Posted on | October 23, 2014 | No Comments
Californians, whether you love, hate, or have heretofore been unaware of Proposition 1, a measure on the pending November 4 ballot that would raise $7.12 billion in public money for water projects, here is the best-considered and most impartial breakdown that you are likely to find. Everyone who reads the Pacific Institute’s Prop 1 summary or report itself is likely to have at least one takeaway line.
Mine is: “water conservation and efficiency efforts would be allocated a mere 1%.”
Posted on | October 17, 2014 | No Comments
When I remarked to a neighbor that a group from the Los Angeles County Arboretum was coming this week to tour my garden the response was: “Why?”
Bragging never ends well.
That said, it’s as good a time as any to link to this photo essay of the fourth year in the garden.
Posted on | October 1, 2014 | 3 Comments
It’s encouraging to see residents of greater Los Angeles cutting back on lawn irrigation and/or switching to less thirsty ground-covers. But there has been an unintended consequence. Civic-minded homeowners have been under-watering — or not watering — their trees. While deciduous trees register the stress palpably enough that many homeowners are alerted to the need to irrigate, most evergreens can’t wilt. Rather, their leaves furl and their needles droop. Formerly turgid and healthy limbs become brittle and vulnerable to boring insects and the diseases that the bugs too often carry. Stress a big tree enough and it becomes prone to what monitors of our urban canopies call “tree failure” (an interesting term for an outcome that is almost never the tree’s fault, but that of those managing it). A treeless Los Angeles would be a harsh, hot and bleak place. To prevent that from happening the Urban Forest Council has issued this brochure. Click here for more about common causes of tree failure, and here, here and here for an excellent three-part guide to planting trees from horticulturist and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden fellow Barbara Eisenstein.
Posted on | July 30, 2014 | 1 Comment
“A lot of suburban water planners plan for yesterday,” says Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River Water District. But in Denver the national baby boomer vogue for suburban “ranchettes” with water-sucking lawns so big that you need a tractor to mow them is giving way to a millennial preference for downtown living in condos and lofts. SUVs are out, light rail, car and bike shares are in. And when it comes to water policy, Denver is behaving in a way that makes the future seem not only tenable but even bright.
Click here to keep reading in the Guardian’s Live Better Challenge about how Denver Water dealt with the potentially devastating loss of a massive dam project. It turned to conservation and a lot of jokes.
Posted on | July 7, 2014 | No Comments
Carol Bornstein, head of the new gardens at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, Pamela Berstler of G3 Green Gardens Group and Jon Christensen of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability will be my fellow panelists Thursday for the Natural History Museum’s “Just Add Water” talk on landscape reform. Before taking over the recently installed native and food teaching gardens at the museum, Bornstein was director of horticulture at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and co-wrote the cult book “California Native Plants for the Garden.” Berstler, a landscape designer turned activist, now works with local coastal preservation groups and water companies to re-train landscape maintenance teams with low water, energy and pollution protocols. As a perk to those who attend Thursday evening at 6.30pm, the museum’s co-host for the talk, Jon Christensen, will be giving out copies of the centenary aqueduct issue of Boom: A Journal of California. Click here for more information.keep looking »