Saturday, February 6, 2010

Love the Succulents

As I was reading (one of) my favorite blog AKA Studio G, I came across this website for succulents. Succulents have to be a favorite of mine…they are easy to care for, take low, low water and have the most unusually pretty shapes and colors. On her designs are creative and really beautiful. Also, her personal site is a good read plus it cemented the fact that my blog is pretty much chump change compared to most blogs online. UGH……I have WAY more work to do!!!


Harvest What??

All this rain has me thinking about the importance of rain-water harvesting! I mean I know we are in a water crisis here in CA and I know about the ways we can reduce our personal water usage…(see ricky rain drop posting)....but harvesting rain water??? Sounds so complicated don’t you think? Sounds like those “weird” tree hugger types do this??? So, off into the galaxy far, far away (the Internet) I went to find out about harvesting rain water and to really understand how to do it. I mean….how hard could it REALLY be??

Upon reading I found it was not quite THAT difficult….it will take come cash up front to have the system installed and set up, but after that from what I read it pretty much pays for itself monetarily PLUS knowing you are doing something good for Mother Earth seems pretty awesome too!!

Trust me there are a bunch of different types of systems out there….they go from simple to pretty much speaking a different language to me.

I strongly suggest reading about it and at least understanding it more then you already do. It was fascinating to read about the “forward thinking” some of these companies have and just the down right great ideas they have! Have fun reading and your comments/suggestions are always appreciated. Have a great day!!

Some Helpful Websites: - find out how much H20 you can harvest with this online calculator.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


So, YES....the above is true!!! I am going to Hawaii in a few months....and am so excited!! Boy, do I need a vacation....a much needed and much belated vacation. I deserve this one.

So, here are some places I am going to visit...of course they are gardens and such....yes there will be the typical "hula show" with a burning pig in the ground (which freaks me out anyway)...then the hiking and the scuba diving and the beach laying w/ pina coladaz....but the botanical garden tours are for me.

Let me know if I am missing a place, but since there are only 2 people who read this....tell me in class!! :) xoxo

Sweet, Sweet Ladybugs!!

So while at a park on a beautiful day, a friend of mine asked me “what do ladybugs do”? And my response was….. (in my cool voice) ….“Well they eat aphids, which are a pest & ladybugs are a beneficial insect”. I also proceeded to tell my friend that “boy ladybugs have spots, but not the girls”. At that moment I was't lying, but while driving away I was thinking about our conversation and I second guessed myself….and found out I did lie!!!! I am a jerk!!! In other words I thought I knew a lot…but to be honest I know nothing!!! So, my friend, here is my way of making up the lie…+ I learned something and now so can you!!

Coccinellidae AKA The Ladybug
Beneficial garden ladybugs for controlling pests in your garden are the most popular and widely used beneficial insects for commercial and home use. Ladybugs are capable of consuming up to 50 to 60 aphids per day but will also eat a variety of other insects and larvae including scales, mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, mites, and various types of soft-bodied insects. Ladybugs, also called lady beetles or ladybird beetles, are a very beneficial group of insects. Ladybugs are natural enemies of many insect pests and it has been demonstrated that a single ladybug may consume as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

Do the spots on a ladybug tell what sex they are?
Nope, that is another interesting idea and fun to pretend but ladybugs of either sex can be found with the same number of spots and same type of spot pattern. You can also find ladybugs in a given species with varying spot patterns and shell color variations having nothing to do with the sex of the ladybugs. Several colors within one species are called color morphs. Realistically you need to be a ladybug expert to the sexes apart and even then many times this can't be determined without dissecting the critter.

More interesting ladybug facts:
In the past, doctors would mash ladybugs and put them in your mouth to cure a toothache
In Switzerland, ladybugs are called “good God’s little fairy.”
You can fit 80,000 ladybugs into a gallon jug
Male ladybugs are smaller than female ladybugs Ladybugs are the official state insect of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio and Tennessee
They can live for as many as three years
A ladybug beats its wings 85 times per second when it flies
Their spots fade as they get older
The spotted wing covers on ladybugs are made from a material called chitin, the same as our fingernails

Helpful Websites
Ladybug Spots:
Ladybugs are a garden solder:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

L.A. Arboretum

This is the same place where the LA Garden Show takes place in April of this year. It has a great greenhouse for high humidity loving plants as well as a huge orchid greenhouse.

301 North Baldwin Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91007-2697

Vertical Garden AKA Succulent Walls……

So, besides the Eco Graffiti, this has to be another favorite thing of mine! They are so pretty to look at and add so much texture to your outdoor space. The succulents are also drought tolerant and make maintenance so easy and low key!

I did attempt to make one of these but had little luck. I build the box and bought the plants and filled in the 3' x 3' box with soil. And that equalled it being WAY to heavy to hand let alone move. But is was still pretty and looked great. I am talking about it in the past because the rain this past week flooded out the soil and all that's left is the cuttings. So, yes I will try again...with a lighter soil medium. Anyone have any ideas?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Are you a Native?? Plant lover that is!!

CA Poppies with Sky Lupine -

I know you read the "Ricky Raindrop" posting...if not, STOP scroll down and read it! Now, we have all read it and understand the importance of being water wise. A piece of doing your part is gardening with plants that are suitable for your zone. If you are unsure what zone you are check out -

Living in Southern California you know that we are hot and dry allot of the time so planting with drought tolerant plants seems to be the easiest and most logical way to go in your garden. You will use WAY less water to keep you garden green and since you have native plants in your landscaping you will also attract native birds, butterflies and other wildlife that only benefits your landscape.

Helpful Websites:

Coming Soon - Gardening with Succulents

Diamond in the Rough?? No....It's a Pearl!!

"There's always gonna be obstacles. The thing is, you don't let those obstacles determine where you go." - Pearl Fryar

About a year ago is when I saw this documentary on this man who has changed his whole entire yard from dirt to the most beautiful topiary garden around. His name is Pearl Fryar and the cool thing is besides him being really down to earth and just an all around great guy from letting the public come see his garden to donating to charity for underprivileged that he is untrained!! This vision he has for his garden is all from his ideas and from trial and error. He works in his garden from sun-up to sun-down everyday. You really do need to read about him and see his works, it is truley amazing!

L.A. Garden Show

SAVE-THE-DATE in 2010:

Friday, April 30 — Sunday, May 2, 9:00 am — 4:30 pm

"Discover new ways to live a green gardening lifestyle and make sustainable choices in your home garden. Whether you garden in containers, small plots or vast landscapes, the LA Garden Show offers something for everyone who wants to live a little bit greener."

My sister and I went last year and it was SO much fun. We had never been before and were unprepared on what to expect.

So here is what we learned:
  • Bring a wagon - carrying your "stuff" to the car is a pain - you park about 1/4 mile away.
  • Bring some cold water - at least 3 bottles
  • Bring some snacks - who wants to sit and eat when there are plants to see!!
  • Bring extra money
  • Wear a hat
  • Wear sunscreen

It was a lot of fun and there is allot to see!!! Landscaping ideas, cheap plants, cheap pots and meeting a bunch of people who know more then you!!

Here is the website for you to check out:

Another show that might interest you is: <--- this is the show where my class will be designing a plat inside the mall for judging.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eco Graffiti.....What you ask!?!?

So, surfing the web awhile back I found this great website...well it's really a blog, and she is a landscape designer and finds the most incredible ideas and "stuff" out there in the design world. (I can’t show you my reference site...yet....her site is WAY better then mine and I want you to be MY loyal reader) Ok, back to ECO is where you take living moss and create pictures, words, saying etc., on walls in parks, your home - anyplace where you want. It is by far one of my favorite things!!
From all my online research it looks like Anna Garforth is the pioneer for this idea. There is little information about her, but from what i gather she lives in the UK and has a design studio and this was/is one of her projects. (please let me know if i am incorrect here)

Do it yourself Eco Graffiti AKA MOSS MILKSHAKE!!

~ 2+ cups of moss
~ 2 cups of buttermilk
~ 2 cups of water (or beer)
~ 1/2 tsp. sugar
Blend up ingredients so the consistency is a thick milk shake.
They amount of ingredients is not an exact science.
Some people add clay, fish emulsion and cow manure.
Then you can just paint the milkskake on the rocks or walls where you want it to grow.
It will take several applications to get your recipe right, your application right and the location right. Have Fun!!!

Othere fun websites:

Do you remember Ricky the Raindrop???

Image from

Did you know that 7.8 billion, yes BILLION gallons of water are used in landscaping in the U.S daily. And 1/2 that is wasted by runoff, evaporation and straight out wasted. That is equal to giving each person on earth 8 glasses of water per day!!! This is crazy!! I know, I know, we have all heard we are in a water crisis, but seem to think its not that bad or it's not happening in our area, or we live by the ocean-we're fine, etc. We have all heard the excuses and we have all used the excuses.

But by doing a few simple and easy things we can save thousands of gallons per month per household. Do the math......that’s a HUGE savings!!!!!

Please don’t forget to conserve water…every day. Even if it rains. California’s main water sources have been severely impacted by record dry conditions. And we’re already using our reserves to supply our everyday water. Our water situation is serious.

But here’s how you can help.

* Turn off the water when you brush your teeth = 3 gallons per day

* Shorten your showers by one or two minutes = 5 gallons per day (2 minutes people)

* Fix leaky faucets = 20 gallons per day

* Wash only full loads of laundry = 15 to 50 gallons per load
Talk to your family and friends about saving water. If everyone does a little, we all benefit a lot.

* Water your yard only before 8 a.m. to reduce evaporation and interference from wind = 25 gallons per day (FYI plants only take up water during the evening - so water at night and think about getting a drip watering system installed)

* Install a smart sprinkler controller = 40 gallons per day

* Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks = 150 gallons each time

* Check your sprinkler system for leaks, overspray and broken sprinkler heads = 500 gallons a month

Information from -

A few informative Web Pages:

Disclaimer: If credit is due to any information on the page, please email me immediately. The intention of this blog is informative to the public, not for personal use.