Monday, March 30, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Ball Is In Motion

The potager at Chateau de Villandry. More here.

I'm on my way to creating a potager (my new favorite word). I've ordered my raised beds (Vermont white cedar) from The Farmstead and my seeds are sprouting. Next: I'll need to find a way to get enough compost to fill up my beds (times like this I wish I had a truck).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Loved "I Love You, Man"

Buddy movie. Bromance. Formulaic. Apatow genre movie (though Apatow had nothing to do with this one). Despite all these things, this movie is great. Way better than all the other Apatow movies I've seen (40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad, Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Anchorman). Three things in particular:

1. I liked how this movie wasn't all about getting laid.

2. I liked that it underscored how hard it is to make friends.

3. I liked Paul Rudd's character's social anxiety. Hilarious and, for me, totally relatable.

Dig it.

First Lady of California Following Suit

Maria Shriver's announces her plan. See LAT article.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to Find Me

I checked blogpatrol for the first time in a very loooong time (the patrol gives you free stats on your blog). Let me tell you the last 5 internet keyword searches that have sent people to my blogposts:

i miss the wire
burping smell
darwin marry not marry list
i bore myself
Asian kids badminton


Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelle Obama, and Me!

NYT article about the Obamas' vegetable garden. Also Michael Pollan's letter to the President-to-be from last year.

It's nice being part of a movement.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Different View of the Huntington

I missed the first field trip my class took (to the California Rare Fruit Growers scion exchange), but I managed to make it to the second one, which was to the Huntington. I'd been to the Huntington a bunch of times before-- their cactus garden is one of my favorite places anywhere-- but never like this. The master gardener of their rose, Shakespeare and herb gardens, Katarina Ericson, gave us a tour, provided us with cuttings and showed us the greenhouse, nursery and tissue culture lab.

Shakespeare garden-- cerinthe and flowering almond.

Herb garden.



Bitchin staghorn ferns.

Tissue cultures of rare and nearly extinct cacti and succulents.

The Learning Garden

View of the garden.

So why my sudden veggie garden mania? I signed up for the the Plant Propagation class at UCLA extension over the Xmas holidays. The course began in January and ends next week. Classes are held Sunday afternoons at The Learning Garden at Venice High School. The vibe is laid back, but instructive, and I like my teacher (David King). Most of the students are in the UCLA horticulture certificate program. I think I may be one of the few non-credit students.

I signed up for the class originally so I could learn to propagate my flowering perennials, but by the middle of the class I realized that I really wanted to have veggie garden beds similar to the ones at the garden. The Learning Garden is really an edible wonderland. I highly recommend a visit to anyone who likes planting edibles (and who lives on the westside).

We started out sowing seeds-- first in flats, then in the ground-- and transplanting seedlings. Then we graduated to cuttings (stem, leaf) and then finally grafting (shield, side, saddle). One of the highlights of the class was our field trip to the Huntington (another post to come).

So you add this all up and it's made me into a wannabe small scale farmer. I'm just starting out-- my kitchen is full of flats right now-- but my fingers are crossed. I'll post progress pictures.

Another view.

Wedge cuts on begonia leaves.

Golden Dorset apple scion grafted on EMLA 26 rootstock.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Long Overdue Pics from Vietnam and Cambodia

Cruising Halong Bay on a junk.

Morning mist.

Cyclo and Citroen outside the Sofitel Metropole in Hanoi.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat.

Banteay Samre.

Preah Ko.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sowing the Seeds

Some of my packets. Aren't they pretty?

I waited with bated breath for my 14 seed packets to arrive from Peaceful Valley. They came yesterday in an ordinary yellow bubble envelope. I spent a good hour last night planning how many seeds of each I would sow and where I would place them in my veggie garden.

The best thing about springing our clocks forward is that I have daylight hours to sow seeds after work. Wait, did I just say that? If you'd asked me 5 years ago (or even 5 months ago) whether I would ever have a veggie garden I would've laughed out loud. Now, I'm planning my day around it. I hope this isn't just a phase because I think this small scale farming thing could be good for me. Mentally and physically.

Anyhoo, I spent the remaining light of day after I got home today sitting on my patio, sowing tomatoes, Spanish lavender, and all sorts of lettuce. I'll post pictures soon.

Comfort Movies

The LA Times has their list. I have mine.

1. City Lights (1931). My favorite Chaplin movie.

2. The Odd Couple (1968). Everyone should see this movie.

3. Before Sunset (2004). A not so cheesy romance.

4. Zodiac (2007). I love Mark Ruffalo.

5. Finding Nemo (2003). Not necessarily my favorite animated movie, but the one I can watch over and over and over.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm Right, You're Wrong

I'm loving this hullaballoo over where LA neighborhoods begin and end. People are getting worked up. Wedgies everywhere. Thank you, LA Times.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Oh, Oh, It's Magic

My Luscious Brandywines-- this morning (top) and this evening (bottom). Reach!

Today was a big day for me. The biggest of all in my short gardening life.

I woke up this morning to find that my tomatoes had germinated! I sowed them last weekend (Feb 22nd ) in some cottage cheese containers and milk cartons. I watered them every other day and left them in the bay window in the kitchen (north facing) throughout the week. The seed packet said that it would take about 7-14 days to germinate-- in my case, it took 8 days.

I can't tell you how thrilling it was to see sprouts, like little threads curling up. I immediately moved them to a south facing window for the day, so they could get some heat (it was 80+ degrees today) and extra TLC. Sure enough, by the end of the day, they had straightened and more had sprouted.

Sticks on Fire

That's 'sticks on fire' at top left (pink and green pencil-like plant).

I have been brainstorming on what kind of container arrangement to create around my recently-purchased 'sticks on fire' (Euphorbia tirucalli). So many possibilities, so many decisions. I like these arrangements, spotted near the gift shop at Descanso.

Camellia Show

I was at Descanso Gardens yesterday and came upon their camellia show. I'm not big on camellias, but I was curioius. All sorts of blooms on display. I think they were going to be judged at the end.

Nuccio's Gem - I liked this one.