Cleaning Up The Library, August Edition

Today being the first Saturday of the month, it’s once again time to tend to the Cahuenga Library Botanical Gardens for our monthly mini-cleanup of our 94-year old LAPL branch‘s grounds!

This being August, I wondered if Summer weather might be a deterrent for people, but apparently so far this season, it’s been uncharacteristically cold, with 60-degree temps at night and cloudy mornings. Apparently it wasn’t that hot today.

We had four volunteers today – George Pelham, Guia and Damon Woods and myself (all nearby East Hollywood residents). We all got a lot done, and I was delighted to see that the amount of trash in the alley side of the Library wasn’t as large as it has been for the past two months. So it looks like we actually made a difference! Normally there’s a mountain of trash by the bike racks, in addition to the odd discarded furniture bulky item. This time, only some flattened cardboard boxes and a small mound of trash (and a small pile of feces…) You can tell that the alley is clean when people from the neighborhood actually walk through it; otherwise they avoid it as much as possible. Today, much of the work was trash removal rather than plant maintenance (other than watering).

I asked Cahuenga Branch Library Senior Librarian Jie Ren about the new Library hours, which began July 18, which closed the library on Mondays and cut a couple hours from the existing schedule. She said the staff is more swamped on Saturdays, given that it’s now closed on Mondays. Today, there was an Adult Literacy Workshop attended by a group of educators down in the multipurpose room. The parking lot was full all morning.

As for the plants, well some interesting developments have happened at the Library; the lawn sprinkler system is now fully operational, with the grass growing back. Overall for the new native plants there’s not much noticeable change, mainly because Summer is not their natural growing season (as opposed to Fall and Winter). The Brandegee’s Sage growing by the back entryway looks pretty strong, and though fellow CLBG volunteer Heather Sabin’s donated Cleveland Sage looks dead, there’s something growing underneath it. Interesting to see what pops up.

Overall, the Big Sunday native plants are so-so; the planted and re-planted succulents are extremely hardy and look real good. But a lot of the Hummingbird and White sage plants were placed in very vulnerable locations and were most likely trampled. Our flowering Lilacs and Penstemons were also placed in vulnerable locations (both being trampled on and placed in full sunlight). For our next planting, protective wire barrier fences will be a must. I chalk this up as a huge learning lesson. Also, it looks like a couple of the White Sages were possibly removed by City Rec and Parks staff, who probably thought they were weeds (shame on City staffers for not knowing our native plants!)

As fall grows near, we’ll probably talk more about our Autumn planting, which will include wildflower seeding!

Here’s some more pics of the cleanup:

Alley side stairway - Before

Alley side stairway - After!

Yikes! Look what I found in the front planter! :O

This area by the Lyman Place alley is normally strewn with trash. We cleaned it today!

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