Monday, April 29, 2013

Never Give Up!

It's been another busy weekend in which I did not post.  But can I share with you now a

couple glimpses of life around here?  Here is a clematis I planted four years ago.  You don't see many of them in Souther California.  In January of this year I was giving it up for dead.....and then........It's never ever flowered before!  (Never give up!)

This guy is one of three who I have been feeding.  Why?  Have I mentioned them before?  Apparently I am not the only one, because if I DON'T feed them they will come straight up to me and crawl up my trouser!  Someone trained them to be so familiar!

If you've ever wondered if it's possible to grow artichokes in pots (as I have) now you know you can!  This is more or less a specimen plant because there's not going to be a lot of harvesting and eating from this guy.  But they are beautiful (heavy feeding) foliage.  On the left are fava beans (broad beans with also beautiful flowers.)  Again, not much eating yet but I had to try them.

I love our misty L.A. mornings that give way to sun.  

We have volunteers (i.e., I did not plant them) in the way of honeysuckle and passion flowers this year. The morning glories have always been there.   I think I'm allergic to the honeysuckle but they smell dreamy.  

I'm waiting for my santolina to bloom.

And I've had a beekeeper on my roof alot lately!  More on this soon!

Hope it's a good week for all of you!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

When I Grow Up...I'd Like To Be Ralph Hoare

Sorry for the quality of the photo.  But you get the drift.

(Photo: PA/The Guardian, UK)

Ralph Hoare is 104 years young.  And still gardening.  He'll tell you a little about it here.  And here.

In the next couple months he'll be Twittering answers to your gardening questions at: #askralph

I don't know how to Tweet but if you have a satisfactory exchange with Ralph, please tell me about it!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

CicLAvia - The Other Ride Through Paradise

It's happening three times a year now.

 (We started here, in Culver City on this street lined with gorgeous Chinese Elms)

And it's one of the best ideas ever.

Borrowed from Ciclovia, which originated in Bogota, Colombia,

It's a day when streets are closed to auto traffic and everyone else

comes out to ride - large and small, the regular folks, and the strange and wonderful.

The bikini clad, the Hawaiian shirted, the sports jacketed, the ladies dressed like Minnie Mouse.

Those bare chested and braving sunburn....if I hadn't been so busy gripping my handlebars and keeping up  with everyone else, I could have shown you all of them.  (I was apparently not so very creative, some people had I-pads taped to their handlebars and were photographing EVERYTHING!)

There were many opportunities for breaks along the route.  Especially here at Abbott Kinney, GQ's "coolest street in America" 2012......

The Paradis crowd did not take on the entire route which extended 15 miles from Downtown

but we definitely chose the very best part of it

the one that ended


the beach!  I think you might have done the same.  No?  

(The organizer's figure about 150,000 people turned up for this event.  Cool, huh?)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Get On Yer Bikes!!!!! It's Earth Day 2013!

In a little salute to Mother Earth

and as a preview to my further post

about our Sunday ride to the L.A.'s CicLAvia........

Can I remind you how lovely bikes are?  (When it's not raining, of course!)

When was the last time you were on one?

Come back later this week for more bikes.  Until then,  PEACE OUT!!!!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Life Is Sweet - Thank You Steve

Something lovely thru the post last week came.....

A thoughtful someone sent goodies, from the old 'hood, Hoboken.

From Giorgio's, a real proper old school Italian bakery.  I wish I had pictures of it for you.  Seriously, it's like it has been airlifted in from mid-20th-century Italy.  At least that's how it was when I left Hobloke in 2005.

We ate these delicious almond-ey pignoli cookies with some lemon-mascarpone ice cream (yes, sorry I should have smoothed out the divots for this pic and made them swirly) that we made from the following recipe:  Meyer Mascarpone Ice Cream (simplicity manifest! - found here)

Combine equal quantity mascarpone (we used 2 8-oz tubs) and simple sugar syrup (1:1). Beat with electric beater until very smooth. Chill thoroughly (overnight is good). Next day, churn in ice cream machine. When almost done, add half cup Meyer lemon juice.

They were a PERFECT match.  No really, you have to try it!  (Dreamy!!!!!!)  

Best part of this story?   Lovely friend Steve, a soft-spoken ginger-haired Brit with a longstanding day job, got tired of waiting on line in front of Giorgio's at the Christmas holidays.  So he offered to help serve!!!!   His offer was accepted.  And today he's "part of the family".  So what is the only thing we can say about this story besides "Life is Sweet"?

Give a big shoutout to Steve and say:  "HEY PAESAN - NOW THAT'S ITALIAN!!!!"

Hope you all find a sweet weekend wherever you are........Tante Bacie!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Little Lovely Vintage

Been meaning to post these for some time.

Since it's a new season - thought a fresh waft of color might be just the thing.

It's easy especially in winter to go a little all-sepia when it comes to vintage.

or that sophisticated mid-century natural/neutral.

But you know me, even if we're going a little Victorian dove-y grey I still like to see snaps of Alexander Girard COL-AH!

 (I thought this was Paula Mills via Design Sponge also the photo with the red sofa)

If you're a follower of the decorating blogs you will have seen Paula Mills' house before.  (But I don't think it's possible to have had enough of her light-but-certain touch.)  You'll recognize that fireplace in the next-to-last photo.  Paula is actually an illustrator and you might have encountered her blog, Sweet William.  (Click the Paula Mills link above.)

I have l-u-u-v-v-e-d those Ikea bookshelves since for-EVER.  And now even better with a lick of turquoise paint and a bodacious red lantern alongside!

See what I mean?  What looks new to me these day is the background of neutrals with that POP of delirious color to lighten up the place.  Soooooooo welcoming.

And speaking of welcomes........Oh Hello Friend in Fullerton, CA is obviously a place I need to get myself to.  Now that it's spring and time for a breath of fresh air.   I'll let you know how the visit goes!  (Meanwhile here's what Yelpers are telling you about it.) 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Way Things Are Looking......

I love April in L.A.  (I hope some of the rest of you are getting a little bit of sunshine finally.)

It's never possible to forget that this is the town and specifically the neighborhood

that gave birth to Walt Disney, to Hollywood......

Sometimes you have to wonder what really came first.

There is so much life and color, wonder and fantasy.

From the clowns

to the Classics.

In a Land of Make Believe

the sky isn't EVEN the limit.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Distractions Distractions

I'm finding it a little addictive.

I started working seriously at it late last summer.  There have been interruptions:  cakes, holidays, plants, traveling, plus all the business of the everyday.  (You know about that!)   And now there is a writing class!  OY!  

But I'm managing to accumulate a little pile of these things.  Paper Cuts.  They're hard to photograph.  And tricky to mount.  

But one day..........I might share with you more of what's distracting me.  

Whatcha doing this weekend?  Hope it's a really good one!  

Full Spectrum Pancakes

From my delightful Silver Lake neighbor who blogs as Oh Joy, a little something special:

I don't think you really need a special occasion as an excuse to make these pancakes, do you?

Maybe you just need a really good weekend!  Please have one!  And think of me cuz I'll be thinking of you!  xoxo!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Too Kew - The Battle of Function Against Form - Part Two

Actually, I keep feeling bad about my little rant here.  Kew is such a gorgeous place, it should not be associated in anyone's mind with ranting.  But sometimes, you just feel so strongly about something, that you just have to say what is on your mind.  (And keep saying it until you figure out what it is that you REALLY want to say?  Yes!  That's the direction I'm taking.)

Anyway, here's a view from that most knuckleheaded of innovations, the eyesore of the Sky Walk (I'm sparing you the actual skywalk.)  OK maybe it's not such a terrible idea if it gives you another vantage point from which to enjoy the greenhouses.

But what I'm trying to say is that I prefer those old-fashioned kinds of WALKS.   The kind that you do from the ground.  That is, on the ground!

Because I'm inclined to think that it's from the ground that you get a better view of things like this.

and this.

And this.  (David Nash at Kew, closes April 14, 2013.)

Because the things that I come to look at at Kew come....OUT OF THE GROUND.

Or stay very much close to it.  Yes, I'm talking a very much ground level union of Form WITH Function.  Like this cat. So beautiful.  And it kills rodents too!  (High functioning!)

I'm inclined to think that if a place is so beautiful that it INSPIRES curiosity and desire to learn more (as Kew has done for me) it doesn't need to beat me over the head with knowledge via a bristling landscape of plant tags.  (Don't we have APPS and Audio Guides for that now?  And before them, libraries, and l-o-v-e-l-y garden catalogs and.....Martha Stewart!?)

Why, would I want my landscape to be messed about with?

At Kew I hear Nature speaking for herself.

Oh dear, oh dear - who's going to buy a book in the gift shop about alpine gardens and rockeries if they can just scribble the names of all the necessary plants with a Biro on their palm?  (That's what they used to call ball point pens in England:  BI-RO's.....Oh dear oh dear how am I going to make a beautiful picture if the picture plane is pockmarked and besmirched with BLACK BLOTCHY PLANTTAGS?  Photoshop????  Really?)

I do feel that the way of true LOVE is, first you fall.  And THEN you seek to know your one-and-only's name, and then, and then and find out every little thing possible about them.  So much less mystery and romance somehow when you meet them with a plastic nametag plastered on their chests and a soggy paper cup in their hands. Know what I mean?  Isn't it possible that love takes root first with a drop of mystery and you quench that thirst for love..........with seeking............?

NOW.  What are they?  The pink flowers?  The name starts with a "C".  These are the for-real ones.  Teeny ones.  As Nature intended.  Vari-colored, with curling, mottled leaves.  (Not those horrid grotesque mono-chro-monster-sized franken flowers haunting your supermarket aisles the world over.)   Do you love them?  Do you care?   If you were to walk away from this post wondering, haunted, querying......hungry.  Wanting to know.  What they are called?

Would I have made my point?

*****  For previous Kew posts at P.P., click here