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Entries in outdoor (20)

Thursday
Oct062011

cicLAvia, 2011

photo by: standardpixelWhat: CicLAvia
When: Sunday, October 9, 10am-3pm
Where: Los Angeles

In response to the congestion and pollution of the city streets in Bogota, Columbia, Ciclovías began there over thirty years ago in 1976.

Today they’re held every Sunday and Holidays—and they’re growing in popularity here as we become more concerned about the environment and take to biking which offers a healthy alternative to vehicular transportation.

For five hours this Sunday, the notorious streets of LA will be closed to motor traffic as CicLAvia makes them safe for people to walk, skate, play—and ride a bike.

Quickly becoming a bi-annual event—as shops and restaurants along the route open their doors to participants—seven and a half miles of streets were car-free for the 2010 event and this October new spurs in Chinatown and South LA will be added.

photo by: henryjose

Thanks to cristina, store manager west hollywood, for this submission.

Monday
Aug152011

the sunset strip music festival, 2011

photo by: luckylynda74 What: The Sunset Strip Music Festival

When: Thursday, August 18, 2011
Where: Viper Room, Whisky A Go-Go, Key Club
Who: The Veronicas, The Tender Box, Run Run Run, The Faceless, and Uriah Heep

When: Friday, August 19, 2011
Where: House of Blues, Key Club, The Roxy Theatre, Viper Room, Whisky A Go-Go
Who: Motion City Soundtrack, dredg, Buckcherry, Purple Melon, Lady Sinatra, and Ray Manzarek & Robby Krieger of The Doors

When: Saturday, August 20, 2011
Where: two outdoor stages on Sunset between San Vicente and Doheny
Who: Public Enemy, Bush, Matt&Kim—to name a few—will perform with honorees, Motley Crue

Thanks to cristina, store manager west hollywood, for this submission.

Monday
Jun062011

perfect pairings: outdoor lighting

Choose the mood then choose the candlelight to provide the ambiance. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party and need tabletop lighting—make a dramatic statement with multiples of camp lanterns to create a ‘chandelier’.

For a outdoor areas with lounge seating, create a relaxed mood with ceramic lanterns in multiples.

And last, for the softest lighting, go with smart candle lights—get all the benefits of candlelight without worrying about strong breezes or clean-up.

Tuesday
May242011

how to: plant a modern topiary

A topiary is basically a sculpture made of bamboo, wire, etc, that either guides plants—or they’re trained—to grow into the 3-D shape.

Usually perennial plants are used since it can take years to complete larger versions—and ivy is a favorite since it grows fast and its vines can be easily wound around forms.

Weather across the country has caused a slow start to the growing season so this weekend could be the perfect time to get one growing.

Simply add a kiss garden sculpture to a properly sized potted plant and help it along. It’ll pop in contrasting red so, for added texture and visual interest, try multiples in landscapes.

photo by: puuikibeach

Friday
May062011

material world: eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a diverse type of flowering tree within the myrtle family. There are over 700 species, most of which are native to Australia, and only about 9 can’t be found there.

Eucalyptus are favored as a fast-growing sustainable resource, similar to bamboo, and all of the tree—it’s wood, leaves, flowers—are broadly used.photo by: Umesh Behari Mathur

First, the flower blossoms provide nectar for insects, birds, bats, etc. and essential oils from its leaves contain natural disinfectants so it’s used in cleaning products, deodorants, toothpaste, decongestants and cough/cold medicines.

Its also a key food source for some koala and possum who are tolerant of those chemicals which can be toxic in large doses.photo by: puuikibeach

On both a positive and negative note, eucalyptus trees require lots of water.

In swamp-like areas, planting them can reduce soil erosion and malaria bearing mosquitoes—ironic considering its inherent insect repellent properties—but in normal to dry or non-indigenous areas, they can prohibit other plants and native plants from thriving.

Such is the case in California where eucalyptus trees were introduced in the mid 1800s with the hopes that their fast growth would offer a vast supply of railroad ties as miles of new tracks were laid during the Gold Rush.

Unfortunately, wood from younger trees warped dramatically and wood from older trees was so dense that nails couldn’t easily secure them in place—both characteristics sealed its fate.

Although its favored as a windbreak and for curbing erosion, it’s disliked for its role in feeding forest fires (read on) and regenerating from mere trunks, so currently measures are being taken to reduce its population there.

Types of eucalyptus plants and trees have been carbon dated to tens of millions of years ago—around the time charcoal deposits have been dated as well—which is interesting since they share a common trait.

As a living plant, and at high temperatures, eucalyptus oil can be emitted as a vapor—which creates the characteristic blue haze of Australia’s landscape, shown above—but it can also be highly flammable, like charcoal.

But the wood becomes more dense—and therefore stronger, much like teak—so it’s also prized for its durability outdoors while those same natural oils help protect it from the elements.

Like most woods, eucalyptus weathers to a soft silvery grey but tung oil can be applied periodically to help preserve its original patina.