Glow worms!

I spent a delightful week in the local mountains leading a generally well-behaved group of Scouts at Camp Tahquitz.  One of the Scouts noticed a spot of light near the trail as we hiked back from a campfire in the dark (ah, the virtues of hiking in the dark!).  It turns out that they are glow worms (a beetle), most likely California Pink Glowworms (Microphotus angustus)!  I was so pleased to find this cousin of the firefly that I hadn't even dreamed of, and right in our back yard.

A little bit of online searching turned up many better photographs than mine as well as more authoritative information.  It's hard to believe that that the food habits of this creature are still unknown: What an opportunity for a budding biologist.  What I recall from the reading I did is that the glowing ones are actually mature females.  The males fly about and don't glow, even though they are still called glow worms.


Stylomecon redux

Long ago I posted about Wind Poppies (Stylonecon genus) and how I would update my reader on how they had done in the garden. Finally, the answer you have been waiting for is, pretty well.

Here's one in the foreground with newly planted mimulus and California poppy (coastal variety, which I recommend whole heartedly over the inland variety) in the background.

Stylomecon in pots seemed to fare better, but I have only small number statistics. I think it due to the tailored drainage and water that I could give them in pots.

They seem to need quite well drained soil, so I'd guess that most garden beds are too moist. The flowers are prolific and bright, however they attach to the ground with a fragile tap root that can easily break.

I liked this plant and collected seeds for next year. Hopefully I can get it together and turn my California bland garden into a California grand garden.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone


Giant hill of Agapathus to California native plant haven?

Check out the bloom on the Agapanthus along the driveway's edge.

Saul, my gardener, convinced me that I could coppice the Agapanthus and it would come back stronger than ever. He was right.

Wood chip mulch, made from trees cut from the property, covers the ground in between the aggies. They've served their purpose and kept me in the good graces of the neighborhood for the past 11 months.

But wait, what's that peeping out of those strappy leaves?

Why it's our old friend Cercis occidentalis (Western Redbud) which I planted as 1 gal babies not too long ago. They've grown so fast! There's three of them, harbingers of the end of the Agapanthus and the start of something better.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone


Unnatural restraint

I found a real garden planning triumph here.

Maybe I too should plant a Mexican Sage too close to the sidewalk (on a slope, no less), forget to cut it back, then prune it awkwardly and tie it like a bundle of firewood with a string that's bound to break in a couple months.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone

Elysian Park to DTLA

I had a nice stair walk with my buddy Dan. This was one of the sights along the way - neighbors have planted similar impromptu gardens all along this road above Elysian Park.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone