digging in the dirt

My wife and I are having our house appraised on Thursday, so we’re doing the landscaping that we have been putting off for over a year. The smell of potting soil and compost, mixed with freshly cut grass hung around us in the chilly December air all day.

It’s tough to find plants that can survive here in Los Angeles because, well, it’s a fucking desert (that’s why we can plant in December, so I shouldn’t complain, right?) and it’s not the most friendly environment for plants that aren’t cacti.

Fortunately, our climate here in Pasadena is pretty Mediterranean, and that opens a lot of options to us for native plants that look cool and are easy to take care of.

A few months ago, we went over to the LA County Arboretum and had a look at some native plants in this really cool “demonstration garden” that Sunset magazine sponsors. I remembered this place called Native Sons that grows plants from Southern California, Arizona, Northern Mexico, and the Cote d’Azur. They look awesome, and they are designed (by nature) to survive our strange climate out here.

Today, we planted several varieties of lavender, some Santa Barbara Daisies, and some De la Minas. If everything goes according to plan, we’ll have a pretty impressive front planter in Spring, filled with purple, yellow, and red flowers.

7 thoughts on “digging in the dirt”

  1. Mediterranean? Guess it depends on what time of year. Then again when I think of mediterranean, I tend to think of coastal mediterranean and all of the climate benefits that provides. The few plants I’ve had this summer all died from the heat… almost made me consider moving from Pasadena to somewhere more coastal like Santa Monica.

  2. Sounds like a really colorful selection of flora!

    A good friend of ours has been working on her house & decided the garden needed some attention. For her birthday, she invited everyone over for a “Birthday Planting Party” and people brought plants instead of gifts and helped put them in the ground for her.

    So we wouldn’t doom her with our blackthumbs, we brought tiki torches for her backyard jacuzzi.

  3. It’s easy to find plants to survive here. It’s not a desert. Get a copy of the Sunset Garden book. Best editions are the 3-ring binders from the 60s) and learn. Naru–the Huntington beats any garden in Santa Monica. Of course, the bum selection isn’t as choice.

  4. hi, if you are interested in going native there is a great nursery– its called Theodore Payne and its in la canada/sun valley (?) some where near there. Anyway, they have all native plants from the region… its a non-profit too so give them your support.


    there is another place out there called world-wide exotics. email me and i can get you the directions/hours.

  5. Are you really Wil Wheaton from Star Trek? I really liked that show when I was 13. I even still have the costume. I had a Star Trek themed bar mitzvah party. You were my hero. You always saved the day. Do you know Patrick?

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