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 […]

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 […]

Make room for the young

The avocado tree is gone. Fortunately, the heat wave is over. Nevertheless, my office located upstairs in the front of our south-facing house, gets very hot in the afternoon. Anyone who ever doubted the cooling effect of properly placed trees should come to our house. That old avocado tree made the house far more comfortable […]

RIP Avocado

A couple of months ago the bee hive in our avocado went silent. The hive, located in a cavity, was there when we moved into this house in 1998. We made a few attempts to rid the tree of the hive, fearing that people might get stung coming to the front door. I called companies […]

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 […]

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 […]

Oaks in Garfield Park

A week ago last Sunday, on June 16, another mature specimen oak went down in Garfield Park. It was a sunny day, there had been no wind, no rain, no extreme temperatures, it was beautiful. I noticed the tree early in the morning and by afternoon city workers had removed it. I stopped by while […]

Indian Institute of Science

Within the bustling city of Bangalore is the venerable Indian Institute of Science (IISc). Founded in 1909, the guest house we are staying in, Centenary Visitors House, was built and named for the institution’s one hundredth anniversary. IISc is a research and higher education facility located on nearly 400 acres donated by the Maharaja of Mysore in […]

Tropical Almond

I am rushing to get this posted because we leave Mumbai early tomorrow morning for two months of travel. The itinerary is more complicated than you can imagine and I am not sure how much time or energy I will have for blogging. So for my last Bombay tree, a quick post about tropical almond, […]