Thursday, February 5, 2009

Looking Up

How fortunate to have gardened in one place for twenty years.

To have our neighbor, Dennis McCreary, plant a tree which now provides shade for this Magnolia x soulangeana. It struggled so the first decade in full sun. Now see her in all her glory. Like a child who struggled through adversity in early years- but with love and care- reaches her potential.

Southern California's un-winter triggered this early bloom.
The pink tabebuia (below) is a treasure from the spring plant sale at the Los Angeles Arboretum. During her formative years, "Tabby" that had me worried because she didn't bloom the first year like her "little sister"- the yellow flowering version- did. But not giving up paid off. Dennis was the gentleman when I told him she needed more sun or would need to be cut down. He allowed the tree on his side of the property line to be sacrificed. "Tabby" doesn't usually bud out until Easter time. But with the unseasonably warm weather: the trees are a bit schizophrenic about what to do when.

This week my nose was down in the dirt. Scrambling in case spring's grand entrance continued its mad race to summer. Not just dealing with vegetation. Bricks needing to be reset after the gophers had so much fun tunneling in the soft sand. Emptying birdbaths for their annual scrubbing. Problem-solving electrical shorts and cleaning the pump filters. Laying out shredded redwood bark on the bare dirt to keep down the weeds and gussy up the flower beds.

Then the rain fell steady this afternoon. Time has stopped in the garden. I have my fingers crossed that the bloom won't be totally knocked down before there is a chance to capture how utterly gorgeous it is when the branches are filled with chorus lines of gold finches or the ever-present hummers.

Yes- things are looking up this spring. Two weeks ago, the Disneyland rose at right was a collection of barren sticks. Now it is in full leaf with buds beginning to break open.

Like gardens everywhere, this Eden needs water. Not just now. In the future. The Owens Valley supplies Metropolitan Water District, which supplies the other water agencies. This area also purchases water from Northern California and the Colorado River. Local aquifers are pumped, but this region's underground supply is frequently polluted and in need of cleaning up.

A reliable source informs that the cost of importing water is roughly $250 per acre foot. Desalinization is about $1500 to do saltwater. Sewage is easier and cheaper to clean with reverse osmosis. But there is an unconfirmed rumor that near Del Mar, one firm believes because electrical grid infrastructure is already in place, they can slash the cost of desalinization closer to $800/acre foot.

Our water needs should not just be born by those who live elsewhere. It would be helpful to have a local reservoir, where runoff could be efficiently and safely stored. It is time to look up from the crisis of the day and put together all the considerations that would need to happen for a reservoir to be wisely built . Near here. Such as the one found on the Hills for Everyone website on property owned by the City of Industry.

THE spring plant sale at the Arboretum is now known as the LA Garden Show. This year's event is May 1-3. Link to info at

The pink tabebuia is aka 'Pink Trumpet Tree' - probably t. heterophylla because it is tall and slender. but it could be T. impetiginosa as that is more frequently carried at the arboretum plant sale.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

Your garden must be GORGEOUS Lydia...just from the pictures you show us, it looks simply exquisite....I hope you will be showing us lots and lots more pictures as more birds come and more things bloom....
That tree is really stunning!!

Lydia said...

Thank you.