by Deb Shaw, from the Illustrators Partnership

For more than a decade, there have been periodic attempts to “bring balance” to copyright policy and law. These efforts have been promoted by large corporations and tech companies, and are a euphemism for the goal of completely upending the premise of copyright law.

As the law now stands, each of us, as artists, own the copyright to our work, even if we do not register it with the copyright office. We created it; it is ours.

Rather than protecting us, the creator and artist, the copyright “reformers” want to make public access to creators’ work the law’s main function. They would require creators to register each and every work in which we wish to retain any commercial or personal interest.

Dr. Carla Hayden, the new Librarian of Congress, suddenly fired Maria Pallante, U.S. Register of Copyrights, at the end of last October, and is now soliciting advice on the “knowledge, skills and abilities” people think the new Register should have. It has been widely reported by credible sources that Dr. Hayden favors looser copyright laws.

Artists, musicians, writers and creators have fought to maintain strong copyright laws each time this has surfaced in the past, and have been successful so far. Now it’s time to make our voices heard again.

Dr. Hayden and the Library of Congress has posted a short survey (only 3 questions). The deadline for responses to the survey is tomorrow, January 31, 2017. It is important, as artists, to respond to this survey with a strong call to retain the full protections of copyright as provided for in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. If you do not have time to write, the Illustrators’ Partnership has provided suggestions for you to copy and paste.

Here are the links:

 

by Deb Shaw

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden has announced the schedule for Cristina Baltayian’s Botanical Art and Illustration classes.

Each session meets four (4) Tuesdays per month, from 10 am – 2 pm (includes lunch break) in the Oak Room:

January          10, 17, 24, 31
February        7, 14, 21, 28
March             7, 14, 21, 28
April               4, 11, 18, 25
May                 2,   9, 16, 23
June                6, 13, 20, 27

Cost: $275 Arboretum members per month; $295 non-members per month (includes Arboretum Admission)

To Register please call the Education Department at 626.821.4623 or pay at the class.

These classes explore color pencil, graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor on various papers, vellum and other surfaces. The emphasis is on plant observation, drawing, composition, color theory and matching, and medium techniques. In conjunction with the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, students will be studying and portraying many of the Arboretum plant introductions from the last 50 years. The goal is to build a collection of paintings that will celebrate and document the invaluable contribution of the Los Angeles Arboretum to the state of California.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is located at 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007, 626.821.3222.

by Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, posted by Deb Shaw

Website for "Ko; An Ethnobotanical Guide to Hawaiian Sugarcane Varieties," by Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, PhD., © 2016, University of Hawai'i, Manoa, all rights reserved.

Website for “Ko; An Ethnobotanical Guide to Hawaiian Sugarcane Varieties,” by Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, PhD., © 2016, University of Hawai’i, Manoa, all rights reserved.

Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, will have a pen and ink drawing of Hawaiian Sugar Cane in the forthcoming book Ko; An Ethnobotanical Guide to Hawaiian Sugarcane Varieties. The book will be published by University of Hawaii Press, a nonprofit scholarly publisher.

The author is Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, PhD, Assistant Professor at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa.

About the author of “Ko; An Ethnobotanical Guide to Hawaiian Sugarcane Varieties”
Dr. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln is of native Hawaiian, German, and Japanese decent, born in Kealakekua on Hawai‘i Island. He received his BS in Environmental Engineering from Yale University, and his PhD in Environment and Resources from Stanford University, where his work focused on traditional agricultural development pathways and management strategies. His postdoctoral work examined traditional values and practices of ecosystems for food in Aotearoa. Noa has worked in marine and terrestrial ecosystem restoration and conservation around the Pacific, and has coupled these efforts with cultural and environmental education and community engagement. He has worked on traditional Hawaiian ethnobotany and agriculture and has implemented projects facilitated through a variety of partnerships with community organizations. He is recognized as an emerging expert in Hawaiian crops and cropping systems. His primary interests are in combining traditional and modern knowledge of land management to evaluate social utility, rather than economic, contributions. He is currently a research fellow with Ngai Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury and an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a focus on Indigenous Crops and Cropping Systems.

by Joan Keesey and Deb Shaw

Eschscholzia californica, California Poppies, watercolor, © Joan Keesey, 2016, all rights reserved.

Eschscholzia californica, California Poppies, watercolor, © Joan Keesey, 2016, all rights reserved.

Joan Keesey will be exhibiting her botanical watercolors at the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants from Saturday, January 21, through Saturday, April 22, 2017.

The exhibition will focus on California native plants blooming in and around the Theodore Payne Foundation and in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Everyone is invited to the opening reception for the exhibition, on Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 1 – 3 pm.

The Theodore Payne Foundation is located at 10459 Tuxford Street, Sun Valley, California 91352, 818.768.1802. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Theodore Payne is closed Sunday and Monday each week. On-leash dogs are welcome. There is no admission fee.

tpf_single%c2%ad_logoTheodore Payne will be hosting their annual native Winter Plant Sale Thursday – Saturday, January 26 – 28, from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm all three days. Everyone will receive discounts for all three days, plus receive expert advice from Theodore Payne staff and volunteers. Members receive 15 percent off plants, seed and Theodore Payne wear all day. Non-members receive 10 percent off plants, seed and Theodore Payne wear after 11:00 am. Not yet a member? Join at the door! Shop early for best selection.

Bring your own boxes and wagons, see the art exhibition and purchase native California plants.

by Estelle DeRidder and Deb Shaw

Invitation for Estelle DeRidder's Madrona Marsh Nature Center Exhibition, © 2016, Estelle DeRidder.

Invitation for Estelle DeRidder’s Madrona Marsh Nature Center Exhibition, © 2016, Estelle DeRidder.

In 2012, BAGSC member Estelle DeRidder was awarded an education grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) to use in creating reusable plant identification cards featuring California native plant illustrations from the Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrence, California.

Information about Estelle’s project was presented at the ASBA Annual Meeting and Conference in Denver, Colorado during the ASBA Grant Presentations, October 17, 2014.

Estelle is now exhibiting the complete project at the Madrona Marsh Nature Center. Titled The Flashcard Project: Flora of the Madrona Marsh III, the exhibition runs from December 6, 2016 through January 20, 2017. There will be an opening reception Sunday, December 18, 2016
1:00 – 4:00 pm.

The public is invited and welcome.

The Nature Center at the Madrona Marsh Preserve is located at: 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, CA 90505. Phone: (310) 32-MARSH. The Madrona March is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm.

If you are interested in applying for an ASBA grant, please apply by August 1, 2017 (open to ASBA members only). Information and the application can be found on the ASBA’s Grant page on their website.

by Deb Shaw

Plant: Exploring the Botanical World.Plant: Exploring the Botanical World is a beautifully illustrated coffee table book featuring 300 watercolors, drawings, paintings, prints, photographs and micrograph scans of botanical subjects. The book was on display during the portfolio-sharing session at the 2016 American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) conference in Pittsburgh, and had lines of admirers thumbing through the sample copies.

Many of our ASBA colleagues are featured in Plant: the artwork was selected by a panel of international experts including Dr. James Compton, botanist and plant collector; Charlotte Tancin of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation; and Patricia Jonas, of  ASBA.

Hailed as “a dazzling collection…that brings the evolution of botanical art right into the 21st century” (Gardens Illustrated), Plant is a wonderful resource for artists, horticulturists, and anyone who appreciates the breathtaking variety of the natural world.

Phaidon, is eager to share Plant with botanical artists and the natural science illustrators. They are extending a limited time special offer: 30% off the purchase price plus free shipping in the United States for arrival in six to seven days. Plant normally retails for $59.95; the special price is $39.95 USD (Amazon is offering the book at a 16% discount, for $50.62).

Use this link to purchase the book and receive the special offer on Phaidon’s website: http://www.phaidon.com/plantoffer/

SPECIFICATIONS:
Format: Hardback
Size: 290 x 250 mm (11-3/8 x 9-7/8 in)
Pages: 352 pp
Illustrations: 300 Illustrations
ISBN: 9780714871486

Please contact Ellie Levine, Phaidon Executive Marketing Manager, North America if you know of an institution or organization who would like to receive a complimentary copy of Plant for their library, or if you are interested in purchasing multiple copies of the book.

Thank you to Britt Griswold, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators for letting us know about this wonderful offer!

About Phaidon (from their website):
Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world’s most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.

by Ted Tegart, Education Manager, LA Arboretum, and Deb Shaw

93341e17-7042-4d54-98fc-3154362a8b38Jerry Turney is back for his final Tree ID class of the Fall at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden with a new set of 20 trees.

Tree Identification
Dr. Jerrold Turney, Instructor

Saturday: December 3, 2016
10 am – 12 noon
$25 Members / $35 Non-Members (includes Arboretum admission)
To Register please call the Education Department at 626.821.4623 or pay at the class

Do you know the trees of Southern California? We have one of the most diverse urban forests in the USA. This final two hour lecture will cover 15-20 tree species followed by a walk in the Arboretum to see the trees that were covered during the lecture.

Dr. Jerrold Turney, plant pathologist and certified arborist, will teach you to identify trees, their growth habit, their native country, how they should be cared for, any common diseases or insect pests that attack them, and the best place in your garden to plant them.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is located at: 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007.

About the instructor
Dr. Turney has served as the curator of the camellia gardens at the Huntington Library and Botanic Gardens, a research horticulturist at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, and is currently the plant pathologist for the Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures for the County of Los Angeles.

by Teri Kuwahara, posted by Deb Shaw

 

‘Violetta’ artichokes by Pria Graves. © 2016.

‘Violetta’ artichokes by Pria Graves. © 2016.

A friend of mine is a Master Gardener and sent me this article which may be of interest. Pria Graves, from the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists was interviewed by Teresa O’Conner of the UC Food Observer for an online article titled The Art of Plants.

The article contains a lot of information, with links to great resources and additional information.

by Diane Daly and Deb Shaw

BAGSC member Steve Hampson loves Sweet Peas and Daffodils. Diane Daly found a YouTube video of Steve from Roger’s Gardens. Enjoy!

by Sally Jacobs, posted by Deb Shaw

Sally Jacobs' 2017 Gift Calendar, © 2016 Sally Jacobs, All rights reserved.

Sally Jacobs’ 2017 Gift Calendar, © 2016 Sally Jacobs, All rights reserved.

BAGSC member Sally Jacobs has issued a 2017 calendar featuring her original watercolors and graphite, keyed to the month and season.

A perfect 12-month, compact calendar for desk or counter, each month is printed on a separate 4″ x 5″ sheet, which fits into a compact, clear acrylic 4.5″ x 7.5″ plastic shell. The shell provides a stand for the calendar, or folds flat. As a holiday special, buy three (3) or more and receive an extra calendar free! [Note: the free additional calendar won’t show on the Etsy site, but don’t worry, it will be in your shipment.]

Calendars are shipped in 1 – 3 days in well-protected, eco-friendly, stay-flat mailers.

Order your calendars. Questions? Contact Sally Jacobs.

by Melanie Campbell-Carter, posted by Deb Shaw

John Pastoriza-Piñol demonstrating ellipses.

John Pastoriza-Piñol demonstrating ellipses. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

The renowned Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens provided fourteen BAGSC members with a three-day Master Class with John Pastoriza-Pinol on November 8 – 10, 2016. The Huntington offered us exquisite Paphiopedilum specimens from the Conservatory and greenhouses for our subjects. Kudos to Melanie Thorpe of The Huntington, and BAGSC Education Chair Jude Wiesenfeld, for flawless organization on this long-anticipated workshop.

Quoting participant Arillyn Moran-Lawrence, “We learned so many new techniques:

  1. Using ellipses to find the proper placement of a plant on the paper.
  2. Using abundant masking fluid to keep the areas between washes pristine.
  3. Using many layers of pale colors to build to unique darker colors.
  4. Using brushes like blenders, spotters and a Neef comb to complete the painting.”

Reactions to the experience by participating artists included,

Using abundant masking fluid. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

Using abundant masking fluid. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

“Combing is my new favorite thing!” Cynthia Jackson

“Watching John develop the orchid painting was truly an inspiration.” Gilly Shaeffer

“(John) will rewet six or seven times before he starts dry brush work and a total of maybe 30 layers to the final work. I am so happy to have learned about his methods.” Leslie Walker

“I never named my orchid but after all those pastel washes I named my painting…my pretty pony!” Beth Stone

John Pastoriza-Piñol demonstrating to class participants. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

John Pastoriza-Piñol demonstrating to class participants. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

The students coordinated a “paint share” for John’s materials list, courtesy of BAGSC member/artist Beth Stone. As an unexpected bonus, Robert Hori of The Huntington graciously shared several prints from the Estate of Rory McEwen with the class. BAGSC member/artist Mitsuko Schultz shared several books, including the new publication, Flora Japonica, from the current exhibition at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at the Kew Gardens, which she attended two months ago.

John is currently enjoying an extended stay in the US on a grant from the Australian Arts Council, and will be in New York City through the end of the year in an association with the Horticultural Society of New York. Seeing the American national election process through his eyes was an interesting experience! We are gratified that he so enjoyed his time at The Huntington that he expressed a heartfelt wish to return soon.

A few of the participants in class with John. L to R: Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

A few of the participants in John’s class. (L to R:) Teri Kuwahara, Gilly Shaeffer, Jude Wiesenfeld, John Pastoriza-Piñol, Gayle Uyehara, Sydney Tanner, Cynthia Jackson, Leslie Walker, and Kat Powell. Photo by Melanie Campbell-Carter, © 2016.

by Jude Wiesenfeld and Deb Shaw

Kathie Miranda, Strelitzia spp., Bird of Paradise, colored pencil on film. © 2016.

Kathie Miranda, Strelitzia spp., Bird of Paradise, colored pencil on film. © 2016.

Kathie Miranda had been slated to give a workshop at the Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium at The Huntington, but unfortunately couldn’t make it due to a sudden family emergency. BAGSC is pleased to announce that Kathie will be coming to Southern California to teach Colored Pencil on Film at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in January, 2017:

Tuesday, January 24 – Thursday, January 26, 2017
9:30 am – 3:30 pm each day
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Bamboo Room and Oak Room
Maximum Registration: 16 students

Cost, BAGSC Members: $300
Non-Members: $330

BAGSC Special Discount: receive 10% off

BAGSC is offering a special discount for Kathie’s workshop:

  • New BAGSC members receive a 10% discount for a total cost of $270
  • Current BAGSC members registering for the workshop BEFORE December 12, 2016 receive a 10% discount for a total cost of $270

Mylar is a wonderful media for colored pencil, and allows the artist to work on both sides of the film. Visit the new BAGSC website to view the full workshop description, costs, directions, and information, and to download a PDF materials list: http://bagsc.org/index.php/classes/kathie-miranda

Kathie’s Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium workshop filled immediately, so don’t delay on this opportunity to learn Kathie’s techniques and to receive a substantial discount!

About the Instructor

Kathie Miranda is an award-winning artist, juror and educator of botanical art. She teaches at The Art Students League, NYC and the New York Botanical Garden. She is an active member of the Connecticut Watercolor Society and the Colored Pencil Society of America.

by Cordelia Donnelly, posted by Deb Shaw

On June 4, 2016, BAGSC members had the wonderful opportunity to tour Cordelia’s garden, home and view her artwork. It was an enlightening meeting, and one that has generated a lot of discussion about our connections to place and garden, water conservation, design and aesthetics. Pacific Horticulture magazine published an article by Cordelia in their fall, 2016 issue, entitled, “My Horticultural Odyssey: An interdisciplinary approach to designing my garden“. This link goes to the full article, with images of the garden (a few of which are reproduced below).

Cordelia wrote the following for BAGSC News publication. Thank you for your work and inspiration! —Deb Shaw

Standing stones in the completed front garden are reclaimed Kansas fence posts, pieces of ancient ocean limestone bed, used to mark farm boundaries in a prairie ecosystem lacking trees.Photo © 2016, Cordelia Donnelly.

Standing stones in the completed front garden are reclaimed Kansas fence posts, pieces of ancient ocean limestone bed, used to mark farm boundaries in a prairie ecosystem lacking trees. Photo © 2016, Cordelia Donnelly.

Water scarcity is shifting the paradigm of how to live and garden in Southern California. I completed my first garden renovation in San Marino in 2011 in order to close the building permit for a 1926 Spanish house renovation on a plot of land measuring 57 by 119 feet. A childhood of extensive blue water sailing across the South Pacific with my family prepared me well for these land-based adventures in engineering, science, law, code compliance, community design review, culture, horticulture, garden aesthetics, craftsmanship, and storytelling. Water was finite onboard our boat, and this set the stage for my interest in water conservation, reclamation and recycling. My garden teaches continuously and its story is still unfolding to my wonderment, to 1,200 visitors and counting.

I was educated in liberal arts in the true sense: fine art, applied design, education, ecology, land and water management, and writing. Work in these fields helped me recognize the potential significance of this interdisciplinary garden voyage. It is said that writing is thinking. Now I have learned very well that gardening is thinking. My garden design involved ideas about craftsmanship, where form follows function. I prioritized this garden design around water use, including capturing and redirecting water, and gradually practicing deep and infrequent watering as plants’ root systems get established. A site condition, such as the pronounced slope in the front yard, lends itself very well to growing Proteas and Banksias.

The chemistry of water enables life. Life in its diversity has adapted on Earth to different states and forms of water. Yet, we live in a remarkable age of science when it is theorized with high probability that the most common form of precipitation in our universe does not exist as water, but as diamonds, raining down on planets such as Saturn and Jupiter. While concepts of valence, polarity, surface tension, and cohesion describe atomic and molecular attributes of water, they also describe the human condition. We are One—with Water!

Plants, cyanobacteria, and algae, too, have special relationships with not only water, but also with light and darkness, in oxygenic processes to manufacture chemical energy. Science has discerned how these organisms have customized their methods of photosynthesis, for example, to explain why Agaves using CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) reactions are so well adapted to desert climates. To give an idea of the atmospheric scale significance of oxygenic processes, it is estimated that if such oxygen-giving processes by these life forms were to halt, the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere might run out in a few thousand years. Discoveries are unfolding about significant anoxygenic processes found in various bacteria, which rely on chemical conversions in water, without sunlight but with other kinds of radiation, since the visible spectrum is only one type of light. The diversity and virtuosity of these mechanisms suggest that other planets in our universe may indeed contain very strong forms of Life.

Recently, Dr. Dianne Newman at Caltech has discovered, in the new field of molecular geomicrobiology she created, that bacteria in ocean sediments photosynthesize using iron instead of water. It is appropriate to be awed by intricacies of today’s science, which are uncovering some of the most ancient survival mechanisms on Earth, and spurring innovations in medicine by attending to how natural systems work. Furthermore, she has applied geoscience to solving a problem of chronic medical infections in humans. Dr. Newman has found that in a chronic infection such as cystic fibrosis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (a long studied bacterium) produces pherazines which promote biofilm development in the lungs, inhibiting pathways for antibiotics to clear such infections. Logically understanding that the growth of P. aeruginosa is controlled in nature by a natural mechanism, she then searched for and found both P. aeruginosa and a coevolved bacterium, just in the soil outside her lab!  This coevolved bacterium produces an enzyme which is able to degrade pherazines produced by P. aeruginosa, thereby rendering a chronic infection by P. aeruginosa more treatable by antibiotics. Human therapies for chronic infections based on her research will be available in a decade! It is time to bring our awe back to our gardens and to think of native plants as forms of technology—which are already adapted for our current climate conditions.

This garden project required extensive research. Attending a course taught by Lili Singer at Theodore Payne convinced me to rip out the conventional grass lawn as a first step. Ruth Shellhorn’s climate appropriate landscape design in 1982 for my parents’ home had also influenced my thinking about the potential for this garden project. My mother gave me Thomas Church’s Your Private World. San Marino’s Planning Department supported my renovation ideas, for which I am grateful. Government entities play a primary role in implementing sustainability, and California has made major changes to its Building Codes, which will soon become much stricter. But tensions certainly exist because of the need for change, and certain laws soon may apply sustainability mandates to all homeowners, not just to those renovations and new construction.

Antique wrought iron gates and several cloud form cast metal panels from a disassembled Chinese pavilion in Bel Air were found on Craigslist and repurposed in the finished landscape as gates and wall pieces. Photo © 2016, Cordelia Donnelly.

Antique wrought iron gates and several cloud form cast metal panels from a disassembled Chinese pavilion in Bel Air were found on Craigslist and repurposed in the finished landscape as gates and wall pieces. Photo © 2016, Cordelia Donnelly.

My project demonstrated to San Marino how garden beauty can be created using concepts of sustainability. I did not pour cement in the front yard garden because cemented hardscape is viewed as unsustainable—and thus also avoided design review. Concrete for my house renovation was poured only where required by Building Codes. As a foundation for steps leading into the garden from the street, green-treated wood beams are skewered into the slope by steel rods, a method used for building steps on hiking trails in US National Parks. The next layers use Stabiligrid tile, clad with copper as the riser material, hardwood planks for treads, finished by quartzite pavers set in sand. A liquid acrylic polymer was used to harden the sand while also providing permeability.

In the spirit of sustainable recycling, I tried where possible to reclaim assorted left-over or salvaged materials from craigslist to use in this project. The antique terra cotta riser tiles in the backyard are from France, by way of a tile setter who had completed a project in Malibu, and advertised his extra tiles on craigslist. Luckily, I also bought a pair of antique wrought iron Chinese gates and several Chinese cloud form cast metal panels, from a contractor who had disassembled a Chinese pavilion in Bel Air and listed these materials on craigslist.

I felt a solidarity with my Chinese neighbors, who supported me from the very beginning. I decided to align my aesthetic values for this project to honor the rich heritage of Chinese gardening. Chinese landscape design’s majestic history brings together Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist influences. The spiritual depth appeals as much as the aesthetics, and the interdisciplinary wisdom thrills. This path of mastery involves concurrent mastery of poetry, calligraphy, and landscape painting—understanding the influences each of these disciplines has on the others, thus making a garden a living vignette of nature’s lyrical beauty. I fell in love with the idea of views in a Chinese garden unfurling gradually to the viewer, much like the scrolls of a Chinese landscape painting. The viewer takes a journey through such a garden in order to enjoy the different vantage points.

One of my goals in renovating the house was to make the house relate directly to the garden, and this new relationship can be enjoyed through a series of large windows, including the very large arched window in the living room, and three different sets of glass sliding doors looking out onto different garden views. As the sun travels throughout the day, the house itself becomes the garden sundial. I intuitively planned my garden design for the passage of light across the various spaces, influenced by my years of landscape painting. I sought consciously to unify the values of the green colors of plants in order to allow texture and temperature to operate to the eye—this is a strategic lesson from painting applied to gardening.

Another major influence on my thinking was the Mediterranean Garden Society/Pacific Horticulture 2010 Symposium at the Los Angeles Arboretum. This Symposium’s speakers, the local garden tours, the gorgeous Australian plants grown by Jo O’Connell, and conversations with people about gardens changed my life, within the already transformative context of researching Chinese gardens. These experiences convinced me to install drip irrigation for the entire garden. “Woolly Pockets” I saw at the Symposium helped me create vertical gardens on walls and balconies, and further online searches led me to “Smart Pots,” made of recycled plastic bottles, to use as larger containers. I decided to use Australian native plants for my garden upon seeing their poetic textures, remembering them from my childhood, recognizing their symbolic otherness, and their significance to plant evolution and the geologic history of our planet. These plants evoke ideas held in the Dreamtime: origin stories of creation, ancestral voices, relationships between humans and nature, and spiritual quests toward Oneness.

A dry stream bed, using native granite rocks rescued from the basement excavation, invokes the memory of water in this native landscape. Inspired by Jeffrey Bale’s colored pebbles, I used polished coral pebbles in the bottom of the stream bed as a color contrast to the pea gravel on the garden paths. When it rains, the dry stream becomes very colorful. I planned the stream bed to cross the front garden approach, in an informal X, as in X marks the spot on a treasure map. Here, too, is the satisfying idea that one must cross over the stream on the journey to the front door. This spring I was very pleased to take my mom on a driving tour to see eight neighboring gardens installed since I completed this one, in which the homeowners chose a similar theme of dry stream bed crossing the front path approach in an informal X. As an artist and designer, I think asymmetry plays a very important role in leading one’s eye through a composition, whether in a painting or in a garden. The front garden was made more mountainous by adding soil to match the slope of the neighbor’s garden, as allowed by the Grading and Drainage Permit. The aim was to create a relationship between mountain and water, and to honor the spiritual significance of this relationship as articulated by Confucius. Another practical goal was to raise the soil level because hedge height can be measured from the higher soil level, and furthermore, because specimen plants can be grown here without a height limit to cushion the front yard garden from the busy street.

A sound sculpture in the front garden activates with rain. Water is harvested from gutters on the house and garage and pumped into the sculpture before draining through a perforated drainage grid. Photo © 2016, Cordelia Donnelly.

A sound sculpture in the front garden activates with rain. Water is harvested from gutters on the house and garage and pumped into the sculpture before draining through a perforated drainage grid. Photo © 2016, Cordelia Donnelly.

An integrated drainage system, the first of its kind to be permitted in my city, orders this garden universe. My sister gave me Brad Lancaster’s Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, which I used to do the engineering to secure a Grading and Drainage Permit. This plot of land is blessed with incredibly advantageous riverine geology, once part of extensive orange groves, and a slope of 4-1/2 feet from the backyard to the front yard. She encouraged me to add a unique water feature to the drainage system, and reaching beyond exhaustion, I resolved to think carefully about this. So, I designed a “sound sculpture” in the dry stream bed. Rainwater flows passively from house and garage gutters, collects in an underground basin and is pumped up into the sound sculpture. Sufficient rain creates the sound of rushing water in the sound sculpture. Then this water drains passively underneath the entire front garden through a perforated drainage grid. A key feature of the sound sculpture is that it only works when it is raining. Another aspect of its design was to stack a series of quartzite flagstones on top of the sound sculpture basin, to create a Goldsworthy-like nest form in order to hide the brownish rain gutter water from view.

Permeable gravel surfaces finished with StabiliGrid tiles hold gravel in place and provide ADA-compliant wheelchair accessibility for the driveway and garden. Photo © 2016, Cordelia Donnelly.

Permeable gravel surfaces finished with StabiliGrid tiles hold gravel in place and provide ADA-compliant wheelchair accessibility for the driveway and garden. Photo © 2016, Cordelia Donnelly.

The permeable gravel driveway was finished with Stabiligrid tiles to hold the gravel in place. The Stabiligrid tiles filled with gravel also give the driveway and garden ADA-compliant wheelchair accessibility. Indeed, less concrete used in my whole garden renovation allows greater permeability: there is no runoff from the property. An outdoor soaking tub stands dry and covered, relies on zero chemicals, and is tied into the drainage system. A backyard pond is designed with an herbaceous border and contains chemically treated water. This pond drains itself separately from the drainage system, and is designed to drain passively into a deep french drain. Integrated drainage systems have been built since ancient times across diverse civilizations, and at different levels of complexity and cost. Even if we are not building drainage for an extensive palace, such as that found at Knossos on Crete, and at Machu Picchu in Peru, we need to do whatever we can to save water. These ideas are ancient, but feel new to our suburban gardening culture.

Recently, I installed an Australian-designed, gravity-fed, gray water drip system. I specified an Aqua2Use gravity filter with IrriGray drip components, which is distributed by WaterRenu.com in the USA. My system satisfies CA Building Codes and involves no modification of existing plumbing. It allows upstairs bathtubs to drain into the garden, via manual siphon into heat-proof Pex pipe going through the exterior wall. This drainage into my garden is encouraged provided that only low-sodium, pH neutral, bio-degradable soap is used (Dr. Bronner’s). To avoiding over-watering with supplementary water, this system sends water to general front garden beds, instead of to specific plants, and serves the major purpose of allowing this water to infiltrate back into the land.

Reflecting upon this garden odyssey, these journeys within journeys, I realize I have honored not only great cultural and aesthetic traditions, but also those of my ancestors. My great grandfather and grandfather developed diverse industrial uses of diatomaceous earth, an ingredient in the cactus mix I use for planting. I also have honored my parents:  my mother, a teacher, and my father, a builder-developer in Pasadena, California. This garden honors a growing global awareness about the need for sustainable water use and climate appropriate plants in every garden.

It is a miracle to witness how beauty transforms awareness, invites conversation, and inspires!

NOTE: BAGSC News previously published a plant list from Cordelia’s beautiful garden. Click on the words “plant list” in the previous sentence to view it, along with some pictures from the tour.

by Jennifer Lazar, 101 San Diego; and Lisa Reynolds, San Diego Botanic Garden; posted by Deb Shaw

BAGSC's exhibition "Cornucopia" at the San Diego Botanic Garden is on the home page of San Diego Media Marketing's website. The link has more information about the exhibition and a coupon for $2 off admission to the Garden.

BAGSC’s exhibition “Cornucopia” at the San Diego Botanic Garden is on the home page of San Diego Media Marketing’s website. The link has more information about the exhibition and a coupon for $2 off admission to the Garden.

San Diego Media Marketing has promoted BAGSC’s exhibition Cornucopia at the San Diego Botanic Garden in their 101 Things To Do in San Diego update.

Cornucopia: A Botanical Art Exhibit at San Diego Botanic Garden is one of the “Featured Slides” on their home website from October 31 – November 6, 2016. They have also scheduled Facebook and Twitter posts for November 2!

Clicking the link from the home page calls up a page with more information about the San Diego Botanic Garden and the Cornucopia exhibition. The page also includes a coupon for a $2 discount on adult admission to the Garden, limit of four (4) adults. The coupon is good through December 31, 2016.

by Ted Tegart, posted by Deb Shaw

Trees at the LA Arboretum. © 2016, LA Arboretum.

Trees at the LA Arboretum. © 2016, LA Arboretum.

Dr. Jerrold Turney is back at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden for his second Tree Identification class of the Fall. Dr. Turney has a completely new set of 20 trees to cover this
Saturday, November 5, 2016
10 am – 12 noon
$25 Members / $35 Non-Members (includes Arboretum admission)
To Register please call the Education Department at 626.821.4623 or pay at the class.

Southern California has one of the most diverse urban forests in the United States. This class will cover about 20 different trees on each of three Saturdays for a total of 60 trees. Each two hour lecture will cover 15-20 tree species followed by a walk in the Arboretum to see the trees that were covered during the lecture. Register for one or both remaining classes.

Jerry Turney, plant pathologist and certified arborist, will teach tree identification, their growth habit, their native country, how they should be cared for, any common diseases or insect pests that attack them, and the best place in the garden to plant them.

The last class will be held Saturday, December 3, 2016.

Questions? Contact LA Arboretum Education Manager Ted Tegart via email or by calling 626.821.4624. The LA Arboretum is located at: 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007, 626.821.3222.

Dr. Turney has served as the curator of the camellia gardens at the Huntington Library and Botanic Gardens, a research horticulturist at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, and is currently the plant pathologist for the Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures for the County of Los Angeles. 

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