From the Ground Up

Gardening, books, and other interests

The Lawn Goodbye

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I want to tell you about a great little 5-minute video from KCET, the local SoCal public television station. It’s fun and well worth five minutes of your time. It features homeowners (several of them are friends of mine!) who have taken the step of replacing their thirsty, water-guzzling lawns with a variety of natives, succulents, edible gardens, or drought-resistant native turf grass. These are some great examples of forward-thinking people who are taking the initiative to install more efficient irrigation systems and convert their lawns to more sustainable alternatives. In one case that you’ll see here, someone filled in their swimming pool and replaced it with a gorgeous succulent garden. Not one of these people regrets the decision to give up their big expanse of lawn.

Take a look!


I really love this post. The author uses her sharp eye and great photographic skills (or maybe she just has a very good camera!) to observe small signs of spring in her garden. I love to walk through my yard first thing in the morning and make note of all the changes, growth, decay, whatever. But these photos really capture that experience very beautifully.

Real Life Garden Solutions

One of the things I love most about gardening is observing the smallest details, especially early in the growing season. So here’s what I’ve been observing in the last few days:

Asparagus that I grew from seed in Asparagus that I grew from seed in 2013–the only one that survived my tender ministrations. I’m trying again this year–only 7 (of 18) seeds germinated.

Perennial iberis just openi Perennial iberis (candytuft) just opening.

Peony Peony

Anemone Anemone coronaria

Heuchera 'Purple Palace' Heuchera ‘Purple Palace’

New growth on spirea. It rea New growth on spirea. It really is that colour!

Euphorbia Euphorbia martinii

I don't remember what kind of daff this is I don’t remember what kind of daffodil this is, but the “cup” is only about 1 cm. You can see by comparison with the aubretia flowers (also about 1 cm across and about 10 cm high).

Unfurling ferns Unfurling ferns. This might be a native sword fern.

DSCN2665 Dryopteris filix-mas ‘Cristata’. You can just see at the top of the picture the “crested” habit of the fronds.

No-name herbaceous fern. Pops up everywhere, but easy to pull out if they're a bit over-enthusiastic. No-name herbaceous fern. Pops up everywhere, but easy…

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