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.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monticello Says Goodbye to its Long Time Gardener

                                             Photo by Patricia Lyons

For the past 34 years, Peter Hatch lovingly tended Thomas Jefferson's Monticello with its 1000 ft terraced vegetable garden. Thomas Jefferson retired there to enjoy gardening some two centuries ago.  Now, after restoring the vegetable gardens to their original form, Monticello's caretaker is retiring, too. Peter Hatch has written a book about his meticulous restoration of  Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Gardens "A Rich Spot on Earth." It gives us a glimpse into what Jefferson may have been like at retirement age: “His interest in gardening arose from a truly wide-eyed curiosity about the natural world,” Hatch said. “Even at the age of 83, he was playing this self-described role of being an old man, but a young gardener.” continue reading

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter from Topanga

Penguins on Quail Egg (left)  Ukrainian Easter Egg- Pysanky (right)

Easter is here: time for me to enjoy these hand painted treasures. Thought I should share them with you.

The Pysanky is an ancient form of Ukrainian folk art. Sometimes the eggs are decorated in lines & geometric designs in which the colors have meanings.  Other times eggs are painted with pictures such as animals, birds, or in the case of the one above: plants.  The eggs are painted using a wax-resistant method or batik.  It requires the use of a special tool called a kistka which is used to design in the wax. Artists are still making the Pysankys today. I have tried my hand and can tell you it is quite an intricate process, involving many layers of wax.

The Quail egg hand-painted with a trio of penguins is another folksy expression of egg art by an artist who exclusively paints animals. Visiting her tiny shop (It is amazing how many eggs you can get into a tiny place) , you are treated to every size egg, from quail to ostrich, painted with any number of animal portraits. She will even custom paint an animal portrait just for you from a photograph, if you like.  

Thanks for enjoying my treasures. Hope you will have a wonderful weekend!

For more on the Pysankys, visit the Ukrainian Museum

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns