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Just got back from my cousin’s UCLA graduation. Temps were in the very comfortable seventies. Despite the coastal mildness of L.A. proper, I’m always struck by the incongruity of scrubby desert in surrounding areas and the opulent tropical lushness in landscaped parts of Los Angeles… especially in Beverly Hills.

Our celebration dinner was at Cha Cha Cha in Silverlake. A scene in Steve Martin’s Shop Girl was filmed at this Carribbean restaurant and Mr. Martin was reportedly a regular. Probably until he put it in his movie. The food was great, as was the fruit-filled Sangria. If you go, try the Crispy Shrimp Cakes, the Guacamole and Dirty Chips, and the Empanadas. Mmmm… Extra points for fun container plantings outside the restaurant.






The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom on the UCLA campus, which was a real treat for me since lavender is one of my favorite colors and I’ve never seen any Jacaranda trees growing in Sacramento.

June 20 edit: My friend, Weeder, informs me that she saw a Jacaranda blooming “in Sac. this Sunday.” Where?!!! I also vaguely remember seeing them for sale at POW once. The plot thickens. Sunset says it needs full sun, moderate water, prefers sandy soil but will tolerate other types (like my clay?), and is damaged below 25 degrees F. Why don’t we see it more often in northern California? It doesn’t seem like an impossibility. I hope someone will enlighten me.



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