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.

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).


Friday, May 17, 2013

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Just to let you know, I will be in the garden at 10 a.m. with our student volunteer Eddie. Barb L

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

This past Wednesday, Lisa Davis and I consulted with groundskeeper Javier Venegas. He feels that the snail problem is starting to abate; however we also have a ground squirrel problem in the beds. I have changed the setting on our garden monitors to a higher frequency to see if that will help to keep the varmints out of the beds. If that doesn't work, Javier says that fencing is probably the only effective deterrent, and I don't think that fencing will work with the raised beds as it would make access very difficult and I'm also not sure how "the city" would feel about it. So, wait and see I suppose.

Tomorrow, our high school helper Eddie will be in the garden. He has been collecting compost ingredients at home this week, which will go in the shed for now. He will be turning over the compost pile, planting some flower seeds on the hill, and doing bed maintenance. I don't know what time yet, so I will send a supplemental blog entry tomorrow morning.

Also tomorrow, I will be doing a compost, worm farm, and grapefruit rind demonstration at All Saints Church on Camden and Santa Monica Blvd. Volunteers from the church who helped us plant last month were very interested in learning how to compost, so I'm going to help them learn how.

See you in the garden! Barb L.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Community Service in the Garden

This past Saturday we had a very hard working high school student in the garden. He planted a couple of milkweed plants in the butterfly garden, helped to straighten out the hill area and did snail patrol in the raised beds. His name is Eddy, and he'll be back each Saturday the rest of the month.

If you know a student who needs community service hours, have him/her contact me via the gmail account; I am happy to have their help!

I will be in the garden Wednesday morning, around 10 a.m. We need to keep the myriads of snails out of the beds, they are wreaking havoc.
Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide
 Gently roll the plastic pot, loosening the root ball
 Tip the plant out, use a shovel to divide and flatten the root ball
 Fill the planting hole with water and allow it to drain
Put in your new plant, backfill with the original soil; it is not recommended to add new soil or amendments. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 11th in the Garden (Saturday)

This coming Saturday I will be mentoring a local high school student in the garden. He needs a certain number of hours of community service and has asked to work for us! I have worked up a list of tasks for him, to include compost maintenance, weeding, planting some replacement seeds and plants (we've had some snail predation), and caring for the butterfly pond. I'm also going to try to think up some "homework" for him. Please join us, from 10:30 till around noon.

The City gardening staff feels that snails are doing some crop damage, and have kindly sprinkled a border of organic snail bait around the beds. The hill plantings have been very badly hit up, and I will probably start planting some ceanothus and flower seeds on the hill, as vegetables may not be a doable project there. Flexibility is an important skill to learn when gardening. On the up side, the butterfly border is doing spectacularly, and all of the plants are starting to bloom. Today I'm going to go look for milkweed plants so that we will be ready for monarchs this summer. See you in the garden!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Next week in the garden

Remember, this weekend, May 4th and 5th, the City is having a special car show event up at Greystone, and we will not be able to access the garden.

I will be up there on Wednesday, May 8th, right around 10:30. Please join me to see how our young vegetables are faring after all the warm weather. Have a great weekend! Barb Linder

Monday, April 29, 2013

This week (April 29-May 5) in the garden

First, an important notice: We will not be able to access our garden on May 4th and 5th, Saturday and Sunday. The City will be staging a major event on the grounds, and only people who have purchased tickets will be allowed to enter.

So, I will be up there on Wednesday, probably a little before 10:00 a.m. Girl Scout Troop 10885 came up this past Saturday and did a great job shifting some compost, watering and straightening the shed contents. Thanks ladies!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Saturday, April 27th in the Garden

This coming Saturday, the Girl Scouts will be in the garden. Their assignment: water the new seeds in the butterfly garden, take the extra compost up behind the rear patio area, and straighten the contents of our shed.  Could someone please also give the compost barrel a "turn"?

A reminder to everyone: please do not access other areas of the park from our garden area. This is now the time of year when the mansion is very often rented out to weddings and we don't want to interfere with that function. If you bring children or teens to work in our demonstration gardens, please maintain control of their behavior at all times: don't allow them to wander unaccompanied. If we have negative reports concerning our presence at Greystone, we will be permanently uninvited. Thanks moms and dads.

News flash: if you feel that birds are eating your seeds before germination, sprinkle some undiluted KoolAid grape flavor powder on the soil over the seeds. Birds allegedly hate the flavor so much they won't eat the seeds!! Chrissy, tell me if this works for you.

Today Chrissy, Leyhun and I installed some creative tomato trellising.
This is my source for some of the strange methods I use in the garden: Supermarket Super Gardens, by Jerry Baker. Some of our parsley is starting to come back....

Monday, April 22, 2013

Worm Day in the Garden You Tube Video is Here!

Several months ago we were lucky to have vermiculturist Don Smith come to the garden to talk to us about how to compost using red wiggler worms. Volunteer Craig Davis videoed the lecture, and the fabulous Soozy Eastman has now posted it all on You Tube.
The link is below, go forth and worm farm! If you have questions about worm composting, Don's email is  <>

Don Smith and a few friends

Sunday, April 21, 2013

O.K., now for the fun part....

Thank you to all of you from our community, to Troop 33, to All Saints B.H. and Whole Foods. There must have been 50 hard workers up in the garden yesterday. We got the hill cleared, amended and planted with lots of winter squash and pumpkin seeds, from Whole Foods. The many wonderful volunteers from All Saints brought up and planted dozens and dozens of summer fruit vines and vegetable plants. Food and water was of course provided by Ellen and Angelo from Whole Foods. Boy did we need it.

Three people have offered to sponsor a bed each this summer. They will care for their chosen area and will have total control over their produce. Anyone out there who would like to commit to caring for one of the beds this summer, please contact me.

Here are some photos from our great day in the garden.

So Much Happened, I need 2 posts

Yesterday, April 20th, we had our Earth Day Spring Planting event in the garden, sponsored by Whole Foods and All Saints Beverly Hills. It was so great, I will do a separate blog about it in a minute.

This coming Wednesday, April 24th, I will be in the garden around 10:15 a.m. I have some fencing for the tomatoes, I need some help in erecting it without harming the young plants. I will also apply some water to the hill and to the compost. By the way, I opened our compost barrel today and it was so hot it steamed at me! This is great; it is how the microorganisms kill any pathogens. The compost will heat up to 140 degrees and then start to cool off.

I need a big container of cayenne pepper and a big jar of peppermint extract so that we can do ongoing pest repelling. Anyone? We need to get the plants big enough so we don't have to worry about them getting eaten.

See you in the garden! Barb L.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Yesterday, April 14th, I hung out with Ellen Prager and Angelo at the Whole Foods Display in our B.H. Farmer's Market. I brought some of our worms and worm compost tea and the City provided a lovely poster to inform market visitors about our garden. People seemed very interested in hearing how "worms eat your garbage" and turn it into a really great compost and fertilizer.

Please join us in the garden this coming Saturday, April 20th, 9-noon. Ellen will be in charge of preparing and planting a pumpkin patch on the hill just west of the grass. Uma and her team from All Saints are bringing vegetables, herbs and compost and will be planting the raised beds. Skip, Lisa and I will be in charge of pest patrol efforts, Debbie Frank will man the compost bin and Tom Pease and Ellen Lutwak will direct any seed sowing efforts.

See you in the garden! Barb Linder

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Saturday April 13th in the Garden, and Earth Day!

Hi All, This coming Saturday I will be in the garden at around 10:30, watering our seedlings. The beans and corn are starting to emerge, also radishes, carrots and lettuce. I believe I saw some JalapeƱo peppers and tomatoes making an appearance as well.

Sunday, April 14th is Earth Day, and I will be at the Beverly Hills Farmer's Market at the Whole Foods stall, from 9 a.m. Come see our garden poster, I'm going to bring some worm compost tea and some worm compost to show.

Mark Saturday, April 20th on your calendars: we will be cultivating the hill and planting a pumpkin patch! Whole Foods B.H. will sponsor this event, so you can expect some great snacks. A group from All Saints B.H. will also be up with lots of young plants for our beds. I am very grateful for their offer of help.

Looking forward to a great summer in the garden! Barb Linder

Friday, April 5, 2013

Saturday, April 6th, 2013 in the garden

This past Wednesday, we were in the garden moistening the surface of the beds to ensure even germination of the newly planted crops. I planted a barrier of garlic all around and put out the mint hyssop seedings I grew at home over the winter. Both plant species repel mammals. I met a new garden member, Uma Yu, who will be heading up a group of interested gardeners from All Saints.

Tomorrow I will be in the garden at 10:30, watering the beds and monitoring the germination progress. At this time of the spring, we watch and wait, and try to protect the seeds from predators. I would like to construct and install a last set of 2 raised beds this summer, and will try to round up a group at our April 20th planting event.

Make sure you stop by and visit me on Sunday, April 14th, Earth Day, I will be with Ellen Prager at the Whole Foods Booth. Jessica Emmerson is having a nice big poster made with photos from the garden, and I will have a bottle of our own worm tea to talk about. See you in the garden! Barb Linder

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday March 30th, 2013

We accomplished a lot of spring planting today: Tom Pease and Skip Zelenka sowed a bed of corn, and this season Tom will learn all the ins and outs of corn culture. We added compost and a balanced organic fertilizer, planted the seeds in mathematical blocks, watered them in and covered them with a crop cover to keep the birds from eating the seeds. More corn instruction as the season proceeds....
Skip worked on our compost: he cut up some of the dead leaves, put them into our barrel composter, watered them nicely and gave them a few turns. We will have ripe compost in about 3 months. By the way, I have harvested about a cup of worm tea from our farm. I'm saving it for use in the garden later in the season. Corn is a very heavy feeder, and needs a couple of hits of nitrogen during the growing and fruit forming periods.

Jean Rosenblatt and Ellen Lutwak were also on hand. We planted tomato, jalapeno, beet, melon, cucumber, celery, lettuce and bean seeds. All of these have until April 20th to germinate; if they don't then we will put in young plants. My theory is that vegetables planted as seed in the spot they're going to grown on in will do better: we shall see.

On Wednesday April 2d I'm going to continue on with my pest fighting battles. I am going to plant garlic around the bed borders and plant the mint hyssop I've been growing at home from seeds harvested in the garden last fall. See you in the garden!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Saturday March 30th, 2013

This coming Saturday I will be in the garden at around 10:30. I have some celery that I planted as seed that we will transplant into the beds, and I thought we could experiment with a few seeds in the new beds. We also need to check up on the herb and spice seeds that I planted on Wednesday with the wonderful help of Shampa and Ayanami Taylor. Ayanami also placed our donated decollate snails (from Orcon) in the beds. They will carry on my never ending battles against the brown snails. Please calendar April 20th, which will be a very big day in the garden. More on that to come...

The cub scouts of Troop 100 were in the garden on Sunday, March 24th. They did a fantastic job of clearing the beds of the winter crops, which they took home. I was so pleased to overhear their excitement over beets and carrots! They also were a big help with spreading out some compost, and chopping up the old stems for our compost heap. The parents were also wonderful, and they have promised to return. I will have some photos to post shortly!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sunday, March 24th in the Garden

Please join us this coming Sunday, March 24 2-4 P.M. as cub scout Troop 100 "takes down" the winter garden. We'll be preparing the beds for spring planting, dumping out ripe compost into the beds, and learning about miccorhyza.

I have been germinating spring/summer crops at home, including tomatoes, celery, peppers, eggplant and herbs. On Saturday, April 20th, in partnership with Beverly Hills Whole Foods, we will sow our hill with all kinds of squash and pumpkins! See you there. Barb L.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Most Amazing Sight

I had a great trip up to San Jose to accept the Parks and Recreation Society's Community Champion Award. My husband and I had a lovely meal with B.H. Director Steve Zoet, and we had a private tour of the fabulous Filoli Estate. I recommend a visit the next time you're up that way.

We went to the Monterey Aquarium, and I wanted to show you the most amazing animals: they are seaweed horses. Sea horses are the only known species where the male gets pregnant and gives birth to live offspring.

O.K. back to the mundane.  This Saturday, March 16th, I will be in the garden a little before 10:30. We've had a bit of a challenge with something munching on the lettuce and broccoli, and if I have a little help I think I'm going to try covering with a crop cover. Also, I will show you how to construct a bean teepee, and we'll plant some bean seeds
I've had reports that the gates have been closed a few times; I will open them when I arrive. 

Don't forget Sunday March 20th, 2 p.m., Troop 100 will be hard at work. Please come help! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Saturday in the Garden: March 9, 2013

I think a bunny has been eating some of the lettuce in our garden, so I have positioned the alarms to point at that bed. Last weekend we planted new radish, lettuce and carrot seeds as an interim season crop. It looks as if some of our California Natives in the butterfly garden are getting ready to bloom!

If you go up tomorrow, you are welcome to take some lettuce, peas, carrots and beets: I will be in San Jose at the Parks and Recreation Conference, so won't be around to take produce to the Monday lunch program. Please turn the compost barrel. I don't think we need to water anything as it is drizzling a bit.

We will turn over the rest of the beds on Sunday, March 24th with Cub Scout Troop 100, 2 P.M. See you in the garden. Barb L.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Saturday, March 2d, 2013

Our organic matter has not yet made its appearance, so no need to be up there today (Wednesday). However, on Saturday, 10:30 a.m., we will be in the garden harvesting, and I am going to "intercrop" some radish, carrot and lettuce seeds. See you then.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

This week in the Garden: February 24th, 2903

This coming Wednesday and Saturday, Feb. 27th and March 2d, I need some help transporting some donated organic material (o.k. horse manure) from the parking lot over to the planting areas. On Wednesday, I need to be up there earlier than usual, by 9:00 a.m. ( I have a doctor's appointment at 10:15) and then I'll be there again on Saturday around 10:30.
Please come help me. If you have a wheelbarrow, please bring it and a long handled shovel, and gloves. Thanks!

Girl Scout Troop 10885, in the garden picking lettuce this past Saturday.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Upcoming Events in and around the Garden

On Saturday, February 23d, Troop 10885 will be in the garden around 10 a.m., harvesting lettuce and peas. Please join them! On Sunday, March 24th, Troop 100 will be in the garden, 2 p.m., digging out the old crops and composting them.

I am very excited: Whole Foods Beverly Hills will be sponsoring our seed planting event on Saturday, April 20th, 9:00 am. till noon! Please mark in on your calendar: we will be meeting some new volunteers who will come to us thanks to planned publicity for the event by Whole Foods, and in addition to planting the raised beds, we will be sowing all different kinds of squash and pumpkin seeds on the hill behind the grass area.

This is in honor of Earth Day. I will be with Ellen Prager at the Beverly Hills Farmer's Market on Sunday, April 14th, promoting our beautiful demonstration garden. Please stop by to say hello! I am thinking about bringing our worm inn to show people what it is and how vermicomposting works.

I am looking forward to a fun and productive summer season in the garden. Love to all, Barbara Linder (aka garden girl lives here).

This week in the Garden (February 16th, 2013)

On Saturday, February 16th, we incorporated some organic matter (happens to be composted horse manure from a friend's horse) into a couple of the raised beds. Skip Z. gave me a book called "Worms Eat my Garbage" which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to try worm composting at home. We will let the worms work on the manure for a couple of months before we plant in April for our summer crops.

 Much to our delight, as we turned over the soil, we discovered that we have lots of red wigglers in the beds. This means that we have a "food web" happening: bacteria eat the organic matter that we put back in the beds, worms feed on the bacteria, and when they excrete, they produce a very rich, biodiverse nutrient base for our produce.
Red wigglers in the beds
 Jean Rosenblatt is digging in.
 We're starting to get a lot of sugar snap peas.
Skip took home a custom salad!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Saturday in the Garden: February 16th, 2013

This coming Saturday, 10:30 a.m., we will be in the garden preparing for spring. We have been composting some organic matter which we will now incorporate into a couple of cleared areas in the raised beds. Please join us. It's very pretty up at Greystone right now. Monday is President's Day and the Monday lunch program will be closed, so anyone who would to take home some really fresh produce is welcome to join us.

Last weekend we harvested beets, lettuce, kale, radishes and a few peas, all of which received high praise from the Monday lunch group at All Saints.  The radishes and kale are now finished and that part of the soil will be able to rest until early April.  The worms in our worm inn are doing quite well and have been munching on shredded beet leaves and apples. I now consider them to be my pets.

Heads up for spring: I am learning that it is advantageous to grow plants from seeds right in the soil they will grow on in, so this spring we will not use transplants. I will cover the beds with a lightweight crop cover to warm and protect the seeds until germination. Good experiment. See you up there! Barb Linder (a.k.a. Garden Girl Lives Here)