Parkway Gardening

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Gave a class at Rancho on Saturday on gardening in that wonderful no-man’s land, the parkway. I promised the participants that I would upload the presentation with the accompanying plant list, along with a more complete list of plants that are appropriate for parkways. I labeled non-woody perennials as perennial in form, woody spreading plants as groundcovers, and California poppy as an annual since we mostly treat it that way in the garden. The plants I selected for this new list are all fairly low-growing, mostly up to a foot in height. Some grasses are taller but can easily be mowed to 12 inches without any damage. Other than the dudleyas, most can be stepped on without terrible damage, though few enjoy much foot traffic. I’d love to hear from anyone who has additional suggestions for the list.

Wild onion (Allium unifolium) blooming in a container (nothing to do with parkways, but wanted to share the picture).

Wildflowers lasted longer than any previous year due to the cool, wet spring. The globe gilias and poppies still going strong, though I’m starting to cut things back and tidy up a bit.

And another totally unrelated picture, taken on Friday evening in LA of the Vaux swifts that were roosting in the chimney of a downtown LA building. Jeff Chapman from the Audubon Society was there, along with other birders and interested people. The large bird silhouetted on the chimney was a raven that successfully fed herself and her family by picking swifts out of the sky. It was truly amazing – these pictures do not do it justice.

Kind of surreal to be on the top floor of a parking garage at dusk right near Pershing Square, watching this crazy natural phenomena while airplanes streaked through the sky behind the birds.

And now back to wedding prep! Only 40 more days! I need to cheer on the sunflowers. It would be a shame to have all those pots of sunflowers bloom on June 20th.