Home & Garden


Garden Club Flower Show at Huntington

Garden Club Flower Show at Huntington

Look for flower arrangements, photography, botanical jewelry and needle crafts that interpret the theme “the beauty of scientific discovery” at the Pasadena Garden Club Flower show this Saturday and Sunday at the Huntington Library. Members have put their creativity into play around ideas inspired by some of the rare materials in the Huntington’s Dibner Hall […]

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 5

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 5

I didn’t see Mark as much over the summer. He usually didn’t bother me when he was on a binge, and this one was epic. In six months he managed to drink, pop, smoke and plain give away every cent of his 60 grand. He lived like Scarface. Hell, he lived like a banker. But as the money dried up, he dried out, and reality hit Mark like a square of shingles. He finally brought up the subject of his finances to me. It seemed that shortly after mortgaging his house, he managed to lose his government assistance.

Local Gardens in Native Plants Tour

Local Gardens in Native Plants Tour

April 11, the second day of the annual Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour, focuses for the most part on home gardens in eastside communities, including 13 in the San Gabriel and Crescenta valleys. This means not only shorter drive time, but practical plant-selection tips — because if you see something you love, chances are you […]

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 4

Wood & Bones: Chronicle of a Cottage, Part 4

About a week before closing, we were getting hit with heavy rain. The Realtor called me with the combination to the key box so we could open the house, look for leaks, and attempt any repairs that would prevent the already-bad condition from getting worse. Along the side of the house, I found a big blue tarp that had blown off months before. It was still in good shape, so I rolled it up and prepared to climb on the roof to reattach it before the sprinkle turned to a downpour.

Karma & the Cottage, Part 3

Karma & the Cottage, Part 3

To recount the series of events that lead to our buying this particular little, red bungalow in Pasadena, I have to go back almost 35 years. The youngest son of the owners at the time was about 16. His weakness for drinking beer and riding motorcycles fast met up one night with another driver’s habit of not looking for small flying objects before changing lanes.

Time to Talk Tomatoes

Time to Talk Tomatoes

Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to plan your summer tomato crop. To help you in this not-insignificant task, the Arboretum is hosting a free (with admission) session with tomato expert Steve Gotto, who will share his Top 25 Tomato Picks for 2010. He’ll also pass along tips for planting, growing, tending and harvesting, […]

Karma & the Cottage, Part 2

Karma & the Cottage, Part 2

Thirteen years ago, Sheryl and I moved into a little bungalow on a corner lot in north Pasadena. One of the more unusual features of the property was a large rusty bird pen constructed from 2 1/2″ steel pipe, lumber, tree limbs and heavy screen. The pipe frame roughly formed the outline of a cube, about 9′ in each direction, give or take.

Wistaria Hysteria

Wistaria Hysteria

In 1918, 12,000 people congregated in Sierra Madre for the first ever Wistaria Festival. It’s more than 90 years later, and we Sierra Madreans still love our big purple plant, planted in 1894 on what is now West Carter Avenue. It is, undoubtedly, an impressive specimen: over an acre in size, weighing 250 tons and […]

Wood & Bones: The Chronicle of a Pasadena Cottage

Wood & Bones: The Chronicle of a Pasadena Cottage

Tonight we received a phone call from our Realtor, Jackie Watamura (the hardest working real-estate agent on the east side) with the news that the deed on our new house recorded. By “new house” what I mean to say is, “A 90-year-old cottage with a collapsing roof, severe water damage, uneven foundation, no electric or plumbing and busted-out window, which has become the de facto residence of most of the neighborhood’s feral cat population.” My wife, Sheryl, and I were, of course, ecstatic.

Everything’s Coming Up Camellias at Descanso

Everything’s Coming Up Camellias at Descanso

I sniff camellias every chance I get. My reward? A delicate fragrance — and a nose dusted with yellow pollen.  It’s fun to poke your nose into camellias — and at the week-long Descanso Gardens Camellia Festival beginning Saturday, visitors will not only be sniffing, they’ll also be tasting camellia teas and cocktails, showing off prize homegrown blooms, […]

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