How To Use This Blog

We have set up this blog as a way to share with the community what we are up to and so members can see what needs to be done in the garden week to week.

How to use this blog:
We will post the to-do's and you simply write in the comments what you will be taking care of so we know it's getting done.
  • After you have entered your comment, simply hit the arrow next to profile, select anonymous and make sure you write your name in the comments section so we know who you are!
  • To make sure you don't miss an update, please enter your email address in the "Get Alerts for New Posts" form on the right column of this blog.

Friday, April 4, 2014

We Have August Company!

Ha! I just heard on the radio that Michelle Obama has installed a pollinator's garden at the White House. We have had our pollination garden for two years now, it was installed by Luke Zebrowski and Troop 33. Recently our pollination area received some loving attention from several volunteers, and we are planning a trip next week to the California Native Nursery in the L.A. Veteran's Center Complex. How's that for being on the cutting edge.

Here is a link to a very interesting overview of bees. There are over 20,000 species of bees in the world; they date from Cretaceous times, and only half of them (females) are even capable of stinging. Check out the link:

Please remember to Shop at the B.H. Whole Foods on Saturday, April 5th. 5% of their net profits for the day will benefit our little garden! Thank you Whole Foods. Also, don't forget to attend the ribbon cutting event on Sunday, April 13th, 2:00 p.m. The Mayor will be cutting the ribbon, lots of treats from Whole Foods, and guess what: my niece Charlotte will be selling my own kumquat marmalade and candy, 100% of the proceeds to be donated to the garden.

See you soon! Garden Girl Lives Here....
Our Pollination Garden

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Are They Friends of Yours?

You know that as a gardener you are doing something right if you are greeted by a few of your friends while in the garden:
Above: baby praying mantis
Below: monarch butterfly caterpillar

Praying mantids are extremely carnivorous: they will eat almost anything insect-wise, good or bad. I recommend them highly if you don't spray with pesticides in your garden  and you have a bug problem. You can purchase egg cases to hatch in your garden at this time of  the year.  This is the season for monarch butterflies to move through our area. If you would like to assist these beautiful creatures during their 5 generation migration from Canada to Mexico, plant milkweeds in your garden: this is the only plant that the caterpillars feed on. If you would like some seeds, please come see me in the garden at Greystone next Wednesday, 10 a.m. Below: we have covered our baby plants with a "low hoop cover" system.  
We are all planting out our little baby veggies at this time of the year. If you have noticed (as I have in my home garden) that your young "starts" disappear over night due to snail/slug predation, try covering them with a homemade "cloche" made out of a recycled take out container:  
See you in the Garden! I am planning on being there next Wednesday, 10 a.m. Barb 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Troop 110 had a big day in the garden

On Saturday March 22d, Stanley Wu, with the assistance of his Boy Scout Troop 110 Beverly Hills, installed fruit trees and "intelligent" pest repelling shrubs around our brand new beautiful fence. The troop also helped me to complete the raised beds by hooking up some of the irrigation and topping off the beds with soil.

I continued working on my latest theory for keeping grasshoppers and birds away from the young vegetables: it's called a "low hoop house" and involves hanging pvc hoops over pieces of rebar, and then draping the pvc with lightweight crop cover fabric. This will remain in place (I hope there are no awful wind storms) until the vegetables have bloomed, then you need to roll back the fabric so that the flowers can be pollinated.

While the scouts worked on the fruit trees and shrubs, my group of faithful volunteers planted 6 beds with tomatoes, basil, marigolds, summer squash, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, radishes and beets. Thank you Steve, Jean, Skip, Christie, Lisa and Judy. The High School ecology club, including my niece Charlotte, planted 2 beds with a traditional American Indian combination: corn, beans and pumpkins. The corn stalks support the bean vines, the roots of the beans supply an extra source of nitrogen to the corn via their mycorrhizal exchange system, and the spiny leaves of a pumpkin vine discourage predators from raiding the corn!

Jessica from Armstrong Garden Centers was on hand to show the scouts how to properly plant the trees, which were a gift to us from Armstrong!  I will be in the garden on Wednesday morning around 10:00. Come up, you can help water the new plants.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

this week in the garden and at the B.H. Farmer's Market

Today Stanley Wu and Troop 110 were at our own Beverly Hills Farmer's Market, raising money to support our garden. They looked very professional and Stanley had made a really beautiful poster showing all the  plants they will be planting around our new fence on Saturday, March 22, 9:00 a.m. until compete. I congratulate them for their efforts, I know they raised a good sum!

Please join the troop and my merry band on Saturday. While Stanley is planting the trees, I will be installing a "low hoop cover" to protect our raised beds from attack by flying insects and birds. The covers will be removed when the plants are big enough to defend themselves so that pollination can occur. We will also be planting some seeds and young vegetables. Please come up and help!

Following is a picture taken by Stanley of our brand new fence! Thank you Armstrong.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Come to the B.H. Farmer's Market This Sunday, March 16th!

Troop 110 will have a table at the B.H. Farmer's Market (Civic Center Drive, behind the Courthouse and will be raising funds for our demonstration garden projects. Please come and support us! I understand that the Library parking lot will be closed, but you can park close-by: look for signs as you approach the area. See you there. Barb L.
Troop 110 building our new raised beds a few weeks ago.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bed Filling Day by Akiva Leyton

Today, Sunday March 9th, Akiva Leyton and his fellows from Troop 613, Shaarey Zedek in Valley Village came to our garden and worked very hard most of the day filling all 6 of the new beds with a blend of top soil and compost. It was a pleasure to meet these young men and their leaders, Mr. Leyton and Allison Friedman. The job was pretty strenuous in the 85 degree weather we had today, and they really did great. The troop expressed interest in returning to our garden in the future to help with more projects. Yay!

Next up, Stanley Wu from Troop 110 will be in the garden on Saturday, March 22d, planting espaliered fruit trees and herbs along our new fence. Please come up on the 22d and help me to start planting the new raised beds. With Love, Garden Girl

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Rainy Day in the Garden

Sunday, March 2d, 2014

I went up to the garden this morning with Stanley Wu and his father to check out the progress on the new raised beds and to investigate some suggested Eagle Scout Projects. The beds that Oliver Patterson installed last weekend look great as you can see below. The contractors have been putting them into the ground and will continue during this week. Next Sunday, March 9th, Akiva Leyton will fill the beds. Fortunately his troop is based in The Valley, so the L.A. Marathon won't impact them.

Following Akiva's project, Armstrong's contractors, the Tokiwa Company, will continue their work on the drip irrigation lines and will build our beautiful fence. Please plan to join Stanley Wu on Saturday, March 22d as he plants Armstrong's espaliered fruit trees inside the fence and some animal resistant, pollinator attracting herbs on the outside perimeter.

I hope you have been enjoying the rain along with all the rest of the desperate gardeners, including me, a.k.a. Garden Girl Lives Here.

 Next weekend, Patrick Raske will be in the garden pruning the pollinator habitat, see below. He has been researching the proper pruning methods for our plants.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Garden is Off and Running

We had a great day on Sunday the 23d of February: Eagle Candidate Oliver Patterson, with the help of his cohorts and some friends, built 6 beautiful redwood beds for our demonstration garden. Everyone arrived with tools and ready to work, participants included two boy scout troops(one B.H. troop and one from a temple school in the Valley), one girl scout troop, the high school ecology club, members of one of our local churches, classmates from UCLA's horticulture program and my usual band of faithful gardeners.

When I looked around and saw all of the diverse community groups represented, I knew I was accomplishing my goal of drawing together people from our community to work together on a fun and educational project. I am looking forward to the future work of the garden and to seeing what Armstrong Nursery has in store for us in 2014! Thank you to Armstrong for your incredible generosity, to the City of Beverly Hills for allowing us to use the park, and to Whole Foods for lunch and moral support. Love, Garden Girl

P.S. I am forwarding this post to some of the newcomers who I met on Sunday. Please access the blog site, and sign up to receive future posts on the right hand side. Feel free to contact me either through the blog or on my personal email:

Thursday, February 6, 2014


We are so on!! After laying fallow for the winter season, the garden is about to be reinvented with the help of Armstrong Nursery. Please join Oliver Patterson and his scout troop on Sunday, February 23d, as they kick off the season by constructing 6 new beds for the demonstration garden.

Following, Armstrong will grade the area, install an animal (and people) resistant fence, provide seating and tables and just generally do a number for us. Another scout will arrive to fill the beds and form the decomposed granite pathways. I am so excited as to be practically speechless. Please join us for the kickoff, catered of course by Whole Foods Beverly Hills.

With love, Garden Girl Lives Here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


It has been a while, the garden has been dormant for the winter season, but today I met with some of the City staff and representatives from Armstrong Garden Center and I have some really good news. Armstrong is planning to make a real investment, and erect a fence with a gate to keep intruders at bay, also to provide materials for us to build new raised beds (I am looking for an Eagle Scout candidate). They will  grade the area and provide decomposed granite for pathways, and will teach workshops and have a plant sale in the spring!  They even have plans to espalier some fruit trees on the inside of the fenced area. Truly an amazing offer of help on their part.

I will have more details soon and I will let you all know what we can do and when. Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year! Barb

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Saturday in the Garden July 27th, 2013

Hi all. I was in the garden on Wednesday. There were lots of green tomatoes, but not many ripe ones. Unfortunately, there were the usual empty chip and lunch bags next to the beds, and my conclusion is that people are taking all the ripe tomatoes. Animals leave a trail of half-eaten fruit, not empty chip bags. At this time of year, we should have many ripe tomatoes. I don't know what to do about this situation. I have spoken to "the city" about it, but not sure what can be done.

If you go up this Saturday, please give the compost barrel a couple of turns, pick ripe tomatoes and either bring them to me, or take them to All Saints for the Monday meal. Whole Foods is planning a service day in our garden on Wednesday, September 11th, I believe around 2 p.m. (details to follow). At this time we will do a fall clean-up, distribute compost, and try to get the bermuda grass out of the beds.

I met with a few of the City admin and staff last month, and told them that before we can proceed with the garden, we need them to lift the grass next to and in between the beds, and also to adjust the sprinklers so we don't get overshot.  Skip Z. is ordering a pop up crop cover that he is convinced will protect our crops. Once the city prepares the area, we will experiment with the crop cover over one of the beds, and keep our fingers crossed!

I will be in the garden on Wednesday, August 31st, around 10:30. Garden on. Barb L.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

My stitches are healing nicely, and I will be in the garden on Wednesday around 10:30. We should be able to start picking the tomatoes, assuming the squirrels allow us to have any! I hope to see you up there. Barb Linder

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This Week in the Garden

Hi All, I was up in the garden on Wednesday, and it looks like we should have a fair amount of tomatoes ripening soon. I have pruning workshops at UCLA for the next 6 Saturdays, so will be in the garden on Wednesdays for a while.

I am having a very minor surgery on Tuesday, so I won't get up there in the coming week. If anyone is there, please report on tomato readiness.  As to the next season, Whole Foods is planning to have a community service day in the garden in September, during which we will get the beds cleared out, and do some mulching/composting work.

I am waiting in the meantime to see whether the City gardening staff can remove the sod from around our beds so that we can start working on attaching some fencing alongside. I don't think we can plant anything new until we start doing some effective pest management, judging from what happened this summer.

More soon, love, Barb L.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Back From My Garden Tour

I'm back from a 3 week trip to Ireland, Devon and Cornwall. The public gardens in Devon and Cornwall are devastating:  If you are at all interested in gardening, I highly recommend these 2 areas. Although......the best garden I've ever seen is Kew, outside London. We visited Kew on our last day, and I almost applied for a job (just kidding). All of the English botanical gardens are highlighting edible gardening this year, and Kew has installed many new plots on areas that were previously lawns.

My trip so inspired me that immediately upon landing back in L.A. I was digging in my yard, jet lag or no. At any event, check out the photos on my FaceBook page (as of yet there are no titles, but I'm going to go back in and explain them this week).

Thank you to Lisa D., Christy, and Leyhun for checking up on the garden at Greystone during my absence. I will be up there this Wednesday around 10-10:30. I understand that we are still having predator problems, and I will see what is what. Barb Linder

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This week in the Garden (June 12 and June 15th)

This past Saturday, we were in the garden throwing summer weight crop covers over the beds. It looks like some of our plants are making a comeback following our snail, ground squirrel and locust plague, so we are making every attempt to provide protection:

 Parsley making a comeback
 We had to smash a locust, yech!
 Christie and Barb covering the beds
 The crop cover ghost
 Me, my brother Andy and niece Charlotte
 Echineccia, one of our beneficials
covered crops
Many thanks to my brother Andy for his cash infusion to get us through the rest of the summer. 

I will be in the garden on Wednesday at 9:30, and someone will be up there on Saturdays through August, varying by week. This summer I am taking pruning and container gardening at UCLA and unfortunately the classes meet on Saturday morning, so I will be in the garden on Wednesdays for a bit. Wait until you see the worm bench I am building at home, got the plans from my worm bible and it's amazing. I will post photos soon. All love, Garden Girl Lives Here!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Saturday June 8th, 2013

Hi Everyone, I will be in the garden this Saturday by 10:30 a.m. Bring up your compostables!! We'll work on it. I have a favor to ask:  I will be unable to attend the garden from June 15-July 5th. I need people to pop up to the garden once a week during my absence just to check up on things, water with the hose if needed, do some weeding. We may start having tomatoes to harvest.

Thank you, and see you Saturday. Barb L.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Saturday in the Garden: June 1st, 2013

This coming Saturday I will be in the garden at 10:30. Last week our student volunteer Eddie distributed our barrel of ripe compost to the tomato plants, so I will be checking up on their progress. Leyhun reported some progress on our hill plantings, so there may be some watering to do: it's going to be quite warm this weekend.

Here are a couple of photos from last Saturday: Ellen Lutwak did two good things at once, she rode her bike up to help us in the garden! Go Ellen. I invite any of you Saturday bicyclists to join us. Barb Linder

Friday, May 24, 2013

Tomorrow, May 25

Hi Everyone, Just a reminder that I will be in the garden tomorrow, around 10:00 a.m.
Barb L.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The garden went inside

On Saturday morning May 18th, I started out in the garden with student volunteer Eddie Mack. He did a great job tending to our compost, turning and watering it. Then he planted some drought resistant flower seeds on the hillside. We packed up some compost and the worm farm and went down the hill to All Saints Beverly Hills, where we talked to a group about the hows and whys of composting at home, and also introduced them to the worms. It was very funny, because at the beginning the children were all "EWWW, they look like snakes" and by the end of the day they were naming them and taking them home in paper cups to start their own worm farms! On Wednesday evening, May 29th, I will be speaking at All Saints with a panel discussing the rise of communal gardening in our city and what it has meant to me as an individual.

This coming Saturday, May 25th, we will be in the garden around 10:00. Eddie will be helping us again. Girl Scout Troop 10885 may be doing an experiment in the garden soon to see if we can keep the ground squirrels at bay. Stay tuned. See you in the garden. Barb Linder (aka garden girl lives here).