Garden Peace

Download PDF

Following the destruction of Arcadia Woodland, we now find the LA County Department of Public Works continuing on its path to dump more sediment on habitat, in accordance with plans made in the 1950s. One can only hope that they will reconsider and seriously investigate other ways to dispose of the sediment from the dams. Hahamonga, and even more alarming, La Tuna Canyon (see the website of the new group: Urbanwild Network) are currently in their cross hairs.

Add to this the City of South Pasadena’s desire to extend a golf course driving range, rather than enlarging a minuscule bit of land dedicated to habitat and peaceful recreation in natural open space. (I dislike the phrase “passive recreation.” To me it implies passivity, laziness or inactivity. When I am in the Nature Park – walking, sitting, weeding, or looking for birds, bees and lizards – I am not passive. I am engaged. And so for lack of another term, I am calling it peaceful recreation. Thoughts?)

Back to what I really wanted to write about today. Amidst these modern day frustrations, my garden – as well as the Nature Park – provide solace and support. Things are coming into bloom, birds are chirping and singing, lizards are slithering, and snails and slugs are munching. All is as it should be.

I have not spent much time working in my garden, but I do continue to pull a few weeds here and there, pinch the tips of sages and California fuchsias, and add a few more plants to the mix.

Yes, it is a bit late in the year but I couldn’t resist these lovely plants that I found at the Grow Native Nursery (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont). I brought home Catalina perfume, also called evergreen currant, (Ribes viburnifolium), creeping barberry (Berberis repens), and on impulse, Wheeler’s Canyon ceanothus (Ceanothus ‘Wheeler’s Canyon’).

The first two have been planted near several others that have done well beneath the oak (Quercus agrifolia). Since that area is a bit difficult to garden in – shade, root competition, and no summer water in accordance with the oak’s preference for summer drought – I planted only a few of these a bit more than three years ago. They have done well and so I am adding more.

The roots of this creeping barberry fill the pot but are not crowded – just beautiful!

And here it is all tucked into its new home.

Wheeler’s Canyon ceanothus was an impulse buy, as I mentioned, but it is a truly beautiful California lilac.

Wheeler’s Canyon ceanothus near the home dem garden at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Photo taken in April 2009 before the fire.

Planted mine on the parkway near the Frosty Blue ceanothus. Wheeler’s Canyon grows much lower than Frosty Blue so it is a better choice for the parkway.

Frosty Blue ceanothus planted in October 2002.

Here it is last spring. A bit big for the space but it has been beautiful for all of these years. It is in full bud again this year but I think it may start to decline being 8 1/2 years old, but maybe not.

Ray Hartman ceanothus is gorgeous. I took this picture when the sun was behind some clouds so the flowers are such a nice deep blue.

Closeup of Louis Edmunds ceanothus, another lovely plant. This one is growing in fairly deep shade next to the garage. It was planted March 2008.

Louis Edmunds ceanothus.

Claremont pink currant still going full blast – as is fuchsia flowering gooseberry.

And to remind me that up is not always up, this pot is displaying a plant that didn’t make it – roots reaching up to sky.

Happy spring to all!

6 thoughts on “Garden Peace

  1. Nice post & pics, Barbara!

  2. Love the pics of your parkway. The house I just bought has a giant patch of gross ivy. Getting that stuff out is going to be a nightmare.

  3. Hi Christian. Good luck in your new house. We had ivy all along the east side of our property. It was not that bad getting it out. Lot of sweat but it doesn't come back. (Maybe it doesn't seem that bad because we did it years ago – memory of pain fades!)

  4. Nice of you to share your little bit of Eden with us. I agree about how the garden can be a great refuge when thing sin the world seem to have gone totally wrong. Even the occasional "failure" in the garden, like the upside-down ex-plant in the last photo, seems manageable, and in your case, really quite beautiful.

  5. &quot;When I am in the Nature Park – walking, sitting, weeding, or looking for birds, bees and lizards – I am not passive. I am engaged. And so for lack of another term, I am calling it peaceful recreation. Thoughts?)&quot;<br /><br />Peaceful recreation is a far better term than passive recreation.

  6. Hi Barbara,<br /> <br />I&#39;m glad to have found your website and blog, (while Googling filaree!) I know I&#39;ll enjoy reading more. I like all your photos of the different varieties of ceanothus, so pretty and just about to bloom here…if it will stop snowing.<br /><br />Sue

Comments are closed.