Things to check out slash keep in mind or maybe sneer at from the current issue of Sunset Magazine...
An approving article about the renovations at LA's Griffiths Observatory:
Looming high above Los Angeles, the Griffith Observatory looks to some like a classical temple, to others like the mysterious compound of a mad genius in a vintage science-fiction movie...
After a five-year-long, $93 million restoration and expansion, the observatory’s being unveiled, and the public again has access to this window on the galaxy...
The new observatory holds a 3,040-square-foot porcelain enamel wall that captures a sliver of space encompassing 1.7 million visible objects — galaxies, stars, asteroids. Compiled from actual observational data, it’s the largest astronomical image ever created, and called, simply enough, the Big Picture.
It dominates a gallery in the observatory’s addition, which was constructed underground to match the original building’s appearance. Within the gallery hang planetary models scaled to the circular, 200-seat Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater, which represents the sun. Earth is basketball-size, while Pluto — still clinging to its place in the solar system, at least here — has the diameter of a table-tennis ball.
LA Times story here .
Red Pig Tools--made to last for generations. "Everything is customizable--you can switch out handles, put an edge on a trowel, or weld a tread onto a shovel." These people are in Boring, Oregon (I'm not making that up), but apparently have no web presence at the present time.
Branch: sytlish, sustainable design studio, including patio furniture. www.branchhome.com
White-themed garden article. Hey, I just made a white-themed garden post this weekend! There's a small, not-so-much-maintained white demonstration garden at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. I actually like using white in the garden, and if I had a big enough garden, I think I would like to have a white room.
This article recommends: Sedum spathulifolium, Senecio cineraria (Dusty Miller), azaleas, hydrangeas, camelia, narcissus, cyclamen, and heather. Well, that's original.
What else can we think of?
Lots of (mainly) white flowering plants (with or without some color accent) come immediately to mind: Dahlia imperialis, x Halimiosistus wintonensis, Cistus aguilari, other white rockroses, Helianthemum apenninum, Carpinteria californica, Acanthus mollis, white-flowering varities of Ribes sanguineum, white Lapageria, white Mimulus, Romneya coulteri if you could keep it under control, that Japanese anenome you see blooming in August and September...
What kind of foliage would you use in a white garden? Glossy, glabrous green foliage would be one way to go: Griselinia littoralis, Coprosma repens... generally not plants I'm terrbily fond of. Stachys byzantina. Helichrysum would be useful. I have an Aristolochia with whitish venation on top that I forgot the species name of, but this Aristolochia littoralis could be interesting.
Earlier this year, a woman from Ohio won a container contest in Fine Gardening using mainly silvers and grays she got from foliage only: Muehlenbeckia complexa, Asarum violacea, Tulbaghia violacea 'Variegata', Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' (because some black would be cool in a white garden!), Rex begonia, Salvia officinalis 'Nazareth'.
Anyhow, it's just fun to let the mind wander. Now I have that wandering in one place. Good! Back to Sunset...
Caramelized shallot and walnut (Niman Ranch). 20 minutes to caramelize shallots, then add walnuts, a few sprigs of thyme, and a cup of dessert wine (i.e., Vino Santo) and simmer 5 minutes.
Several ways of preparing latkes, most of them taking more than one hour which guarantees I'll never make latkes.
Gourgères: a puff pastry for parties. Lots of recipes by Googling.
Okay, that does it for this month's Sunset.
What do you think?