Blog

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Howdy, I’m Scott.
This site was originally a place where I could store info and links for quick access. I still use it as a way to gather my notes, keep my gardening journal, and remember some trips I’ve taken. Hopefully it’s grown into something you’ll find useful!

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Locations

Joshua Tree and South Coast Botanic Garden, mostly!

A handful of snails and barnacles down at Pelican Cove

Palos Verdes – City Nature Challenge

Get your portable phones and cool cameras ready for a five-day bioblitz style event! From April 30th to May 3rd, be on the lookout to log and identify all the plants and animals you can possibly find in the Palos Verdes area.

A section of the desert that looks out over snowy peaks

DRECP – Renewable Energy in SoCal’s Deserts

The powers-that-be want to streamline a process where desert land can be handed over to energy developers who want to invest in clean energy infrastructure. They’ve written a plan – the DRECP (Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan) – to delineate what is allowed to go where.

A small rainstorm out over the ocean off Los Angeles

Roundup – January’s End

A look back at what’s happened in January, both in the wider environment and in my own garden. Most notably – the LA smog is back, my garden has new LED grow lights, and South Coast Botanic Garden’s GLOW event is over.

A thick layer of tan smog hangs at the height of the mountains over Los Angeles.

Climate Since Covid

Only time will tell what the final effects of the COVID shutdowns are on the environment. During the height of the lockdown, air quality improved almost immediately. NO2 and CO2 (from fossil fuels) both decreased. This effect was noticed most heavily in major cities, though arguably the whole world benefitted. Fine particulate matter, PM2.5, similarly dropped.

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Appreciating Nature

Posts focusing on the joy and wonder that nature has in spades!

A ginkgo biloba enjoying the morning sunlight

An Introduction to Mindful Gardening

Gardening is a wonderful way to practice mindfulness. We care for plants as best we can, giving them the chance to grow. We can practice mindfulness, giving our thoughts room to grow.

A bee goes to work on a passionfruit flower

10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Every year, we celebrate Earth Day on April 22. This is a day for the earth: for cleaning, remembering, and planning to ensure a positive future for nature. During past Earth Days, events such as river cleanings and the clearing of invasive species has often taken the mainstage in drawing communities together. This year, the holiday is going digital.

A sunflower seedling alone in a large pot outdoors

March Garden Roundup

Spring has finally sprung in the garden, and everything is getting growing. Most of the seedlings have been transplanted to their long-term homes (at least until they end up in the kitchen…). Check out the post to see how all the plants are getting along!

Paperwhites blooming at the very end of February

End of February Garden Roundup

February has been a busy month in the balcony garden. Cress has grown even faster than the Paperwhites. Tomato seedlings put on mass at the same time as Sunflowers. And the Billy Balls never disappoint. Check out the Garden Updates here!

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The How-To

A pair of paperwhites growing strong into spring!

The Sun and its Angles

Plants really enjoy sunlight – some more so than others. When you’re planting a plant outdoors, it’s useful to know what ‘Full Sun’ means on the seed packet, and whether your corner of the balcony or yard is going to get it. Find out where to look up the sun’s angles and how to apply it!

The cress is growing in thickly and very green

(Garden) Cress

Garden Cress is an easygoing, cold-tolerant, tasty plant that can be harvested and eaten at any point in its growing cycle. Easy to care for, harvest as needed with a pair of scissors. Find out how to grow this slightly tangy salad green!

Spearmint looking healthy and ready to grow in spring

Mint

Growing mint in a container isn’t only easy – it’s also recommended! Mint is a delicious, voracious weed that can be grown from divisions, cuttings, or seeds. Find out how to care for mint here!

Paperwhites blooming at the very end of February

Paperwhites

If you’ve ever grown daffodils, you’re not far off from growing a Paperwhite! These lovely little flowers grow from bulbs, and are even open to blooming in winter. Find out how to grow them in water or soil!

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Other Updates

Notes on my garden, events, and other topics!

A tiny succulent pup getting a bit more height

Six on Saturday – 8 May, 2021

Spring is showering new growth on all the plants in the garden! I couldn’t even find space to fit the photos of the cress in this post, let alone growing space on my balcony. Most everything else seems to be doubling in size each week, if they haven’t already finished growing.

A succulent shows a little pocket of new growth at the end of the stem

Six on Saturday – 01 May, 2021

Spring is an unstoppable force in the garden. The things that flower won’t stop flowering. The things that produce food aren’t producing food currently – the tomatoes haven’t blossomed, the squash refuse to grow taller, and the cress has gone to seed. Still, there’s plenty of new plants in the garden, and plenty of greenery to enjoy every morning!

The bloodless is growing thickly after its last transplant

Six on Saturday – 24 Apr, 2021

Spring has really taken over for the balcony plants. Every plant is growing, and most have nearly doubled in fluffy foliage. I can’t help but feel delighted every time I step outside.

The ginkgo is sprouting new leaves in tight spirals

Six on Saturday – 17 Apr, 2021

Spring is showing off with the life it’s breathing into the balcony plants. The Ginkgo is showing a great spread of new leaves, the sunflower is already spreading its pad, and the wildflowers are surviving over-wet conditions.

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