Oaks grow fast – pretty fast, that is

I am sitting at my desk working on a presentation for a class called “What Should I Plant?”  to be given on October 16th at the Theodore Payne Foundation. It is an introductory class that will hopefully inspire rather than overwhelm people who are new to native plants. Checking over my slides of natives from […]

Arroyo Seco Restoration

I am having nature park withdrawal. I have not been there since last Saturday. Nevertheless, it is very much on my mind. Last week I spent two days talking to environmental science students at South Pas High School about the park. Five different classes of students heard and discussed the history and possible future of […]

Drought and the garden

The news reports on California’s drought are dire. However, the drought did not happen overnight, we are now in our fourth year of drought. Nevertheless, for years my city, South Pasadena, like many others, did not take a proactive role on water conservation. The lushness of South Pasadena is apparent every time one crosses into the city. Designated […]

Smother it

It is already March and if you have not planted your native plant garden you might want to consider putting it off until next year. Once again this rain year is turning out to be rather disappointing, and it does not look like we will be seeing noticeable amounts this spring. Although the numbers are […]

Is the rebate worth it?

My city, South Pasadena, and many others are offering rebates for converting lawns to reduced water-use landscapes. The current rebate program is scheduled to end on June 30, 2015. Clearly, lawn reduction through neglect, as described in the previous blog post, will not get you the rebate! If you are interested in pursuing it, then you […]

Acorn season

I am collecting acorns from Engelmann oaks here in South Pasadena. Engelmanns, also known as Pasadena or mesa oaks, are not only rare and unusual, but magnificent as well. When mature they have a broad crown with spreading, horizontal branches so massive that it is hard to imagine how they can hold themselves up.It is […]

Back-to-school

Back-to-school used to mean to me shopping for pencils, notebooks and backpacks, and one last trip to the beach. Now that I am an empty-nester it means something new. It means nature park volunteers – YAAAY! (See pictures below.) Student volunteers,August 2013 High school student volunteers The teacher of the AP Environmental Science class  in our local […]