From the monthly archives:

November 2008

“Wild Gardens”

by Lorraine on November 12, 2008

I just received the following message from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden regarding a new public television series on wildflowers that are found in California!   It sounds like it’s going to be a fabulous series and you can be sure that I’ll be tuned into it or at least recording it.

I completed some additional planting in my garden the other day but I still need to pick up some other things for a different area that I want to concentrate on, as last year I didn’ have the time to get to it.

But, speaking of wildflowers, I purchased enough seed from the Theodore Payne Foundation to cover 6,ooo sg. feet.   Yeah, I know it’s crazy but I’m just going to toss them in my backyard which looks pretty bad and see what comes up next Spring.

I love surprises!   And be sure to check out the “Wild Garden” series on KVCR-TV.

KVCR-TV, Public Television of San Bernardino is pleased announce the premiere of “Wild Gardens”, it can be seen Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm and again on Sunday afternoons at 12:30pm starting November 26th and running for 6 months.  In Southern California you can view KVCR-TV on Channel 24 (Satellite) and Channel 19 (Cable).  Here is a brief description of the show:
What is “Wild Gardens”?
Documentary style Television Series in 13 episodes; it brings the viewer to lush lavish environs in our unique Macro-video style.  Our first episodes take the viewer to a variety of remote areas of Southern California …”Wild Gardens” is a series about wildflowers in California.  The first 13 episodes take place in here in our “backyard”.  The program is entertaining, educational, and environmentally relevant.
We start off in our beautiful local deserts and travel to our majestic foothill and mountain areas.  “Wild Gardens” is filmed locally and it has been referred to as a travel-log “road trip” giving the audience an awareness of this beautiful landscape; from a ‘bee’s eye’ view.  Steve Boyd, Curator of the Herbarium and Field Botanist of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden has said, “you make the native plants of our region accessible to all viewers.”  Kenn Couch, Station Manager of KVCR-TV, considers it one of the most premier programs they have ever launched!
Hosted by Martin Hale, Local Naturalist & Historian
Original Symphonic Style Musical Score
Needless to say we are very excited to have the opportunity to bring our vision to reality and share what we believe is one of the most lavish gifts that nature offers up;  Wildflowers…showcased in their native habitats of California.  This is only the beginning; KVCR-TV our presenting station has asked that we do a second season, we will be going to Death Valley in the east traveling to the Monterey Peninsula in the west for season two. 
You will be able to preview “Wild Gardens” episode one, Anza-Borrego Desert; tonight November 12th, and repeating Sunday the 16th @ 12:30pm.  
Please join us on our journey through the “Wild Gardens” of Southern California. You can click on this link for more information:
Thanks so much.
Vicki S. Hale
Wilderness Film Images
“Wild Gardens” coming to you this fall from KVCR-TV
Lake Arrowhead, California
909/337-0548 Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
(909) 625-8767 x258


A Native Garden in a Heat Wave, “Ouch”!

by Lorraine on November 11, 2008

It’s now June 21st. and it’s unbearably HOT!   It’s been extremely hot for the last two days; one day it actually hit 111 degrees!   What is this?   Death Valley?   As I mentioned in the other two posts, June is never, ever like this in southern California.   Usually it’s overcast and gloomy, so this heat is really odd for us to have.   An effect of global warming, perhaps?

The garden is taking quite a hit but I’m keeping a very, very close eye on the plants to be sure that they don’t stress out too much.   This is the garden’s first summer and this is a very critical event for it to have to endure so early in it’s life.   It is so hot out here, that my south facing front door’s handle, can’t even be touched without getting burned.

Chico & Biscuit in the Garden

Chico & Biscuit in the Garden

I’ve been told that Native plant gardens need to experience two full cycles of seasons to be considered “established”.   But these extremely high temperatures,  really have me worried and I’m quite concerned that some of my plants might die if this continues for another day or two.

Looking at the watering schedule the other day, I realized that other than putting some extra water on some individual plants, I actually hadn’t run the drip system for a month but the garden seemed to be doing fine anyway but I should be paying more attention to the garden’s overall condition.

With this incredible heat, I knew  that I’d better be getting some water on the plants, so I ran each of the four drip lines for an hour a piece.   And I also dumped buckets of water on plants that I felt were particularly stressed.

For the time being, everything seems fine.


Summer and it’s Really HOT!

by Lorraine on November 10, 2008

Yes, I know that I’m just now posting this in November, but I’m still trying to bring the blog up to this time and I’m just now going to write some things from this past Summer.   Eventually, I’ll be current!

It has been very, very hot these last few days and for June, it’s just plain, weird.   We don’t often have this kind of heat so early in the Summer but I’m keeping an eye on my plants, making sure that they are okay with the burning sun and giving them extra water.

The  Whirly Blue sage (Salvia), appears to be winding down on  blooming and the Monkey Flowers (Scrophulariaciae) are still going strong.   All of the Penstemons (Scrophulariaceae) continue to bloom as well and so does the Indian mallow (Mimulus longif) and the Coyote Mint (Mondardella villosa), one of my favorites.   It really smells awesome, with a wonderful minty aroma!

I have to say, that the Monkey Flowers and the Penstemons have been amazing.   The have been blooming since last December (2007) and they don’t show any signs of quitting anytime soon.

Rigo didn’t show up to deal with the roots from the Holly bush and I wonder what has happened to him.   I hope that he’s okay, as this is very unusual not to hear from him when I need his help.   But I did spray some RoundUp (I hated using it) on the section of the root that I scraped at a bit and I’m hoping ( ha, ha) that, that will finally solve the problem of its persistent presence in my garden.


Gardening in the Hot, Hot Summer

by Lorraine on November 3, 2008

It’s now June 18th. and we are experiencing an early heat wave and it’s unbearably HOT!   I’m nervous about my garden being able to withstand this heat.   It’s actually 102 degrees and for June in southern California, that’s not normal.   Typically the months of May and June are foggy, gray, dreary and quite gloomy.

Is it a reaction to global warming?  I’m keeping a close eye on my plants in the garden and doing any extra watering that might be necessary, but so far all of the plants seems to be doing fine.

But that’s not Chico’s experience.   Being a cat with a fur coat and a bit plump as well, he’s not doing too well with this heat.   As you can see from his expression, he’d rather be somewhere else where’s it’s cooler.

I'm too hot!

I'm too hot!

I haven’t seen the Quail lately and I assumed that they had moved on and into the brush on the hillsides.   But, I guess due to the heat and lack of water, they showed up in the garden the other day.   They appeared in the evening and went right over to the dish that I keep filled with water.

They sat on the edge of it, dipped their peaks into the water and happily slurped away.   Do birds, slurp?