Monday, May 3, 2010

Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden

Last Saturday I went to a composting workshop at the nearby Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden in Polliwog Park. It's been there for I think 10-15 years and beautiful. It features many California native plants and other non-invasives that grow well in our climate. If you don't know what you're looking for it can be a bit elusive, I knew it was somewhere there for years but never went in because I didn't know where to look. It also doesn't have it's own true street address and the street side entrance is not the most promising:

To find it go down Manhattan Beach Blvd, turn north onto Peck avenue and it's just past the intersection with 12th Street on the right (and before the ramp down to the pool). If there's curbside parking by the entrance go for it, if not just keep going down and park in the adult school lot on weekends. Walk through the gate in the pic above and then hang a quick right into the garden. The first time I stepped into it I was like "whoa".

It's a big change from the cruddy street outside!

The above pic is one of my fav spots there, it's so serene and I love watching the birds come to their feeding area. They've really tried to create a wildlife habitat and done a great job with only about 200 square feet. There are all sorts of flowering plants with good seed, running water, a bat box, and many trees and bushes.

(this wildflower paring reminds me of Fern's recent color combo idea)

The garden is divided into different theme areas - Beach Bluffs, Bird & Butterly Habitat, Meadow, etc. and each plant type is well labelled in at least one location so you know what you're falling for (except the desert plantings, it's newer so they havent gotten to it yet):

And the information boards they have are well laid out:

Oh and the compost workshop was worth waking up for :) There were at least 40 attendees, it was sponsored by Waste Management the company that collects trash in Manhattan Beach. The ladies leading it really made composting easy to understand and not intimidating at all! Traditional and worm composting bins (including a pound of worms to be mailed to you!) were for sale at bargain prices subsidized by the city (but only for MB residents O.o ). A nearly 3 foot cubed yard bin for $35, and a 3-tiered worm bin including 1 pound of worms for $45. They gave non-residents info on other nearby cities subsidizing compost bins and LA County subsidized bins (not as great a price but still good). You might want to check with your local trash collector and see if they offer something similar. I think I'm going to get a friend in Redondo to order me a discounted worm bin through his city's service...

Okay, that's it for today. In the next few days I will finally have a landscaping update and general status of my containers :) Perhaps even an instructible....

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