Fairy Yardmother Landscape Design

by Kathy Oberg, Landscape Designer, Los Angeles, CA.

Thank you for visiting my site. I enjoy bringing you pictures of gardens, plants, and ideas from sunny Southern California. I love sharing after-photos that show how my landscape plans, plant lists and layouts come to life.
As a designer, I use plants to create drama, provide color and form, and compliment the architectural style of your home.
I strive to provide a buffer from sun, street, and neighbors while still fostering connections.
Inspired plant choices and site layout can make any space a success.
I am a Certified Watershed Wise Professional, with techniques to improve soil health and keep more water on your property.
I can help you makeover your patio, paths, planting areas, or entire property. I will consult with you, choose a look you love, and compose a plan and plant list to update your landscape, re-using what you already have wherever we can.
Each project is different because it is about making your space really shine.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Planting from seed is a wonderful adventure, full of anticipation, failures, triumphs and surprises!
I decided to plant some seeds in our vegetable garden in February. Last chance for a few sugar snap peas, I hadn't managed to put in earlier. And last chance for a bit more lettuce and spring mix, which never does as well as we get into late Spring and Summer. Late Winter is a good time for carrots, chard, beets, and turnips. The last two, I am trying for the first time.

I've had very good luck with carrots, maybe because we are not far from the LA river, and our soil is silty. My mother-in-law was a prolific gardener, but could never successfully grow carrots, so I feel blessed! There is something so dramatic about pulling a big carrot out of your own tended soil! For one thing, you never quite know how big and well-shaped a root vegetable will be until you pull it out of the ground. The seeds are known to take a while to germinate, and just when I almost lost hope this time, there they were! It took about 3 weeks.

Spring mix seed was casually thrown 
I began to muse about seeds and seedlings. Planting seeds is a wonderful act from many perspectives. It ties us to all the human beings who have harvested seeds from a plant in order to have that plant where they can tend it and reap its harvest.
Planting seeds is an act of hope, no doubt! It is a plan for the future, a hope that all will go well, and knowledge that much of the success is completely out of our hands!
When I first created my raised beds, I could chuck some seeds in, and for better or worse, they'd pretty much come up, grow and give me fruit (or veggies!). But then the skunks and raccoons figured out what I was doing, and started digging for worms, grubs, etc. So my seedlings were constantly disturbed, and my success rate plummeted.
Looking at one of my tomato cages recently, I realized that a very cheap solution was to buy some rolls of wire, and put them over the beds temporarily while things get established. I've begun the process, and it's working! Will customize the wire for each bed, and be able to use it year after year.
Some of the plants I've grown from seed that have been super easy:
Alyssum, California Poppy, Lupine, Spring Lettuce/Meslun Mix, Nasturtium, and Borage.

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