June fully loaded

The UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture and Horticulture program classes on native plants for sustainable gardens and firescaping are among the events in the June listings. Click on the plan to be taken to UCLA.

Click here for the full listing of June’s Dry Garden events, including restoration projects, hikes, classes and plant sales. If you have an event that you would like to be listed, please e-mail details to emily.green [@] mac.com or submit them in the comment box.

The week that was, 5/23-29/2010

The backpack of an U.S. Army soldier overflows with small American flags during the “Flags In” ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, May 27, 2010. Click here for the photo essay of the flag planting by William D. Moss

Click here for the Washington Post project “Faces of the Fallen,” remembering the 5,462 American servicemen and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The Week that was” will return next week.

Click on the image for AccuWeather.com International's Baghdad weather report

The Dry Garden: Matilija poppies

Two unrelated and equally magical things happen in Southern California in late May and early June. By night, courting mockingbirds sing all night. By day, the Matilija poppies begin their all-too-fleeting bloom. The shame is, while most everyone who sleeps becomes aware of the mockingbird’s song, not everyone with sight will encounter the Matilija, which is, without rival, the biggest, silliest, loveliest and most poignant of California wildflowers.

Click here to keep reading this week’s Dry Garden column in the Los Angeles Times.

Sight and understanding

In November, 2009, with support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Los Angeles Audubon, the students, parents and staff at Leo Politi Elementary School planted a native garden at the Pico Union campus. Last week, botanical studies of the plants drawn and colored by the students went on display in the school auditorium. If they look traced, and I took them for that in an earlier edition of this post, they’re not (please see Margot Griswold’s correction below). Rather, while the display and attitude of the plants in the drawings look like they owe a debt to professional illustrations, the studies by the children were made as part of a class in which the students grew, dissected and studied the plants. Then their eyes were guided along the minute conformations of plants that most of us never see. They were being taught to observe the species, then key


Say it with kids: Today nearly 5,000 children took part in Kids Ocean Day, a beach clean up program sponsored by the LA Stormwater Program, the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, the Malibu Foundation, California Coastal Commission and Aerial Art. Last year, the message was "Save our Ocean." Today it was "Sustain life."Click on the image to learn more about Ocean Day.

May 26: The SeaDoc Society fishes out hundreds of dumped toilets from the waters off Pt. Dume. Photo: UC Davis. Click on the image to learn more about SeaDoc and its drive against marine debris.

Talk about teachable moments: Late showers in Southern California may have intensified a lesson in marine pollution today for thousands of kids at Dockweiler Beach and sponsored by the LA Stormwater Program. “And here’s how run-off works” … For information about the stormwater program, click here.

Meanwhile, elsewhere around Southern California,

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