The Scary World of Garden Sculpture

...8217;t tell. Perfect for an age of “zombie” banks–a zombie for your garden. Also seen in the Sky Mall catalog, a favorite shopping resource for zombies. Stick this on one of your trees and you’ll soon find hair sprouting on the tops of your feet. Depicting smiles is always a tricky one in the world of sculpture. At least you get a stand with this masterpiece. You could argue that greys are the malevolent ele...

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How To Design a Garden Step II: Using Google Earth to Draw Up a Plan

So you’ve set the goals for your garden, as we outlined in a post earlier this week, and you’re ready to start putting pen to paper. Google Earth makes it easy to quickly create a plan to scale. Zoom in on the space you want to garden and print out an image. Next, take separate sheets of tracing paper and use them to map out: your goals existing conditions such as trees and buildings future plantings where water flows when it rain...

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Laundry to Landscape 2.0

...for you). The calculator basically gives a range of outlet sizes and numbers so that you can get an even flow to the outlets but not risk burning out the washing machine’s pump. With nine outlets Ludwig suggests a 3/8-inch hole. We simply drilled 3/8-inch holes in the bottom of the PVC pipe that we ran out into the garden. The outlets flow into mini-mulch basins along the side of some perennial shrubs and a few small fruit trees. Altogeth...

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Sunflowers and Squirrels

...he used the adjacent tomato cage for extra leverage. Maybe this bag worked because the Whole Foods logo scared the squirrels away with the thought of high prices and angry Pruis drivers. I thought I had solved the problem by putting one of those ubiquitous and annoying cloth eco bags over the sunflower. Not even the City of LA logo on that eco bag scared them off. So what to do about the squirrels? Tight bird netting on fruit trees works bu...

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Lucius Annaeus Seneca on Living Within Limits

Writing in the 1st century AD, Seneca makes a good case for common sense limits: Is it not living unnaturally to hanker after roses during the winter, and to force lilies in midwinter by taking the requisite steps to change their environment and keeping up the temperature with hot water heating? Is it not living unnaturally to plant orchards on top of towers, or to have a forest of trees waving in the wind on the roofs and ridges of one’s...

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Pop Quiz Answer: Pineapple Guava

...eapple guava has pretty silver grey foliage, evergreen foliage, as I said, so can make a really nice addition to the landscape. I’ve heard of folks planting them in rows to form a hedge. It’s a great plant for small spaces. The fruit forms late in the year, which is also nice, since so few other fruit trees bear so late. But yes, I’m sorry, like so many things we mention here it is plant that prefers a warm climate. It’s h...

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Avocados

...! Avocados like a thick layer (6 to 12 inches) of course mulch. Once you mulch you have to keep mulching because the shallow roots of avocado trees will often grow up into the mulch. Avocados like a well drained soil and won’t tolerate wet feet. So if you dig a hole and fill it with water and that water sticks around for a day, plant something else. Avocados use a lot of zinc and may need supplemental applications of zinc sulfate placed in...

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Greywater Fed Tomato Plant Takes Over The World

...months ago Mr. Homegrown helped me install a simple ‘laundry to landscape’ greywater system. Most of the plants that get watered by the system didn’t get much water before and were just barely surviving. There are several fruit trees, a rhubarb plant and an assortment of perennial herbs lining a narrow strip of land along the side of the house. Now, the plants getting fed by the greywater are going bonkers. Last week the area be...

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It’s Official: Erik is Insane

...maining Squash Baby, currently measuring 20 inches or so. One morning the inevitable happened. Erik stomped into the house, crying, “The %$#$!*s took my squash! They took my squash!” The smaller of the two squashes was gone, picked long before its time. After a brief period of depression, which he spent either cursing the unjust nature of the universe or reiterating his desire to chop down all the trees in our backyard, so as to maxim...

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