29 April, 2008

Water Saving Plants Bibliography

California Native Plants for the Garden, Bornstein, Carol et al ©2005 Cachuma Press, Of all the books here, this is the one that illustrates a drought tolerant beautiful garden. Not only does it show the plants in their glory, but there are suggestions on how to use them with authority. The lists at the back of the book are worth the price of admission alone.

California Native Trees and Shrubs, Lenz, Lee W. et al ©1981 Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden (out of print, but can be found used) A somewhat more scholarly work than most would want, but a thorough treatment of the species chosen and plenty of color and black and white photos as well as considerable drawings and plates. In the black and white photos, the feel is very 1950’s.

Designing California Native Gardens: The Plant Community Approach to Artful, Ecological Gardens, Keator, Glenn ©2007, UC Press, Glenn is a well-established writer on California native plants and a respected authority. This is his latest offering containing some 300 photographs, easily understood and used; a practical book you’ll return to again and again.

Firescaping: Creating Fire-resistant Landscapes, Gardens, And Properties In California's Diverse Environments, Kent, Douglas, ©2005, Wilderness Press, Living in Southern California, fires are a consideration. If you are in an area subject to burning – or even in proximity! – consider fire when dealing with your outdoor garden.

Growing California Native Plants, Schmidt, Marjorie, ©1980, UC Press, This is a classic, nothing else quite replaces it, which is why you can still get it. A few color photographs, but mostly line drawings of plants. This is a book to consult for how to grow them. Lots of charts, but the plant selections are, of course, limited to what was available to Marjorie and there are many, many more today.

Introduction to California Plant Life, 2nd Edition, Ornduff, Robert, et al, ©2003, UC Press, Part history book, part survey of the various plant communities of California – if you get into California Natives, Ornduff explains the reason things are the way they are and deepens your understanding and appreciation of our flora.

Plants for California Landscapes, A Catalog of Drought Tolerant Plants, ©1981, California Resources Agency, Department of Water Resources, (out of print, but can be found used), Includes plants from other Mediterranean climates as well. Basically this is a no nonsense group of charts on which plant for what conditions. No pictures and very little readable text.

Trees and Shrubs for Dry California Landscapes, Perry, Bob, ©1989, Land Design Publishing, (out of print, but can be found used), A much more palatable version of the Department of Water Resources book, Perry’s first 15 pages of charts is worth the price of admission, but the rest of the book is full of color photos and succinct text. The pictures are dated, but the information is not.


22 April, 2008

John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona Our First Field Trip

Getting to the Center

From Orange County or the 60 Freeway (East or West): Take the 57 freeway North, exit at Temple Avenue and turn left (down the hill). Turn left on University Drive. Follow University Drive as it winds around past the Farm Store to the top of the hill. Parking for the Center is located on your left at the top of the hill. Then proceed on foot down the roadway into the Center. The main office is located straight ahead.

From the 10 Freeway (East or West): Exit at Kellogg Drive. Stay in the left lane, and when you come to the stop sign, the large electronic marquee that welcomes visitors to campus will be on your right. Follow Kellogg Drive as it winds around the campus. At the second stop light, turn right on Campus Drive. At the next stop light, turn right on Temple Avenue and move to the left lane. Take a left at the next light (University Drive). Follow University Drive as it winds around past the Farm Store to the top of the hill. Parking for the Center is located on your left at the top of the hill. Then proceed on foot down the roadway into the Center. The main office is located straight ahead.

Click for Map to the Center


A valid parking permit must be displayed in all vehicles parked on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Handicapped parking zones are enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Invited guests of the Center can pick up a complimentary parking pass in the Center's main office. All other visitors must purchase the $5 daily parking permit at the Visitor Parking Booth on Kellogg Drive. See map for location of parking booth.

We will discuss carpooling at class tonight.


20 April, 2008

Graywater Information: City of Malibu

The City of Malibu has a set of 11 PDF handbooks on graywater. Here is a convenient link to them if you have an interest in some of the details on graywater implementation.


Sustainable Gardens' Course Syllabus

Instructor: David King
Email: greenteach@roadrunner.com
Phone: I will give it to you via email

COURSE TITLE AND NUMBER: Sustainable Gardens; BIOLOGY X498.5

There are no prerequisites for this course. We will meet from April 15 through May 06 for 6 meetings. There are two field trips as indicated in our schedule (below); the first to the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona and then to EarthWorks Community Farm . Both trips are scheduled on Saturdays, 9 AM to 1 PM.

All other times class will meet 6:30 PM in La Kretz Hall, Room 120 on Tuesday evenings.
Course Purpose
This course will enable students to understand and appreciate the changes we will need to make in our gardens to achieve ‘sustainability.’ A multitude of differing strategies will be presented allowing students to choose the extent of their involvement with more sustainable gardens and, ultimately, a more sustainable life style.

Course Objectives
1. Understand the concept of sustainability and its relevance to the modern garden.
2. The reasons to consider sustainability.
3. Be able to use the concept of sustainability in the creation of a garden and its maintenance.
4. Understand and be able to present to others the concepts and ideas of sustainability and the myriad of alternatives to an overtly consumptive garden style.

This course is designed to be applicable. Upon completion, students will be able to employ many different strategies to reduce consumption of water and oil-produced products and create beautiful and productive gardens that comprise a much smaller carbon footprint than most contemporary gardens.

Text for this course:

This course will not have a text. There will be an extensive bibliography from which the material presented has been gleaned; some books will be practical, some books theoretical, while others will present an overview of our current situation and the problems that affect our daily lives and the gardens we grow.

Class Schedule

Date Mtg TOPIC
04/15 1 Lecture: Introduction – roll, Extension policy, meeting time and place, attendance and tardiness, objectives. What is Sustainability and Why Does It Matter? What is it’s place in our gardens?
04/22 2 Lecture: Water, It’s Place in Our Lives and Gardens
04/26 3 Field Trip to John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona
04/29 4 Lecture: Plants and Planting Design for Conservation of Resources
05/06 5 Lecture: Recycle, Reuse and Repurpose
05/10 6 Field Trip to EarthWorks Community Farm – Final Requirements for Credit Students to be submitted

Your grade will be predicated on class participation and a paper of no less than 5 pages on one aspect of sustainability, topics will be discussed in class. I encourage students to use their own area of interests when choosing their topic.

Office Hours
I have no set office hours, however, I am available by phone (the number above is my cell phone) and by email. I am willing to meet with students almost any day of the week at my office at The Learning Garden or a mutually convenient coffee bar. It is my most sincere desire that you learn and you will find me very approachable.

After class is usually not a very good time because that’s when all students vie for answers and we are all tired after a long day. You can net a more thoughtful answer by contacting me another time.

Updates and Handouts
For this course I will utilize my personal blog page (lagarden.blogspot.com) to post handouts and extra material to the class. There is an RSS feed through which each posting is automatically forwarded to your email so you can have access to handouts whenever they are posted. This approach is most handy when dealing with field trips because links to maps can be posted and any last minute updates are easily available. If this technology is new to you, another classmate or I will guide you through it. It is not difficult.


First Bibliography for Sustainability

Deep Economy, The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, McKibben, Bill, ©2007 Times Books Want a dose of hope? Here. McKibben has delved into a variety of alternative choices to find examples of human civilizations that actually approach creating a viable economy and lifestyle that considerably reduce man’s impact on the world

Easy Green Living
, Loux, RenĂ©e ©2008, Rodale Inc. Breeziness belying a difficult resource book that will help you shop through the sustainable hype. A compendium of little helpful hints (the Heloise of our time?) and deciphering clues of labels and claims. She covers everything from the bathroom to light bulbs and beyond, helping delineate what the labels mean with all those fifteen syllable words on them.

In Defense of Food, An Eaters’ Manifesto
, Pollan, Michael, ©2008, Penguin Press; This is the ‘sequel’ to The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Both of these books, with Pollan’s inimitable style present the way our current food production damages our ecosystem and our health! ‘Dilemma’ bares the scars on our earth and ‘Defense’ reveals how our personal health has been compromised by the promise of ‘cheap food.’ It aint cheap and it aint food.

Kitchen Literacy, Vileisis, Ann, ©2008 Island Press, Along the lines of the Pollan books, Vileisis brings us back to the knowledge every cook had in days before we let the ‘experts’ and the government tell us what to eat and why. Turns out it was better for us and for the earth.

Plant, Animal, Miracle, Kingsolver, Barbara et al © 2007 Harper Collins, When less is really more. Kingsolver and her family agree to eat only foods produced within 100 miles of their West Virginia home (everyone was allowed one exception and her husband chose coffee marking him as a sensible man) for one year. The story of how they did it and the results they achieved makes delightful reading and food for thought.

The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook, De Rothschild, David, ©2007, Rodale Inc. A lot of statistics that just overwhelm a person, but a viable list of Things To Do Today and beyond. Probably one of the more easily digested books of this contemporary genre.

The Lost Language of Plants,
Buhner, Stephen Harrod, ©2002 Chelsea Green Publishing Getting well should not get the earth sick. This is the ecological ‘why’ of alternative medicine, but be warned, you will never look as a fashionable layer of mascara the same way again either!