Anyone who has moved inland from coastal areas, or anyone who has read the books, blog posts and articles based on coastal-California gardening, soon discovers that it’s a different story once you try to establish a native-based garden in the Great Central or other inland valleys, or up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Not quite Mediterranean, not quite desert, with different soils, monocrop agriculture, and different weather patterns, our inland valleys and foothills can nonetheless be home to some of the best California gardens that conserve precious resources like water and time, increase habitat, encourage native species, and look beautiful.

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So Long to A Pretty Good Club

The Culver Saloon is now gone, yet another of SoCal’s victims of valuable real estate and less-than-committed owners. Some would say the Culver deserved to be shut down. The joint never had beer on tap, the only food they served was bagged chips and gum, the tables and chairs looked like they were brought in from some middle-of-nowhere grilled-cheese diner, and what was that odd smell in the back of the club all about anyway? But to the zoots, swingers, heps, cowpokes and R.F.’s, the Culver was the sort of secret hip destination people talk about more fondly once it’s gone.

According to most opinions, the Saloon was mainly Ed Boswell’s doing… .

excerpted from The Debaser, Vol. 2, Issue 1

Are You a Purist?

When we design, we talk about “purpose.” In the established garden, we use the term every few years -to reconsider the garden. Guiding principles, such as water-efficient and beneficial-to-nature, are big-picture “purpose” values in many modern gardens. On the micro, unique level, has the purpose in your existing garden changed? Are there new activities that should be accommodated? Is the maintenance too difficult, leaving you to always feel overwhelmed? Have you decided to start growing some of your own food? While every garden should include “water efficient,” as a guiding principal purpose, we can use hydrozones and irrigation systems to add both lushness and edibles into our landscapes. Native plant gardens are not desertscapes unless you want yours to be.

excerpted from Are You a Purist?

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