Turf Terminators -

"A new company, Turf Terminators, will replace high water usage yards with low water, drought tolerant yards at no cost to homeowners, " according to the LA Daily News.

The plan is to use rebates from the water company to fund the conversion.  OK so far, and a reasonable way forward for many homeowners.  However, looking through the photos the design and plant selection don't seem that inspired.  Plant materials seem to be exotics (I noted oleander, kangaroo paw, a flax and perhaps one California native, Giant Wild Rye) all crowded too close together in a field of decomposed granite in this photo.  A Facebook photo shows shrubs with ground cover mulch around their bases.  Since their web site doesn't give me an easy way to see the details of their process without "getting started", I don't know if their landscapes always look like that.  They do say, "Turf Terminators' landscapers will replace your lawn with California Friendly plants and ground cover over the course of 1-2 days" which begs the question of exactly how well the lawn is removed.

Given the attention that many homeowners give to their gardens, this company might have a success on their hands.

Turf Terminators has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/turfterminators and a web site at http://www.turfterminators.com/.


My garden in May

I'm pleased with how this prostrate Chamise (Adenostoma fasiculatum can't remember the exact name) and “Santa Barbara Liveforever” (Dudleya traskiae) have grown in these clay pipes that I've placed on end.  I'll have to get some more.  I liberated the larger from underneath my parents' house where it was forgotten for a long time.  The smaller also came from their house where it was part of some yard drainage.

 prostrate Chamise (Adenostoma fasiculatum can't remember the exact name) and “Santa Barbara Liveforever” (Dudleya traskiae)
Click through to see more photos.


New native plant garden

At the San Pedro annex the upslope neighbor rents, but he is an avid tomato gardener, so we've bonded over that experience.  After after coordinating with the landlord and the neighbor, Stephen, we all agreed to remove some ivy and install a new garden.  Our stalwart gardener Saul Jaramillo did the heavy work of removing most of the ivy.  I redug the garden and removed the roots that he has missed.  (He did a good job, but having done this before I can attest that it's a hard task to get all the roots.  Ivy lovers - rest assured that it will spring back from some overlooked root pieces.  Ivy haters - rest assured that we'll rip it out until it gives up.)

Juli and I had long ago decided that if the opportunity presented itself, we'd put in Cercis occidentalis (western red bud) and that was the bulk of our plant investment (about $80) in 5 gallon pots.  Everything else was in about 4" pots. Neighbor Stephen had requested sunflowers, so we ended up with Encelia farinosa (brittlebush).  We added Fragaria chiloensis (beach strawberry or sand strawberry native just up the coast from LA.  I think that we purchased 'Chaval', which Native Sons suggests is not the exact right match for us, 'Aulon' being better for the care exposure this will get. ) and Sisyrinchium bellum (blue eyed grass, forgot the selection) as targets of opportunity since they had done well in a nearby garden with similar exposure (the strawberries more so.  In fact wild strawberries are some of the tougher ground covers  and I'd give them the edge in any native plant fight.)

Read on for additional pictures and a lesson learned.


Twitter leaves me bitter, but...

...I have an interest in Pinterest. 


I'm so new to it, that I had trouble finding the URL that links to my page, but from what I've seen I've completely abandoned previously held Pinterest skeptic point of view.  As I figure things out, I'll try to get these blog posts to send automatically to Pinterest, much like I use RSS Graffiti to post to Facebook.

I'm still a Twitter skeptic (though I have had an account for years with all of two tweets being sent);  I simply don't want to read about anything 140 characters at a time.