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Thursday, September 04, 2003

Nuturing Native Splendor - LA Times

The Home Section of the LA Times has a large and excellent article on gardening with California native plants.

Nurturing Native Splendor

It also includes a month-by-month guide so you can plant for blooms all year long. An excellent resource for anyone wanting to include more natives in their gardening plans.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Our End of Summer Garden Party

Last Sunday we held our annual summer garden party. This one was actually an "end of summer" party since we held it so late in the month.
It seems that getting out of LA, and back in again, on a holiday weekend has become almost impossible due to the traffic. This led us to host the party on the middle day so people could easily join us without fighting the crush AND have a day for recovery before school started. It seemed to work as we had a large crowd filling every corner of the back garden.

For these parties, I always bring people down the long alley on the north side of the house. This gives me a great reason to trim back the plants, since we rarely use the alley during the rest of the year. It also gives a wonderful build-up to the garden as a whole. You come down along the house, past plantings of Nandina, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Creeping Fig, all shaded by several mature Podacarpus trees. At the end of the alley you can glimpse our young Redwood tree, its shaggy red bark shining in the sun.

Our friend, Enrique, suggested placing a large, antique wardrobe across the far end of the alley in a fitting tribute to Narnia. Of course, I am in no shape to portray charming Mr. Tummnus, though.

A potluck seems just right for the garden, so everyone brought something for an appetizer or a dessert and Rosanne and I cooked up a pasta feed like you have never seen before. We had 4 types of pasta sauce, a pot full of penne, a lasagna and a baked polenta dish. It must have been good because I had one plate, stepped away to play some music and by the time I returned, it was all nearly gone. Just enough for leftovers on Monday! (Yummy)

As evening came on, several of us gathered our guitars for an impromptu jam session under the wisteria trellis. This space, with the addition of a few bales of straw has become the traditional "stage" during out outdoor parties. It is great to sit around playing music with friends under the falling dusk. I highly recommend it for any party you have.

More photos are available by clicking on the picture above.