Sunday, March 27, 2011

How to create a butterfly friendly garden...

Adult Monarch Butterfly Monarch Butterfly Caterpiller on a Milkweed Plant (the ONLY plant this butterfly will lay eggs on)

In tribute to my last post about the Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo, I decided to post some information about creating your own jungle in your very own backyard!! Fun right!

Here are some species of butterflies that live in our area or CA -

Here are some plants that adult butterflies use as food or delicious nectar -

Here are some plants that the baby caterpillars use as a host plant -

Also, here is a resource for you to use about incorporating native plants into your garden. The importance of having native plants in your ornamental garden is instrumental in bringing more wildlife to your garden as well as more beneficial insects. Not to mention that native plants use a lot LESS water, and some species of native plants don't even require you to water them. Now that's pretty great! I will post more information about native plants here soon! :)

Happy Planting!!

Butterfly Jungle!!

Who doesn't love Butterflies!! I know for me they are one of my favorites!! And the San Diego Zoo is having an exhibit showcasing butterflies and the changes they go through. Remember back in grade school and learning the word 'metamorphosis'? Well thats the theme this year and I think its great!

This years fluttering transformation takes place from April 9 - May 8 and thats it!! This celebration explores the astounding changes these winged wonders experience during the life cycle! Thousands of butterflies will float around you in the tropical greenhouse exhibit. There will be contests, activities and special experiences throughout the Nairobi Village. Meet keepers, learn about bugs and even take part in sleepovers!!

Get out of your cocoon ya'll and head down to the zoo and visit the Butterfly Jungle!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Power of the Garden

Healing Gardens are close to my heart for many reasons which for most I won't get into here, but for other reasons it is really great to hear about gardens that are for those of us who are sick or injured. These are gardens with large enough paths for wheelchairs and some can even have raised garden beds so those in wheelchairs can pick produce or smell flowers. Some gardens have plants that are full of texture for feeling with hands, or vivid colors, or great smells. I want my garden to incorporate all that plus a bunch more!

My dream (which will come true) is to create a healing garden at a childrens hospital (some hospitals already have these gardens) for sweet babies and kids (and all hospital patients) who are sick and who spend most days inside the hospital. Wouldn't it be great to have a garden on the hospital property where families, patients, doctors, nurses, etc., can enjoy flowers, trees, the birds chirping, the bees buzzing and the fresh air!!

One day soon, this will come true!

More on this later but in the meantime, enjoy some information on this topic.

What is a healing garden?

Based on research by Ulrich and others, it could be argued that any garden is a healing garden. However, for the purposes of this article, we refer to Eckerling's definition of a healing garden: "a garden in a healing setting designed to make people feel better" (Eckerling, 1996). The goal of a healing garden is to make people feel safe, less stressed, more comfortable and even invigorated.

Designing Healing Gardens:
When designing healing gardens, the same considerations are used as in designing any other garden. However, these considerations take on special meaning in healing environments.

- Functionality is imperative because the garden needs to accommodate the limitations of the users of the space.

- It is also important that the garden design be
maintainable both for physical safety and therapeutic benefits. At institutions such as hospitals, it is especially important that the garden be easy to maintain because a poorly maintained garden could make patients lose confidence that they are being well taken care of by hospital staff.

- If the garden isn't
environmentally sound, it could be detrimental to the users of the space, especially those who are physically unwell.

- Often times the funding for healing gardens is raised through donations and other contributions. Therefore is it important that the garden design be
cost effective.

- Finally, healing gardens are meant to provide pleasant surroundings to produce restorative effects for its users. The garden will not be successful if it isn't
visually pleasing.

Just a few types of gardens can be:
~ Psychiatric Hospital Gardens
~ Children's Gardens -
~ Nursing Home Gardens
~ Alzheimer's Treatment Gardens
...and many many more!

This is a GREAT website - you should read it! :)

Rogers Gardens....a favorite!

About Rogers Gardens: Sitting upon seven acres across from Fashion Island, Roger’s Gardens has grown to be known as ‘America’s Most Beautiful Home and Garden Center’. Presented in a garden like setting, our Nursery offers one of the most extensive varieties of Plants, Outdoor Living, Home Decor, Landscape, Holiday, Pottery and Fountains. As ‘America’s Most Beautiful Home and Garden Center’, Roger’s Gardens has taken quiet pride in being the recipient of many awards including the AmeriChristmas award and the Los Angeles Arboretum award.

Who doesn't love to walk around Rogers Gardens admiring the plants, listening to the peaceful music and experiencing the environment! If you haven't been there, it is a must do. This time of year bring a cup o' joe and good company!

Looks like Rogers is having some events coming up! Check one or two out! I know I sure will!

Sat March 26 9am - Cook Simply with Zov: Recipes from Earth to Plate - Demo and Book Signing
Come for a morning of culinary inspiration focused on garden fresh cooking as well known local Chef Zov Karamardian demonstrates a few featured recipes from her newest cookbook, “Simply Zov”. Attendees will be invited to taste samples, learn new recipes and hear the stories behind these delectable flavors and their journey from Earth to Plate.

Sun March 27 10am - Exotic Plants with Mike Craib
Join Mike Craib, member of the board of directors for both the California Horticultural Society and Pacific Horticultural Society, as he discusses exotic plants from the southern hemisphere. Mike will be covering plants from many of the southern hemispheres Mediterranean climates including Australia, Chile and South Africa.

Sat April 2 9am - My Edible Garden in April
Our monthly discussion of everything edible: vegetables, herbs, fruits, berries and more. Steve Hampson, edible gardener extraordinaire, will lead a lively and interactive discussion about what, where and when to plant, prune, feed harvest; with lots of audience participation.

Sat April 9 9am - French Style Kitchen Gardens
Join Cristin Fusano as she shares her expertise on gardening and growing vegetables, herbs, berries and citrus to create French Style Kitchen Gardens. Whether you have a tiny balcony, or an acre, Cristin will give you the information you need for great garden success.

Sun April 10 10am - Proteas, Leucadendrons & Leucospermums with Chris Chaney
Learn about the amazing family of Protea plants with Chris Chaney, an authority on the topic. Come meet Chris and learn about Proteas, Leucospermums, Leucadendrons, and other proteas for California gardens. This underused family of plants are quickly becoming one of the hottest categories for local gardeners.

*all images are from

Oldies but Goodies

I love art work and I found these old seed packets on my favorite blog, it really was fun to look to at.

F.C. Heinemann, General Seed Catalogue no. 206, 1898, Front Cover

C.E. Allen, Plant and Seed Guide, 1898, Front Cover

Livingston's Seed Store, 11th Annual Seed Catalogue, 1898, Front Cover

Eat What?

While browsing the internet looking for some inspirational ideas about gardens and cool and innovative ideas for your garden...I found "Eathouse"! Over at they have this shed that they have turned into a house where you can pick your fresh produce and bring it home to eat! I am not sure if customers choose what they want and pick it themselves, but either way this is a really cool idea! Great to see more ideas out there. Imagine turning an 'eathouse' into a butterfly and creature garden for kiddos to walk though and to explore...Now that would be fun!! :)

Happy Eating!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


It is that time already!!

Interested in reducing your carbon footprint in the garden? Thinking about watering less, but worried you’ll have to sacrifice flowering plants, fruit trees and all of your lawn? Want to add California native plants and other drought tolerant plants, but clueless about their care?

You’re not alone. Thousands of Southern California home gardeners are seeking advice and information as they rethink their traditional approach to gardening. Visit the LA Garden Show and be inspired to be an eco-friendly gardener.

Green is no longer just a color in the garden. It’s about saving water and energy, changing the way we garden, growing more of our own food and creating beautiful landscapes with less thirsty plants.

~ See garden displays designed by renowned landscape designers

~ Learn eco-gardening ideas from horticultural experts and designers

~ Shop at The Marketplace for California natives plants and garden accessories

~ Enjoy garden tours, gardening activities for kids and cool off at the beer garden

My sister and I went a couple years back 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, and cheap pots plus meeting a bunch of people who know more then you!

Where:Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden301 N. Baldwin Ave.Arcadia, CA. 91007
Dates:Fri. April 30, Sat. May 1, and Sun. May 2
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 8:00 a.m. entry for Arboretum members.
To become a member
click here or call 626.821.3233
Admission:$3.00 to $8.00, Free for Arboretum members
Parking:Free with shuttle. Preferred parking $10

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Romanesco Broccoli

Roma' What??

Romanesco broccoli, or Roman cauliflower, is an edible flower of the species Brassica oleracea, and a variant form of cauliflower. Romanesco broccoli resembles a cauliflower, but is of a light green color and the inflorescence (the bud) has an approximate self-similar character, with the branched meristems making a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the broccoli's shape approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels.
The vegetable is rich in
vitamin C, fiber, and carotenoids.


Ok, Now the fun stuff! What is this beautiful thing!?! It sure is pretty!! And you can eat it! A friend of mine introduced me to this crazy edible plant and I decided to post here, because I had never heard of it before and I am assuming neither have you! :)

Got Romanesco?

How to grow

Well good luck on your adventure of trying this alien cousin of the cauliflower! I will let you know how mine go! Thank you Colleen for the blog idea! When you cooking me dinner?? :)