October GBBD

Middle of the month of October and not much in bloom. Among the natives in my garden, only buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), coast goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii), California fuchsia (Epilobium), and California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica) are blooming. But it is the quiet of the garden that is so appealing right now, here and even more so […]

Nature Park Blooms Away

Take a weedy, degraded, and disturbed piece of land. Gently but persistently remove weeds and encourage native plants, and slowly but surely it starts to show signs of healing. Seeing this butterfly (skipper of some kind?) suck nectar from globe gilia (Gilia capitata) with its long proboscis is one sure sign that we must be […]

Pipevine Swallowtail at Rancho

Visited the garden yesterday to have a look around and say hello to some friends. While walking in the Cultivar Garden I was especially excited to see many black swallowtail butterflies flitting around the verbenas . Turns out they are the pipevine swallowtail (Battus philenor). This interesting and beautiful butterfly has only one larval host […]

Thousand Cankers Disease Hits Native Walnuts

On Tuesday, December 8th, I attended an information session at the Audubon Center at Debs Park on a new disease affecting walnut trees, including the two California native black walnuts, Juglans californica (native to southern California), and J. hindsii (the northern native). Steve Seybold, chemical ecologist and forest entomologist of the Davis-based Pacific Southwest Research […]

Selection and Care of California Native Plants Slide Presentation

I totally cannot believe I didn’t see this before, but here is the slide show in full, without me having to upload each and every slide. Phew! As a reminder from an earlier post, most of the information for this slide show comes from my experience growing native plants, my work at Rancho Santa Ana […]

Insect ID?

I am so excited about all of the suggestions for my re-landscape project in the east garden. So today I was standing there looking at the area and looking around the secret garden when this rather large – about 2 inches – insect flew by and settled on a toyon leaf. I have no idea […]

Beware! Spiders

My kids, all three of them, are and have always been afraid of spiders. In fact, one of my sons used to make us hunt itsy-bitsy house spiders that occupied the corners of his bedroom. He had spider nightmares. Finally the fear subsided when he was about 8 years old, right before he got his […]