Pocket planter sighting with succulents

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Recently the zoo added a large pocket planter near their exit. It is sparse now but I can imagine that it will be stunning in years to come. The material is a very thick felt and it was moist because I think they just watered it. It was filled with various succulents, maybe even cuttings. I am thrilled that it is here!

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And also the elephants because they are incredible and I love them!

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A trunk full of plants

my trunk is filled with plants for the front yard from Evergreen Nursuery

After much planning I now have all our plants for the front yard! Actually this excludes the raised beds in front of the house where I want to put roses but for the main section we have it. I went Evergreen Nursery, a wholesale nursery that also sells to the public, and I bought the smaller sized plants (that were nearly a 1/4 of the price). At the nursery customers drive around and load their cars with plants and then pay at the exit. It is a bit time consuming to find exactly what you need but worth the price. Personally I really enjoy perusing the aisles looking at plants so the experience was fun.

This time I brought my sunset western gardening book as a handy reference as well and I was glad I was able to have that to make smart decisions.

Here is what I got.
7 pink Muhley Grass
9 red yucca
4 red bottle brus
h “little john”
4 small succulents
5 yellow flowers.

Gravel Patio in the Front Yard

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We finally got everything ready to add gravel to the little patio in the front yard. I went to the rock yard to get some samples. Originally we wanted to put DG or decomposed granite but I have heard that they scratch the floor and I don’t really want to need with that.

Our criteria is that it needs to match the rock I the faux dry creek bed that came from our yard, be smooth as to not scratch our floors and not be crazy expensive.

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We estimated that for our space we had about135 sq feet to cover, which ends up being about a half yard of gravel. The four samples that you see above range from $125/yard up to $700/yard. We have chosen the 3/8″ salt rock that we could buy in bulk (lower right corner) as opposed to bags which can be on the higher end.

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Here ow what it looked like with landscape fabric on before.
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Here is what it looks like all filled in!
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Starting a garden from seed -update

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Success! Our radish seeds are sprouting (well about 3/4 of them). Soon we will transplant them.

It looks like I need to get going on our raised beds so that we have a place to put them.

Starting Seeds

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Come on a journey with me starting seeds! You really don’t need much more than a seed packet. You can buy little containers for starting seeds like I did, but you can also make your own out of paper. I have used this tutorial recycling junk mail before.

I bought my seeds at my local Sprouts store when I was shopping. They are organic “Seeds of Change” brand. Place a few seeds in each container and cover with a little dirt.

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Cover the container, using clear plastic to make a little greenhouse and keep them moist.

Wish me luck!

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Indian Hawthorne Plant in bloom

Indian Hawthorn
The Indian Hawthorne plant(Raphiolepis indica) is a workhorse in the garden. These low maintenance bushes are drought tolerant once established and provide a good foundation to other plantings. In southern California many people refer to them as freeway plants because they are so ubiquitous on the sides of roads. Honestly, I walk by these plants all the time and I do not even give them a second look. This week though, I noticed Indian Hawthorne bushes everywhere, because these flowering shrubs have now exploded with little pink and white flowers and they are quite a site to behold.

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Garden at the San Diego Children’s Museum

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This week we had a fun outing to the fabulous New Children’s Museum located in downtown San Diego. They have a new exhibition called Feast: The art of playing with your food and their indoor spaces mostly revolve around this theme. It is clever and hip and just a lot of fun for little ones. For this exhibit they also have a chicken coup (hands off) and a garden located in the park just across the a street.

I took some pictures of the Garden Project. It is mostly comprised of raised beds, but is also really playful and fun!

I love this not only in its actuality, as it is beautifully done and cared for. But I also love the idea behind it. I love getting kids into connecting with where their food comes from and growing things in general. I love examples of urban and small space gardening and I adore how playful and practical the space.

I have a good friend who grew up in Sevilla where the city is littered with orange trees. She told me that the scent of them in heavy with their parfumerie in bloom and that it is not considered poor firm to pick an orange in passing. How cool is that?

I would love more food grown for people to enjoy where they live rather than growing it in far reaching and undisclosed places. Seeing this small slice of it makes my heart happy.

20140228-231334.jpg20140228-231406.jpg You can’t really see it but this short metal raised bed spells art and is filled with strawberries! Mmmm

20140228-231415.jpg How clever using bicycle wheels as a trellis!

Succulents at San Diego’s Safari Park

I have written before about how I almost enjoy the plants at the zoo more than the animals. They do such a great job there and I’ve noticed that in certain areas, much of the plant life is drought tolerant and there are some great examples of landscape design to be had. At our visit last week we headed to the Safari park in Escondido. This is quite a bit inland from the zoo and it gets hot during the summer months. Much of the landscaping reflects the different climate zone (I think zone 22, but not certain).

Aloes at the Safari Park in San Diego

Aloes at the Safari Park in San Diego

Safari Park Garden with tram

A planter of aloes in bloom and the tram that takes you on a tour to see the animals roaming on acres of land

Safari Park succulents

Beautiful succulent garden — those sticks really do look on fire

Safari Park succulent garden

Aloes at the Safari Park in San Diego Rock and succulent garden at the Safari Park

pincushion flowers and deer grass

Planter of deer grass and pin cushion flowers

Palo Verde – Desert Museum

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It is almost hard to tell in the image above, but we have a tree in the front yard! I chose a desert tree that I won’t have to water once it is established. It is a Palo Verde, they grow naturally in Arizona and I think parts of Texas. It has delicate fern like leaves and pretty and plentiful yellow flowers. When I visited Palm Springs I saws lot of them and since our house has a bit of Palm Springs modern vibe I thought it would work nicely.

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The desert museum variety is nice because it blossom most of the year and does not have thorns like other varieties. It was difficult to locate the tree in a San Diego nursery. I predict that 10 years down the line this won’t be so.

 

Here are two examples of mature Palo Verde trees. I took these last fall and there are no flowers, but you get an idea of how nicely they fill out.

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Here is my friend Nancy as we wait for our table at cheeky’s for brunch. This is actually the patio bar for the Alcazar hotel.