topanga this Season

I woke at 4:30AM to the sound of wind chimes, low and compelling, singing out in perfect harmonic tones, in a song the wind was writing as it went.. I heard an owl hoot and then a baby owl, with only 2 notes in his call.  Then, I didn't hear them anymore.  I felt warmth fill me as I realized all 4 of my pets (2 black cats & 2 dogs) were sleeping in the bedroom with me.  The wind chimes continued; the song had turned to low notes when I heard the unmistakable patter of what could only be .. rain! Rain, tapping on the roof.  Rain, pitter patter against my wooden house. I took a deep breath, smelling the moisture through the open window.  The wind began to pick up; the song became more vigorous. 

One cat decided to leave us, jumping off the bed and running to the living room door.  She meowed relentlessly until hubby gave in and let her out on the deck.. in the pouring rain.. in the blackness! When she did not come right back, I wrapped myself in my pink robe and went out to try to call her, very aware there are coyotes out there and that she would not be able to escape to the roof in this rain!  Luckily, she came back, all wet and done exploring.  I think she must have felt like I did:  so excited with the first rain we've had since June, that she just had to go investigate.

I will be out there as soon as it is light, with my dog and my yellow umbrella.  But for now, I am enjoying the pitter patter of rain on my wooden house.  It is as if I am in a wooden box afloat, separate and safe from the elements, with my warm cup of coffee and the warm light from the bedside lamp.

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns