From the monthly archives:

December 2009

An Ending of a Year & A Beginning of Another

by Lorraine on December 22, 2009

And I’m still “dancing”   As we head into the later days of December, I suppose it’s time for many of us to do some reflecting.   Thinking about what we dreamed about accomplishing in the beginning of this year when we made  affirmations  and now (maybe) wistfully looking back and possibly contemplating our obvious lack of commitment regarding those dreams and goals.   And they are typically made when we are feeling energized by possibilities but then not making an effort to achieve them.

I have been thinking along those line of goals, dreams and silly things and at the same time, watching my garden develop, change and become more a part of my life.

(An aside here for a moment:   For the FIRST TIME I have found a gopher mound in the garden!   I’m not too worried about it because my plants are well established but the poppies that are starting to sprout might fall vicitim to these toothy intruders.)

Anyway, I still have plants to get into my backyard that I’ve purchased back in October.   Due to my busy schedule and other unimportant things that tug on me for attention, I  have managed to not find the time to get them into the ground but I am determined to do so within the next two weeks.

So I continue to dance and so does everything else.

“Live with a dancing spirit.   The stars in the heavens are dancing through space, the earth never ceases to spin.   All life is dancing:  the trees with the wind, the waves on the sea, the birds, the fish, all are performing their own dance of life.   Every living thing is dancing and you must keep dancing too, for the rest of your life!”  Daisaku Ikeda

And thus, I am….


Rainy and Dark

by Lorraine on December 11, 2009

Hey, I’m not complaining we really need this rain a lot here in California.   Another storm has arrived and all day long the rain has been falling.   I noticed that one of my newly potted plants is actually overflowing with water.   Wow!  I guess that means its had enough but I know the water will drain off through the bottom of the pot.

Everything is looking saturated, greener and more alive.   I’m just concerned for people that live in the areas that recently experienced the brush fires as the hills have been totally denuded and there’s nothing to hold back the soil from turning into mud and sliding down the hills.

Meanwhile I’ve been working on my newest project which will be a social networking site for those of us who love native plants, landscaping being “green” and nature.   It’s not completed yet as it is in the Beta stage but people can sign up at the site and become a member in advance of its launch.

I also have taken some recent pictures of the garden and the changes that I’ve done to it.   And one of those was to plant six  Saffron buckwheats/Eriogonum crocatum.   These are really lovely and what I like about them is that they won’t get too large, are fairly compact and the gray leaves are so beautiful.   And of course there is the unusually colored yellow-green flowers.

And as it turns out (I didn’t know this until I bought them), they are considered by the State of California to be rare and endangered.   I purchased them at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden’s plant sale and I feel very fortunate to have them in my garden and didn’t dig them up somewhere in the wild.

Here’s a photo of one of them and I’m crossing my fingers that they and the new Woolly Blue Curls I planted will thrive and do fine, too!

Saffron Buckwheat

Saffron Buckwheat


Rain at Last!

by Lorraine on December 7, 2009

Thinking of rain, dreaming of it, visualizing it or doing a rain dance just doesn’t work when trying to manifest it.   All is dependent on Mother nature and whatever her mood is or might be.   We have gone far too long  without it and finally a storm has arrived, bringing it’s generous touch of moisture to the environment and my garden.

It was quiet and subtle not quite penetrating my sleep as I drifted along in my dreams.   Just a very quiet “swishing” sound, the kind that’s a bit hypnotic and peaceful.   I awoke a bit and then heard it and thought to myself how good it sounded and not too hard, just enough to revive the dried earth in southern California.

Southern California is considered a desert but that certainly doesn’t mean that we don’t need rain and the native plants can’t go without water indefinitely either.   Drought conditions these last few years have made for difficult choices  when it comes to using water in a responsible manner and people have been forced to chose between their lawns or having a huge water bill.

The good news (along with the rain), is that by having water shortages it has made it more apparent to the public the necessity to learn how to get by on less of it.  And given that, the question of how to landscape a yard differently and have it still look good has started to shape how people view their properties and learn to use the most ecological and environmentally sensitive methods of design and plants for their landscaping.

 Tropical landscaping has been quite popular as well as  English gardens but neither are realistic choices when used in in a Mediterranean climate such as what we have here in southern California.  There is a growing interest in the use of natives and with that, there is more information about them than there was in the past and more nurseries are starting to provide the stock to meet the demand.

The rain started falling gently in the middle of the night and the sound was quite lovely as I listened to the gentle sounds of dripping water fall from the edge of the roof and  land on the ground outside my bedroom window.  I visualized my garden, opening itself up to the nourishment of the water as it fell on each plant and soaked the mulch and ground as it slowly saturated the soil around each one of them.

Rainy Day in the Garden

Rainy Day in the Garden

Somehow everything looks greener and the garden looks refreshed with its wet shiny surfaces.   The litter of leaves from the Liquid Amber trees look more vibrant in their autumn, earthy jewel tones of fading color and they add texture and beauty to the garden as it embraces the first winter storm of the season.