The crowd turned out at Kidspace by the Rose Bowl, in the beautiful Arroyo Thursday night for the Arroyo Verde Awards given by the Arroyo Seco Foundation.

Tim Brick led the festivities which included awards to:

  • The Hahamongna Bloggers for Best Advocacy (about 25 of us blogged on the same day to protest development plans in the Hahamongna Watershed Park) below JPL
  • Foothill Municipal Water District for Greening the Arroyo–Agency
  • Urban Semillas and Miguel Luna for Greening the Arroyo–Organization
  • Arroyo Green Team, Audobon Center for Volunteers
  • Nolan Pack and PCC Student Government for Citizen Activist
  • Michael Cacciotti, mayor Pro-Tempore, City of South Pasadena (great remarks!)
  • Highland Park resident Virginia Neely for a Special Award for her historical record-keeping and assistance to many
  • Nicole Possert for Lifetime Achievement

 See my earlier post for the list of Hahamongna bloggers, and add to that Steve Scauzillo

Thanks for the great party! So nice to be recognized! And hats off to Petrea Burchard, Karin Bugge, and Barbara Ellis who hatched the united blogging idea.

While we all got certificates, Petrea’s in possession of the festive froggy award that glows in the dark! That should keep her hoppin. And thanks to new friend Robert for taking a slug of these photos.

Here are some pix. They’re also on flickr at































Here’s an event not to miss! Music, art and cocktails in a mausoleum. Now that’s a party!

Tomorrow's Altadena Heritage of Abundance Poster

Tomorrow's Altadena Heritage of Abundance Poster

Here are some pictures from both the Altadena Heritage membership party at Beckett Hall and the lighting of Christmas Tree Lane. More to come!

I’ll be there Saturday evening drooling over great Altadena gardens. See ya there???? I should have posted this sooner, sorry! I’ll have photos.

Announcing Altadena Heritage’s 5th Annual Garden Party and “Golden Poppy” Garden Awards to be held Saturday, June 7, from 5-7:30 pm.
The Golden Poppy awards are given annually to recognize community members whose gardens improve and maintain the character and quality of Altadena.  

Celebrate Altadena’s most beautiful gardens with wine and cheese in the garden of Anita and Chris David.
Admission is $15 at the door for members. Admission is free for new members who join at the door ($30 annual membership fee). Cash or checks only, please.
RSVP to or 626-797-0054. We will contact you with the address for the event.

And Sunday is the McNally House Tour. Great stories to be told, I’m sure. Here’s the link to the Star News story.

So the Star-News’s Larry Wilson commented that the old Wamu building was a local savings and loan years ago. Anyone else know the history of the building? I moved here more than 12 years ago. Then I was with Great Western and I believe that’s what it was then, but can’t be sure. Who can chime in here?

I’m off to Death Valley this weekend with a stop to see the Owens Valley telescopes, so not a lot of time to blog until my return. I’ll have more local history from Michele Zack’s talk at Nuccio’s when I return! And lots of pictures of the desert wildflowers.

Dozens of nurseries and growers once inhabited the hills of Altadena. And if it wasn’t for Pasadena fighting to have the 210 freeway go thru their town, our last remaining nursery would have disappeared long ago. Thankfully, Nuccio’s famed camellia and azalea nursery on Chaney Trail does still remain, and today hosted the Altadena Heritage Society’s Breakfast of tea, coffee and treats, featuring Julius “The Nuch” Nuccio and friend and Altadena historian Michelle Zack.  

In their beautiful location since 1946, “The Nuch” told a gathering of more than 50 flora and history buffs how his family came to start the nursery in 1935.  It was all because his father and nephew gave their gardening obsessed mother a camelia. “She got them interested in plants. She didn’t care if there were dirty dishes in the sink, she’d be out in the garden,” he joked. Their initial nursery was kept in their grandparent’s yard during the war, cared for by the women of the family. Once that was over, grandfather said it was time he got his house back. “When we first got this property we thought we’d go broke,” said Nuccio. “I hated it. Worked here since I was 12. Tried another job for a month, but came right back.”

Wisely, his dad and uncle saw the trends in the nursery business and decided to specialize. They carry more than 500 varieties of both flowers, just a drop in the bucket of the thousands of varieties exist. Their two most famous are the Nuccio’s Bella Rosa and Pink Pearl. They still hand water and fertilize each plant because watering systems killed too many of them.

The soil secrets of both plants: Camellias take 1/3 soil, 1/3 peat and 1/3 pearlite. Azaleas take 2/3 peat and 1/3 pearlite. When the plants are blooming, they’re dormant. That’s when to move them if you need to. Prune right after blooming is complete.  

Nuccio’s has never advertised — yet last summer The Nuch said it was their best summer ever. That’s what growing a business is all about.

 More to come on this. Here are a few pix of the day…


Michele Zack


Don’t miss a chance to talk with the Nuccios about how your camelias and azaleas are doing. It’s a joy to have such a resource in our own backyard.

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