Front yard vegetable garden

Our front yard makeover began on the night of November 30-December 1 of 2011. The avocado tree in the front yard was “deconstructed” by winds that roared through our area in the wee hours of the night (Cleaning up after the storm). Rather than giving up on this old avocado, we called in an arborist who removed broken limbs […]

Happy Earth Day from the Nature Park

Although Earth Day 2015 does not officially occur until Wednesday, we had a great celebration at the nature park last week. We had a great group of volunteers for these regularly scheduled cleanups on Wednesday and Saturday. I hope you can see what we accomplished from the following pictures. Thanks to Katherine, Michael, David, Rick, Candy, […]


The first method of lawn removal listed on the Lawn Removal Methods: Pros and Cons sheet is neglect. I have used this method more than any other in reducing the turf-covering in my yard. And yes it does work, but as noted in the con category, it takes time, requiring a good bit of patience. […]

How to water established trees

I have been doing some online research on watering established trees. It is amazing how much contradictory information is out there! Some say water once or twice a week for twenty minutes, others suggest monthly for several hours at a time. As always, the reason for the spread is partly due to the fact that […]


Good habitat requires more than a group of native plants. To understand what makes good habitat it is important to look at the garden from the perspective of the wildlife you wish to attract.Habitat provides conditions in which animals can live, reproduce, and raise their young. These include: 1) food, for both adult and young, […]

Cleaning up after the storm

For the past three weeks, ever since The Big Blow (windstorm on night of November 30/December 1), I have received a multitude of offers to haul away the broken tree limbs from the front yard “for a very reasonable price.”  I declined them all, waiting for Jim Walker, his son Todd, and the hard working […]

Garden chores

I have been holding back on you. The last time I posted something about what I am doing in the garden was a while ago. On July 22nd I ruminated on whether my garden is actually “low maintenance.” To be able to answer with an honest and emphatic “yes it is,” I have done nearly […]

Backyard Progress

Picking colors for the wall of our neighbors’ garage that has become a design element of our yard. It looks like we are going to go with the same colors as our house, only reversed. We have a gallon of paint from the house and it seems a shame to waste it. So the garage […]

Change in the Native Garden

Last fall’s wildfires in Southern California epitomize the changing nature of landscapes. Change can come suddenly through disturbance that accompanies catastrophic events like fires or floods, or it can be incremental occurring slowly over years. Stasis, or the lack of change, is non-existent in nature. Too often we forget that gardens, also, are systems that […]