Changing the equation

Los Angeles garden designer Marilee Kuhlmann was one of eighty homeowners who opened their gardens last weekend for the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase. Photo: Emily Green / Chance of Rain

In so many conventional gardens with lawn and hedges, the equation is:

Water = sprinkler run-off and plant growth = Pacific pollution and mowing and pruning = noise and air pollution = green waste = more noise and air pollution.

Most of us know how destructive it is but have little idea how to change. Last week, the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase in Los Angeles set out to show the way. In what felt less like a garden tour and more like a happening, eighty West Los Angeles homeowners who have taken out turf to create gardens that trap rainwater, produce food and have well-adapted flora opened their homes to the public. Here, the new equation is:


Rain likely

The National Weather Service’s prediction for a chance of rain over the weekend in Los Angeles County elevates to “rain likely” for Martin Luther King Day and into the following week. If you haven’t got your wildflower seeds in the ground, the next few days are your window. Over at, Ken Clark’s blog sees enough rain coming that he warns people living near recent burn areas to “be ready to evacuate.”

Meanwhile, as the struggle between town planners and developers continues over implementing a Low Impact Development ordinance that would decrease storm water run-off, a community meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at City Hall. Click here for details.

Rain likely

Click on the image to be taken to the satellite image page of the National Weather Service

We in Los Angeles can live in hope that forecasts of  rain by Monday are true. To follow the rain, click here. For the best explanation of what the recent State Water Project guarantee of only 5% of normal deliveries for 2010 means, go to Peter Gleick’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s not as bad as it sounds, he says, but we must prepare for another dry year. For a graphic of reservoir conditions as California enters its rainy season, click here. NOAA image updated 12/06/09, 5.45pm PST.

A good rain

THE NORTH got drenched, but here in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles Times, fine showers and the absence of downpours largely spared the foothill communities from post-fire debris torrents. As of 5pm today, we in downtown Los Angeles had received 2.03 inches of rain that fell steadily last night and in light showers throughout today. For a National Weather Service regional breakdown of who got how much rain where, click here.  Isolated showers are forecast for the evening.

For a most interesting diversion, try this article by Keith C. Heidorn, aka “the Weather Doctor,” on why rain drops are not tear-shaped, but round and then as they enlarge, shaped like hamburger buns.

This post has been updated.

Chance of rain for Los Angeles

Posted at 8am Saturday October 10th, 2009. Click on the icons to be taken to the National Weather Service for the latest updates.

Saturday: Patchy fog, high 74F

Saturday night-Monday: Chance of drizzle. Low 55F, high 68F

Monday night: 20% Chance of showers. Low 57F

Tuesday: 30% Chance of rain. High 68F

Tuesday night: Chance of rain. Low 59F

Wednesday: Chance of rain. High 68F

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