Of Parrots and Persimmons

Flocks of wild parrots are having loud parties in the trees of Leimert Park, as one of our committee members discovered on a bright November day above her persimmon tree. There are said to be thirteen different wild parrot species in the Los Angeles Area.

Wild parrots are not native to our area; they were first spotted in the city in the 1960s. There are some different theories on where they came  from: CurbedLA provides two of them in this article.  What seems clear is that the flocks did not migrate here, but formed from parrots escaping or being released into the wild, and they’ve been successful at finding a niche in the ecosystem.

The California Parrot Projects studies the wild parrot population. You can participate in their research by reporting parrot sightings.

Want to see more parrots? California Parrots Flying Free

Savory Sage in October

Hummingbirds are fans of sage, or salvia, which flowers much of the year in sunny Southern California. It’s a member of the mint family, as are as oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and basil. One writer called its long stemmed look “impressionistic.”

This one, blooming in October in a charming backyard garden in Leimert Park, is visited by hummingbirds and doubles as part of the kitchen herb garden.

In the fall, roast butternut squash on a bed of washed sage leaves, make sage butter and put it on fish, infuse honey with sage, or make sage tea, which is purported to have many health benefits (antioxidants!).

Check out the Sneak Peek of the Leimert Park Garden Tour, coming up on May 18, 2019, where innovative gardeners love plants that do double duty!

The median is the message

This median (pictured) in Leimert Park is maintained by residents.  See how it started in this video from 2011 about guerrilla gardening. Members of the original team spruced it up this weekend to be ready for visitors to our part of the city! Hope you can join us for the tour – which is all about LA indoor-outdoor living, and what we make of it!


Old furniture gets new life at garden tour home

A unique bench offers an inviting place to relax on the front porch of one of the homes included in this year’s tour. Committee member Lena Hobson recognized it right away as the work of Lester Anderson, long time South L.A. resident and owner of Anderson Country Benches.

Mr. Anderson did not set out to become a furniture builder. But while hauling away heaps of abandoned furniture from sold homes he was hired to clean out, he began to envision these cast-offs as beautiful, one-of-a-kind creations: headboards, cabinets and benches. The latter became his signature creation.

His work can be seen at local flea markets, including the Sunday Melrose Trading Post, or can be custom ordered by contacting him at (323) 236-1222. More of Lester Anderson’s work can be viewed here: Anderson Benches on Instagram