The Wedding

Although most of the country is reaching its peak flowering season, those of us who garden with native plants here in the LA Basin, are long past peak. And so it was a challenge to have lots of flowers for my son’s backyard wedding last weekend. With extra watering, help from mother nature with some […]

7 in bloom, 3 ready to go

With less than a week to go, there are seven potted sunflowers in bloom. And several more are just about there. Each morning I check the pots, watering those that are dry, especially on hot days like today and tomorrow. The mammoth sunflowers have large buds and I really hope they pop before next weekend! […]

Wedding Wild Suburbia

Can’t believe I haven’t posted since May 19th! Been oh-so-busy getting the house and yard all spruced up for the big event. Thought I’d post just a few pictures of our progress. I deconstructed the compost bin and the resident lizard was not at all impressed. In fact, she is currently contacting the appropriate government […]


As one commenter noted, my website,, should be called In preparation for the big day (25 days to go, omg) I am now turning my attention to removing the spent wildflowers, mostly globe gilia (Gilia capitata), and cutting back the California poppies (Eschscholzia californica). It has been a wonderful and long-lived display due […]

Monkeyflowers Peak Too Soon

Arghh! The monkeyflowers (Mimulus aurantiacus and cultivars) are looking great, but a month too early. I had hoped that they would hold off a bit longer and be blooming for the wedding. I expected the globe gilia (Gilia capitata) to be finished, but was hoping the Margarita BOP penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Margarita BOP’) wouldn’t be […]


All of the sunflower seeds that I planted around the yard have mysteriously disappeared. Seeing birds around I accused them of eating seeds and sprouts. And maybe they did, but the real culprit is the yucky garden slug. You want my evidence before I malign yet another peace-loving garden creature? The pots of sunflowers that […]


When I first started the sidewalk native plant garden – way back in 1998 – I planted lots of sunflowers. Each year sunny, funny-faced flowers swayed on stalks six feet tall and taller. People asked how I grew them. It was easy – put the seeds in the ground and wait. People still ask me […]

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 […]

February Highlights

The countdown is 105 days until the big day. And a busy month it has been. 1. First, the fence is nearly done on the west side of the backyard. Still waiting for two gates to be completed. One opens to our neighbors’ driveway and the other goes behind our garage. I will be using […]