January 2011

This oak and others could buried any day now - unless you act to support it! Photo by permission of EcoToneStudios - All rights reserved

The story has been covered well by Josh Link at L.A. Creek Freak, Barbara Eisenstein at Weeding Wild Suburbia, and elsewhere, but I want to weigh in briefly on the threatened native oak woodlands site in Arcadia, which Los Angeles County Public Works department plans to bury with sediment.

The San Gabriel Mountains gradually wear down, through rain fall. Mountain streams carry sediment down steep hills and deposit sediment on flatter alluvial plains. This is a natural process;  it’s what created the alluvial places where nearly all Southern California residents live.

At a site along Highland Oaks Drive in the city of Arcadia, sediment from the Santa Anita Wash (an eastern tributary of the Rio Hondo and the Los Angeles River) has built up and now the county wants to deposit that wash sediment on top of an adjacent grove of oak trees. Sadly, the county sees this sediment – rich, wonderful soil – as a problem to get rid of – not as a resource. (more…)

Yarrow plants I propagated just before the last series of rainstorms. They're doing really well. It's for a project that I will write about soon.

With more wonderful rain on the forecast for tomorrow, I was out in the garden weeding today. One of the very nicest problems we have in the Southern California garden is that there’s a huge amount of flexibility in what seasons we can grow various plants. My friend Erik at Homegrown Evolution, in a post about Stella Natura calendar planting, alluded to this:

But here in Los Angeles, where we have a four month time span to plant most things, following the Stella Natura calendar is a good way of avoiding procrastination.

I call this sort of strategy “punctuation.” To belabor the analogy, in the run-on sentence that is L.A. gardening, we need to find places to put in commas and periods. Some use an external calendar like Stella Natura, I’ve never tried it though. My favorite garden-anti-procrastination strategy to garden in advance of forecasted rain.

When there’s rain predicted, that’s a great time to go out and get something done in the garden. These are kind of obvious, but here are my suggestions: