Things NOT to be purchased for the garden this year

A bar on wheels. Have you ever pushed a baby carriage up and down steps and hillsides? A tray with a basket handle and a rack for glasses is much easier and less ostentatious.

Cushions that have to be brought in every time it rains and before the dogs take to sleeping on them. 

Couch swings with springs that rust unless you are willing to paint them once or twice a season. 

A table with an umbrella stuck in the center. Attractive but why not sit on folding chairs under the shade of your own trees? A folding bench makes a fine rest for the tray.

Remember your grandmother’s advice that true beauty is best left unadorned. Let the focus be your garden, not the furniture.

Make it easy to find a place outside to have a quiet moment in the early evening when there are no blowers and weed abaters and builders. Lie alone to admire the serenity of the quiet starry nights we are so blessed to have in Topanga Canyon. Lure your neighbors to come with promises of a roaring fire and hot spiced rum. Make sure they are walking home.

Children will love the thrill of doing homework by the light of a lantern out in the wild woods listening to their elders conversing relaxed and happy. Dinner can be served as a picnic on the blanket, easy and light.

Recipe for Hot Spiced Rum.

Dissolve two or three lumps of brown sugar in a little boiling water for each tumbler, one wine glass of old Jamaica rum, a bit of butter just rounder than an acorn, a teaspoon of spices; nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Fill with more boiling water and stir well.

Can be served from a thermos.

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