The five little things that made my week…

Shiso babies

1. Shiso babies sprouting up after the last few storms. This mint-like Asian herb (also called perilla or tía tô) volunteers like a weed in my garden, but I keep it around for its beauty and fragrance. (Not to mention it’s a fantastic herb.)

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March 11 2016      3 comments     Linda Ly
Diversión   Jardín

Smells of spring

Though the vernal equinox doesn’t occur for another week or so, it already feels like spring has sprung in my garden. While some people equate spring with snow melting, seed starting, and bare branches budding… for me, it’s all about the smells. Ohhh, the smells.

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March 10 2016      1 comment     Linda Ly
Flores   Jardín

Theodore Payne Foundation's Native Plant Garden Tour (and a chance to win tickets!)

In spite of all the hype surrounding El Niño this winter (Godzilla El Niño, no less), it’s been a disappointing season for Los Angeles weather-wise. We’ve had rain, but not as much as the weather models predicted. And so it looks like California will be heading into its fifth year of drought.

For Angelenos, keeping a garden green has been a challenge these last few years, but it’s even more disheartening to see people rip up their lawns, only to replace them with a rocky landscape. Rocks, while water-conscious, do nothing to support the local ecosystem that depends on plants for food and habitat. But plants need water, so we’re caught in a catch-22.

Or are we?

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March 7 2016      6 comments     Linda Ly
Jardín   Noticias

The five little things that made my week…

Happy chicken

1. Kimora loves springtime! Lots of grubs and tasty little buggers to scratch and peck at.

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February 26 2016      Leave a comment     Linda Ly
Diversión

Common gardening mistakes and what I've learned from them

I think it’s safe to say that mistakes in the garden happen to even the most seasoned growers among us. We think we know better, right? But even after six years and thousands of plants under my belt, I still find myself taking shortcuts I sometimes wish I hadn’t.

I’ve learned a lot since my very first season of gardening, and most of it has been through trial and error. Gardening blogs weren’t as prevalent as they are now (or perhaps I didn’t know where to find them) and even then, the gardening books I turned to didn’t emphasize the common mistakes (and common-sense advice) novice gardeners need to know.

Whether you’re new at this or you’ve already got it down, we can all use a little reminder as a new season of growing gets underway!

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February 24 2016      8 comments     Linda Ly
Jardín

Our Southern California baby shower

I really can’t express it enough. Will and I are ridiculously lucky to have the people in our lives that we do. We’re not the first ones in our group to have a baby on the way, and we certainly won’t be the last, but the outpouring of support we’ve received from all our friends and all the parents before us have been mind-blowing.

Offers to cook, offers to babysit, offers of hand-me-downs and hilariously honest advice have made our impending entrance into parenthood an exciting one. For that reason, as I’m winding down in the final weeks of pregnancy, I’ve been feeling calm and centered, despite the number of birthing videos I’ve watched on YouTube. (As an aside, have you ever searched for birthing videos online? It’s nutty how many there are! Home births to hospital births, bathtubs to birthing bars… I’ve seen just about every iteration of a baby emerging from a vagina. Many more than I’d like to admit.)

When my mother-in-law hosted our shower in Northern California last month, it was mostly for family and for Will’s childhood friends.

The following weekend, three of my girlfriends (Robyn, Jenn, and Kim, all of whom have been by my side for more than 15 years) threw a shower in Southern California for the rest of our friends, and it was just as wild and awesome as we’d envisioned it to be.

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February 19 2016      1 comment     Linda Ly
En La Casa   Familia   Vida

Snow play, sunny skies, and a cozy cabin in Big Bear

With less than a month before mini Garden Betty makes her debut, the countdown has begun. I’ve made a list of chores to tackle in the coming weeks, from laundering all the baby clothes to decluttering the house top to bottom. One might say I’m beginning to nest, but I would counter that’s hardly the case; I’m cleaning because I have to, unfortunately, not because I want to!

But before all of that’s checked off, Will and I decided to take one last getaway as a family of two (four, if you count the furbabies) to our local resort of Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains.

A popular destination for Angelenos, Big Bear has a lot going on for a small community. In summer, there’s boating on Big Bear Lake, climbing in Holcomb Valley Pinnacles, and hiking and biking throughout Big Bear Valley. In winter, there’s snow tubing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and skiing at several resorts, including the quaint little resort of Snow Valley where we were married three years ago.

We actually hadn’t been up to Big Bear in a few years because of lack of snow; the drought really took a toll on our local mountains. But with El Niño bringing some big storms this winter, we were happy to see the return of snowcaps from our house on the coast.

We’d been itching to make the drive and spend a mellow weekend up there as a little breather after our baby showers. Around the same time, Big Bear Boarding House kindly offered us a complimentary stay in their vacation rental, so we turned it into a mini babymoon!

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February 17 2016      Leave a comment     Linda Ly
Aventuras   Familia