Saturday, February 16, 2008

Descanso Gardens and deja vu

Day trip to LA to see the tax guy and the Hertz folks set me up with a convertible. OK it was a Toyota but still, tooling down the Hollywood Freeway from Bob Hope to Hollywood with the top down was a blast. The only thing missing was Randy Newman singing 'I Love LA'.

Anyway, I left the afternoon open to see something before flying back to Sacramento and decided on Descanso Gardens. In all my 30 years in LA, I only made it to Descanso once before. Yesterday was the perfect day. Camellias blooming everywhere, sunshine, what more could you want.

They have a corner devoted to California natives. None were blooming but just looking at the plants brought back memories of my bulldozed front yard at my old house. I had a huge ceanothus 'Concha' which was a spectacular blue background for the small brick patio which our son built for us. Next to it was a fremontadendron which was also a spectacular display in spring. I had lehua plants, good sized specimens of jade plant (crasula), some low growing aloes and a red banana screening the patio and french doors to my wife's office from the street. This was perhaps my best gardening effort at the old house. It wasn't really planned. I added things I liked from my frequent trips to the nursery and it gradually came together. Unfortunately when it was beginning to look its best, I had to take an out of town job which eventually led to our move.

Where I live now, there are plant police who continually look for forbidden plants in my landscaping. (Doesn't seem very American, does it?) Every thing the landscaper planted was approved but who knows about the things I pick. Nevertheless, I do add plants and think about how to make my new yard better despite the constraints. It's probably time for a post on the dredded homeowners association but not today. Maybe tomorrow.

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