The Dry Garden: She’s back

I met Dryden Helgoe six years ago when she was part of team behind a new landscape at Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena. Shortly afterward, I worked with her on a playground plan for a school garden. During both encounters, she was inscrutable: gracious, spookily competent and distractingly beautiful as a Botticelli angel. Then, by the end of 2005, she was gone — off to start a family.

During the intervening years, I wondered more than once if the choice of stay-at-home motherhood would retire Helgoe. When I met her, she was a rising star. The University of Oregon landscape architecture graduate had a year at the Olin Studio in Philadelphia and five with Nancy Goslee Power & Associates in Santa Monica. Helgoe’s disappearance from the scene left a void.

Click here to keep reading about Dryden Helgoe’s return to landscaping in The Dry Garden column of the Los Angeles

America’s best idea on “uncertain path”

Click on the book cover to read more about Uncertain Path and William C Tweed.

The “national park idea as we know it, a veritable covenant between national park managers and the American public, is collapsing and will need to be redrawn,” says William C Tweed in his new book “Uncertain Path.”

While other historians might not refer to their writing as a “walking meditation,” other historians probably didn’t spend three decades as a ranger. Tweed only retired as Chief Park Naturalist at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in 2006.

On Thursday November 11th Tweed will be discussing the future of America’s best idea at the Solvang Public Library, 1745 Mission Drive, Solvang, California. Time: 7.30pm. Sponsor: The Santa Ynez Natural History Society.

November fully loaded

November dry garden events for Southern California are finally online here. Events include expert tutorials on native plant garden design in Santa Monica, Sun Valley and San Diego. (Run, don’t walk, to the Theodore Payne Foundation to book a place in Susanne Jett’s course — she designed Garden/garden for the City of Santa Monica.) There will be talks by Jessica Hall of LA Creek Freak on stream restoration, Ellen Mackey of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on stormwater diversion* and Lili Singer of the Theodore Payne Foundation on native plant horticulture. There are plenty of restoration projects and, for those less enamored by the wild and more rapt by exotica, a new CEO will be talking about the future of The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. For native plant lovers, the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden will be having its fall plant sale. Afflicted

Home, where art thou?

Apologies to regular readers and visitors. I have sold my house but not found a new one. The regular Sunday news round-up The week that was will not appear for the next several weeks. I will resume regular posting in November, either from a street corner or new abode. The November dry garden events calender will be posted before [sweaty pause] Halloween. For a full round-up of California water news, go to Aquafornia, the newsfeed of the Water Education Foundation, or to UC Berkeley’s On Water. For San Diego water news, try Groksurf’s San Diego. Or, for all things fresh water, do check in with WaterWired.

The Dry Garden: 275 lawns down, 79,725 to go in Long Beach

Plaudits, not sprinklers, were flowing this week when the Heal the Bay president, a Surfrider Foundation policy director, a vice mayor and water company general manager gathered in the garden of a Long Beach handyman to ooh and aah over the salvia.

They were there to praise citizens of Long Beach who embraced the first of two rounds of rebates — $2.50 per square foot lawn converted to low-water garden — that started in April. It stands to reason that clean-ocean advocates would appreciate how important it is to check the stream of pesticide and fertilizer pollution that runs into the Pacific from lawn-sprinkler overflow. But what has dazzled everyone familiar with the Beautiful Long Beach Lawn-to-Garden Incentive Program is how citizens of this beach city have been so ready to do their part. The first day that the Long Beach Water Department began accepting applications, conservation specialist Joyce Barkley

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