Thursday, March 26, 2009


Not sure what to do this weekend? Here's a great option: the Los Angeles Freedom Garden's Swap Meet and screening of Eating Alaska. Good times.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Little 1-2-3 for Potted Plants

I can disagree with this helpful post. Check out these great NYC reminders that apply to all container dwelling plants. First on her list? Swamp things...

Monday, March 23, 2009

From DLANC - My Historic LA

Come to "MYhistoricLA" on April 4 at Central Library

Please join us on Saturday, April 4, 2009, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the historic Los Angeles Central Library, for "MYhistoricLA," a special citywide kickoff celebration of SurveyLA, Los Angeles' first-ever comprehensive survey of its historic resources. We hope you'll help us spread the word by passing this message along to friends and to other local community organizations.
From 1:00 - 2:30 p.m., join Larry Mantle , KPCC-FM's host of Air Talk, for a lively panel with City officials, preservationists, community organizers and developers discussing the key issues surrounding Los Angeles' citywide survey. (Panel seating is limited. Reservations recommended: ( ))

While Los Angeles has a rich and diverse cultural heritage and a remarkable architectural legacy, 85% of the city has never been surveyed to identify these significant historic places. Historic preservation professionals conducting the survey cannot know all of the potential historic resources throughout the city - and that's why we need your help. We want to know your special story about a local building or the neighborhood you live in.

Join like-minded amateur historians and Los Angeles aficionados for the public launch of SurveyLA and share your knowledge of L.A.'s hidden gems. Other activities will include:

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.:
* Tell us about a lesser-known place that you consider particularly important to your neighborhood or the entire city - YOUR Historic L.A.
* Participate in an interactive display demonstrating how the survey teams will identify historic sites, and how they will use the information you're providing.
* Learn how you can bring "MYHistoricLA" to your own neighborhood.
* Sign up to become a SurveyLA volunteer.
* Register to receive regular updates as SurveyLA progresses throughout Los Angeles.

11:00 and 11:30 a.m., 12:00 noon, 3:00 and 3:30 p.m.:
* Enjoy screenings of the award-winning video SurveyLA: Preserving Los Angeles.
For more information on SurveyLA and Los Angeles' first-ever citywide historic resources survey, please visit ( )
Directions and Parking: The library is located at 630 West 5th Street, at 5th and Flower in downtown Los Angeles. Take the Metro Rail Red Line to the Pershing Square station and walk west down 5th Street to the Library. Parking is available at the 524 S. Flower St. Garage ($1 all day during library hours with Library Card validation).
Sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources, The Getty Conservation Institute, and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles

Another Garden in the Sky

Looks like I don't have the only roof top garden in downtown LA. Ummm, this one looks a little more fancy than mine. I need to go check it out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Farmer in Chief

DryStoneGarden pointed me towards this article to the (then) Next Farmer in Chief. You may enjoy the article as much as I did. The author, MICHAEL POLLAN, talks about how much fossil fuels are used to move food all over our nation. We can all do our part to reduce the strain on our future lives by eating food grown close to home. Better yet - we can eat food from our own backyard / roof / window sill. Keep growing.

LA Flower Market

I think I may walk down the to the Flower Market today. I cannot believe that I still haven't gone. I need to get out of the office more often! I have no concept of what it's like - independent vendors representing local farms or massive big-big-big corporations with a discount outpost? I hope to find out.

First VIctory Garden

I hope you've seen the news, but I am still so excited that the first family planted a veggie garden on the White House lawn. I just don't know why we didn't have one already! Read all about it here. Apparently the organic veggie garden, a first since Eleanor Roosevelt planted a victory garden during World War II, is a "hippy victory." Good times!

Tomato Babies

I just cannot wait until I can pick vine-ripened tomatoes from the roof! I started the seed process in February. I planted both pole and bush varieties. This is my first year to grow either, so I want to experiment. I grew up surrounded by fresh tomatoes. My grandma always had a garden full! Consequently, my mom always had fresh garden tomatoes sunning on the kitchen window sill. I don't have the love for plain tomatoes that my mom or grandma did, but I sure love to add them to recipes!

Here is day one of starting my tomato babies inside:

Soon, they showed signs of life:

Today they look like this:

I've started the hardening process and I hope to plant them outside in mid-April - Maybe Easter weekend?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Green Film Festival LA

How on earth did I miss this great event in my backyard? Ah! Next year...

Today in the Garden

Today was a wonderful day in the garden. I'll start with how it ended. I made some delicious salsa and yummy soup. I used one of my all time favorite white bean soup recipes. I forgot to add the mushrooms in the end, but the soup was delicious nonetheless. My sage and rosemary were in fine form. Sadly, I am out of thyme. Last weekend, I planted some thyme seeds so I am hopefully that a new crop will be bursting forth by next month. My tomatoes are still little indoor babies (started a bit over a month ago), so I bought an armful at the downtown farmers market on Friday. I pulled green onions from my beds as well as scrumptious cilantro. I have so much cilantro that I hardly know what to do with it! Most weekends, we get together with my cousins in the OC, but this weekend we're busy and they're busy. When I don't get together with my cousins and I forget to take a bundle of cilantro to friends at the office, I trim it back and put the fresh cilantro in my vermipost. I'm sure the worms love it, but it makes me sad to not be able to use all of the cilantro.

Back to my salsa, I have vine ripened farmer's market tomatoes, my green onions, my cilantro, and onion from the refrig (source unknown). I completed the masterpiece with limequat juice (from my tree on the roof), sea salt, and red-wine vinegar. We walked to our favorite little shop around the corner on 4th and Main to buy the only missing ingredient: chips! Needless to say, that salsa won't be around for long.

I am still finding aphids and sadly, my lacewing heros have yet to arrive. I actually saw a "wild" lacewing the other night. He was working alone, but I told him he is very welcome on my roof. I read somewhere that mint is an excellent bug repellent, and there are no aphids in my mint so I did something a little crazy. My most recent issue of The Herb Companion did a spread on dividing plants. So, I decided to plant some mint babies in more of my pots. I know that is a "playing with fire move" because mint spreads like wildfire, but it's worth a try. I put it in pots where the "main" plants are climbers and I don't thinkg there will be much of a dual for the ground space. Even if the mint twigs don't "take" in their new homes, I hope they will discourage at least a few nast aphids. It will be an interesting experiment.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Trade for THIS on Broadway

So the scaffolding on Broadway seems here to stay... could we maybe trade out that ugly metal stuff for some bamboo scaffolding?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm Liking Renee

Renee and I met when I bought some of her seeds last weekend. I'm liking her blog - especially this post about container gardening. I think you should check her out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lavender Family Tree

Remember how I was worried about the pedigree of my Lavender? I took a stroll over to Renee's Garden website and I feel much better!

Arsenic and Old Lace(wings)

My sister went to see a college troupe perform Arsenic and Old Lace last week. I created my own version tonight... I bought some green lacewings. The aphid war continues. All but a remnant of the ladybugs have flown. So, I decided to take it up a notch.

I bought some green lacewings larvae at the store - kind of. I though I was all set to release the "aphid lions," another name for lacewings. (Side note: why are these little guys called lacewings? That name is kind of a weak-sauce name - aphid lions, that's something I can get behind. I am looking for killers, not ballet dancers.) The packet instructed me to put paper cups out as new homes for the larvae. I dug around in my cabinet and found my best left over Starbucks cups from a party of Christmas past. I placed a mini-buckies cup in each planter (mind you I have what felt like 100). I pull out the scissors, open the packet with excitement, my pulse is racing with anticipation of the battle, and, nothing. The packet contains a voucher for me to mail in and request my aphid lions. Kind of lame, but I'm committed for the long-haul. Actually, I appreciate that the company, Orcon, doesn't try to do some crazy store ready package and ships fresh larvae, but I was ready TONIGHT. I want to take these aphid jerks down, total destruction.

Well, Ryan, and everyone else cheering me on, stay tuned.

Sky-Rise Garden

I think we could use some of this action in downtown LA. What buildings could we use??? Check out the mystical wall gardens here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Seed Excitement

Few things in life thrill me as much as the promise that is wrapped up inside a new seed packet. My newest love affair? Lavender. Not just any lavender mind you. Oh no, this is French Perfume Lavender cultivated especially for container gardens. I just hope these seeds are heirloom... I have a strong conviction for heirloom seeds, and I buy them whenever possible, but this little packet did not actually say one way or another. The seed company is Renee's Garden. Do you have experience with this company? Some of Renee's other seeds were labeled heirloom so I'm praying she's principled enough to use heirloom seeds. In any event, the promise of this "compact, deliciously fragrant, hardy Lavender" won me over with dreams of a hot California day encrusted in Lavender. My bees will love it!

Speaking of bees, the past few days I've seen some baby little bumbles on my roof top. I speak a blessing on those little guys and tell them they are always welcome on my roof.

Coming to a photo near you will be my Lavender starts. These seeds are recommend for an inside start. The packet says they take 18-28 days to germinate and mature to 12-18 inches. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Lady Bugs Came... and Went.

As I've mentioned before, we are in an all-out-war with aphids. Sadly, they are winning. I am committed to only organic and natural solutions. I've tried Pharm Solution products, but to no avail. I am sure the problem is with my use, not with the product.

My most recent tactic was an onslaught of killers - cold blooded ladybugs. I ordered them online and they were delivered to my front door a few days later. As instructed, I released them at midnight into a well-watered garden. That was Thursday. Today, they are all gone.

I hope they ate their fill before flying off. I also hope they will return "home." The bad bugs are certainly still here! Next weekend, I will buy some more lady bugs and try again. *Sigh*

I purchased my ladybugs from Next time, I will try to buy ladybugs from a local store, but most stores here in Los Angeles are not yet keeping ladybugs in stock.

I'll keep you posted. Have you had luck with ladybugs? Interested in ladybugs? Read this.