Venice Garden Tour 2011 Review

Every gardenerd needs to "fill the well" sometimes, to take in beauty and inspiration that will generate ideas for future gardening projects. Today was filled with sparks of gardening inspiration at the Venice Garden Tour. There were 31 houses on the tour, so we set out on foot to take them all in.

Venice Beach, for those who aren't familiar, is an eclectic town populated with artists, architects, landscape designers, and hippies. It was the epicenter of pushing the envelope in the 20s, where the world's first swimsuit competition was held. It's the ...

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Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase 2011 Review

There's nothing like a good garden tour to get your spring gardening juices flowing. Last Saturday, we set out on our bicycles to take in the third annual Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase in all its glory. This free garden tour is put on by the hard-working volunteers of the Mar Vista Green Committee, and while our house has been on the tour during the first two years, we wanted to get some inspiration and see what our neighbors were doing with their land.

With over 70 houses to see, we had ...

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Chinese New Year at Bellagio Gardens

The place mat before me says, "Luckiest of all signs, you are also talented and articulate. Affectionate, yet shy, you seek peace throughout your life."  This is the fortune for someone born in the Year of the Rabbit.

2011 celebrates the Rabbit once again; something that happens every 12 years according to the Chinese Zodiac. Technically, Chinese New Year starts on February 3, but Bellagio Gardens got a head start. I took a stroll through the garden to witness the bigger-than-life display honoring the Rabbit and the New Year.

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Back to the Ranch – Huntington Style

I'd been dying to see the secret Huntington Ranch  for over a year. Back then, I read an article in the Huntington Library and Garden's monthly newsletter about the development of a new vegetable garden on the property. I searched and searched each time I went to try and find its secret location to no avail.

Then an invitation to an all-day symposium for professional garden nerds hit my inbox, and when I saw that the events of the day ...

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The Green of Mexico

We recently took some time off this summer to vacation in Michoacan, Mexico. The goal was to relax deeply and to see what the areas of indigenous Mexico had to offer. We were enveloped by the beauty of the land during this rainy season, and felt like we saw the real Mexico, rather than the tourist versions.

Our home base was in Lake Zirahuen, a small town around one of the purest lakes in the world. It rained ...

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U-Pick Lavender

Our adventure in Ojai continue with the opening day of "u-pick" season at a local lavender farm. New Oak Ranch hung balloons out on the road sign, inviting folks to come and pick a handful of fresh lavender for $5 a bunch. The farm features 20 different varieties of lavender (mostly Grosso, Hidcote, Buena Vista, and Provence) but they also have Pixie tangerines, olives and walnuts.

The bees were hovering throughout ...

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Olive Oil in Ojai

A quick weekend getaway was in order - some place warm and cozy, and filled with joyful memories. Ojai, CA fit the bill. It was the location of our destination wedding five years ago. Laden with orange groves, olive and avocado trees, and lavender fields, Ojai (pronounced Oh-Hi) combines the small town feeling of local farmers with the artist community of hippies. On a weekend with no plans, we found ourselves pretty busy.

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Woolly School Gardens Needs Your Vote!

Yes, Woolly School Gardens needs your vote, and I'll tell you about that in just a minute, but first a little story:

On Tuesday, June 1st, I had the opportunity to help install two Woolly School Gardens at two neighboring schools in downtown Los Angeles. Together with a team of Woolly gardeners, we filled Pockets with soil and planted food gardens for students to enjoy. We planted herbs like sage, chives (which some of the kids pronounced chee-vess), thyme, basil, rosemary and ...

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