Gardening Resources in Los Angeles County

Perhaps because the real estate market is heating up again, we’re getting a lot of requests for gardening resources in the Los Angeles area. It thought I’d list our favorite resources in this blog post that I can refer people to. But I need your help–please let me know in the comments if you know of a resource that I should have included. Soil Testing Wallace Labs. When you fill out the form check off the box for “Stand...

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Saturday Linkages: Insect Hotels, Edwardian Hipsters and Biomorphic Light Fixtures

DIY insect hotel spotted on the ever amazing Lloyd’s Blog. Insect Hotels http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/06/insect-hotels.html#.UcEUtDWXvN0.twitter … Good Yard or Bad Yard? Garden Design Pitfalls | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2013/06/good-yard-or-bad-yard-garden-design-pitfalls-2.html … Q & A – Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land http://j.mp/1844StH Edwardian stunt bikers – in pictures http://gu.com/p/3ggde/tw  Intera...

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DIY Outdoor Shower

...tinky since it’s possible and easy to build an outdoor solar shower. There are two reasons this makes sense, particularly in a place with as warm a climate as LA. First of all, you can direct the water straight into the garden and in so doing irrigate some plants and keep that water from uselessly running down the sewer line. Secondly, placing the shower outdoors makes rigging up a solar heating system somewhat easier and less expensive. Of...

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Getting Hardscaping Right

A water feature at Keeyla Meadows’ garden in Berkeley. One of the many lessons I learned on the tour I took of Bay Area gardens as part of the Garden Blogger’s Fling is that you’ve got to get the hardscaping right before even thinking about plants. When I asked garden designer Keeyla Meadows about the large stones in her garden she told me that they were craned in above the house. It was clear that at some point in the evolutio...

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Saturday Linkages: Whole Systems, Critters and the Most Beautiful Garden in the World

Art by Casey Cripe Casey Cripe’s “whole systems” collages and illustrations: http://boingboing.net/2013/02/27/casey-cripes-whole-systems.html … Turn Down the City Lights and Make Streets Safer http://bloom.bg/XuXeCi  Coping with Critters http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/Protect-Your-Home-From-Critters.aspx … Is Antibacterial Soap Bad For You? (Part 1) http://shar.es/jrPgV  Jeffrey Bale’s World of Gardens...

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A Caganer in Every Garden

Reader Adrienne has kindly alerted us to some intriguing cultural information on the pooping gnome seen in our post on scary garden sculpture. In Catalan these figures, which date back at least to the 17th century, are known as “Caganer” and there’s a tradition, tolerated by the Catholic church, of placing them in nativity scenes during the holiday season. They’re also a symbol of earth fertility. Wikipedia notes: “...

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Saturday Linkages: I’m tired of doom, let’s garden and make things . . .

Onesmus Mwangi’s homemade helicopter. Gardens Thomas Rainer’s amazing garden http://landscapeofmeaning.blogspot.com/2013/05/pleasure-garden.html?spref=tw … Container planting: intuition vs. reality: http://ow.ly/1WWQXg Praise for Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land http://j.mp/ZekBDm DIY Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam + Rhubarb Recipes from the Archives http://www.foodinjars.com/2013/05/small-batch-strawberry-rhubarb-jam-rhuba...

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Straw Bale Garden Part V: Growing Vegetables

It’s too early to call my straw bale garden a success but, so far, the vegetables I planted in the bales are growing. I got a late start on planting–I put in the tomatoes, squash and basil in mid May/Early June–just in time for the cloudy, cool weather we have here in early summer. Check out the difference between the tomato I planted in a bale on the left, compared with a tomato in one of my raised beds. The tomato in the ba...

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LA’s Parkway Garden Dilemma: Not Fixed Yet

A parkway vegetable garden on Sunset Blvd.. The City of Los Angeles’ crackdown on parkway vegetable gardens made international news thanks to an article by LA Times columnist Steve Lopez. Lopez was reporting on two parkway gardens that were issued citations by the LA Bureau of Street Services. This crackdown came two years after Ron Finley was busted for being a vegetable gardening outlaw. Over the weekend I started seeing articles, Tweets...

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Vegetable Garden Note Taking

A page from Thomas Jefferson’s garden diary. My worst mistake in the fifteen years we have been gardening here in Los Angeles has been my shoddy note taking. Even though we don’t have frosts to contend with, it still can be tricky to figure out when to plant vegetables. In a lecture I attnded at the National Heirloom Exoposition, Sonoma County gardening guru Wendy Krupnick had a simple suggestion for what to take notes on in your veg...

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