Thursday, September 20, 2007


The other day we had Dawn Van Allen, doyenne of the Garden nursery on Garey, over to consult about our little plot of heaven. She showed up with a huge bag and a landscaper's tape measure (on a little wheel and everything), but she realized immediately that we just needed a basic introduction and assessment of our plants. I really appreciate the quick and cheerful gear change; it can be hard to get experts to set aside their expectations and provide what you need sometimes.

In the event, we learned an enormous amount, and it was money very well spent indeed (and not that much money anyway -- $75 for a good hour and a half). Things we discovered:

• The saucer magnolia that's dropping all its leaves is doing just fine. (In fact, it is now starting to bloom.)

• The washingtonia in front of the house does indeed have to go.

• We must not, as we had planned, put something else there that won't mess with the foundation. Instead, we should put up hanging plants. Protecting the front porch from view is begging for burglary.

• The Dr. Seuss tree? It's an overgrown euphorbia (aka spurge)!

• The plum tree is not long for this world. We haven't been near it since it stopped fruiting (does that make us neglectful?), so we hadn't noticed that it's covered with crystalized sap.... Termite damage. It's at the end of its lifespan anyway, she said.

• The place where the plum is going to used to be? A great place for the lemon tree I've been wanting!

• We need to uproot the ficus before its taproot reaches China (or, actually, a thousand miles south of Mauritius).

Overall it was a great experience, and I recommend a yard consult for anyone who has just bought a house. And if you just bought a house in Pomona or nearby, Dawn is an excellent choice. If you live in the nabe, you should also stop by and check out her nursery -- it's pretty impressive. Even if K. used to think it was a restaurant and would bug me to eat there.

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