I have always been into plants. In the past, I was a volunteer with a specialization in sub-tropical plants for the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. For the past 10 years, I have worked on creating projects for public parks in the county of Los Angeles and other cities across the country. I am also one of the founders of a project called Fallen Fruit: fallenfruit.org and endlessorchard.com.
Years ago, when I was a kid, there were places on the mountain that were abundant all summer with flowers and fruits and vegetables. It always impressed me to see grape vines along fences, and along the roadsides, apple trees and blackberry bushes. And most exciting was the house down the road that had dozens of huge sunflowers, crowds of showy hollyhock, and an organic vegetable garden (with chickens)!
So at the beginning of 2020, I started planting seeds and testing what would grow best up here on the mountain. The selections I have made are from last years tests at my place — just off Crest Forest Drive. My efforts have paid-off exceptionally well and I decided to expand this research into a business by growing some of my favorite plants.
I decided to plant my property based on my memories of Crestline from long ago — as an integrated garden — a mix of edibles with ornamentals. Meaning hollyhock, sunflowers, cosmos, and marigolds are mixed with a variety of tomatoes, sweet and hot pepper plants, and a couple of wandering pumpkin vines. For me, it all goes together and builds a low-maintenance garden that is abundant and full of life.
At my place, I do get a lot of sunshine and some partial shade. Vegetables, except for tomatoes, squash, peppers, and pumpkins are grown in containers or raised beds (off the ground or on cement pads) and I amended soil with mulch, compost, and organic fertilizers. Everything at my place is grown with soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems on timers. Gophers don’t seem to like pumpkins, squash, peppers, or tomatoes so they go directly in the ground without cages and inter-mixed into flower beds. Gophers can be a serious issue on the mountain (in general) and cages are necessary for bushes and all fruit trees.
In the garden areas, I installed solar-powered sonic ground spikes every 20’ in Early-Mid April through mid-October and that seems to keep them away.