Tag Archives: Oak trees

March 18, 2011



So, here we are. Or, where are we? There’s alot going on in our house. There’s alot going on in the world. This is not going to be a post showing pictures of green blossoms pregnant with life, announcing the certainty of spring. This post is more more about uncertainty. Libya, cease-fires, the earthquake in Japan, aftershocks, Fukushima and tsnamis. Let’s start small.  A couple of years ago I planted an oak tree sapling in front of our house-http://the-white-album.com/gardening/plantings. I planted it to symbolize the new hope of our country and our newly elected president. I actually got it into the ground on the day that President Obama announced Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. I had visions of watching this little tree grow and our boys climbing the branches. Watching, year by year transforming into a mighty oak tree. Taking care of a newly planted tree is like taking care of a family. It’s tough work. As parents of 5 boys we are faced with decisions every day. We don’t always make the right decisions. But, I’d like to think that we learn from our mistakes. I’d say now it was a mistake planting a California native Maul Oak tree in our public parkway. There are many reasons why it didn’t do so well. To begin with,   It shouldn’t have been planted in the public parkway to get trampled by people and dogs.


I’m not claiming I have a Japanese garden but, one of my hobbies is Japanese gardening, including bonsai trees. I have an attraction the to the meticulous care it takes to make them look old, natural and almost wild. So, I’m taking the oak tree out of the public parkway and sticking it in a pot amongst my bonsais in our garden.

bonzai5 1


This morning, while dropping the boys off at school I was listening to NPR on the radio while debating with Henry the actual meaning of the the term “getting up and ready for school” meant, Hillary Clinton was commenting on the recent cease-fire in Libya. Clinton stressed that the situation remains “fluid and dynamic.” What the hell does that mean? So, where do we go and what do we do? Let’s start small again. Get up on time, make a good cup of coffee, maybe light a fire if it’s cold, drop the boys off at school and tend the garden. In the rear view mirror I catch a glimpse of a fading bumber sticker on the window of my car and think…and hope some more.


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November 26, 2008



Shhh, don’t tell anyone. I just planted an oak tree in the parkway in front of our house. It’s city property, we are only the stewards of the land. The sapling is only 5″ tall but it’s still a  act of Guerilla Gardening. The city of Santa Monica plants camphor trees on our stretch of street called “the parkway”. They also suggest grass as a ground cover- boring and an unwise use of water. I get yearly weed abatement notices from the city citing my parkway plantings encroaching on the sidewalk. The tree is so small now, it’s hard to I imagine my boys climbing it or swigging from it’s branches. I meant to plant this “mighty” oak the day after election day to symbolize change, hope and the hard work this country needs to do but you know how things pile up. So let’s just say it went into he earth the day after President Elect Obama named Hillary Clinton Secretary of State. It’s a Canyon Live or Maul Oak tree (Quercus chrysolepis) which I got from Theodore Payne Nursery, one of my favorite nurseries. It specializes in California native plants and has such a great selection of interesting plants. They also have a great selection a wildflower seeds which I’m sowing on city property as well.


                        10_04_08_Personal-001866 copy



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