Outdoors Orange County

Even when it is warm and quite humid in Orange County (like it has been this week), you can still take advantage of the outdoors to cool off, relax, enjoy a view or whatever. Visit a local water park or wait til the sun goes down to sit on the back patio or visit a local area beach. Many areas enjoy the offshore breezes in the afternoon, so open up the windows and doors to cool things off naturally.

I was born and grew up in Southern California so am quite spoiled. From day one, I was outside playing in the garden or mud, enjoying the beach, riding bicycles, picnicking and even napping outside. One of my favorite memories is when my dad, in the mid 1960’s, put our little TV on a TV tray and rolled it outside onto the back patio so we could watch TV while we ate dinner in the Orange County twilight. Growing up in Westminster, we were very close to the beach. The breezes would invariably kick up in the afternoon and continue into the evenings. It made going outside to play so enjoyable, and you could stay out quite late!

These days, many local parks have water features or ponds or water slides to help cool residents. Some community parks have even added fun lighting to trees and awnings for night time magic, beckoning neighbors to visit the park after dark. Local parks and trails are meant to be enjoyed year round, and summer is no exception. In Mission Viejo, Oso Creek may dry up some, but along oso Creek Trail, the local flora and fauna come to life in the early and latter part of the day before the sun goes down.

So expand your living space by embellishing a front or back patio with lights; add seating, too. Make a habit of taking a short walk around the block after dinner or before work. Take a day trip to the Cleveland National Forest or one of the many incredible Orange County beaches. Sharing time out of doors with friends, family and loved ones will create many lasting memories. We are so lucky and blessed to live here; go outside and play!

Succulents in an Orange County Garden

Gardening at my Orange County home is fun and rewarding for me, but it can also be frustrating and time-consuming. Choosing the right plants for the right spaces, coping with disease, bugs and drought plus clipping, hedging and trimming are all part of gardening and maintenance. If you don’t want a lot of maintenance but also want a lot of long-lasting beauty, try to add succulents to your garden. I did.

I mixed in some succulents and drought tolerant plants to my garden to create a pleasing mix. I also added lots of potted succulents. Potted plants tend to dry out and can die quickly, but succulents can be forgiving AND beautiful!

Below are mostly photos from my own garden, but I included a few from around town.

Pavilion Park in Irvine

I love checking out areas and homes in Orange County. I recently previewed some homes in the Pavilion Park and Great Park area of Irvine, off Irvine Blvd and Sand Canyon. Lovely collection of newer homes by various builders. I visited the namesake park central to the community, Pavilion Park, and took a lot of photos.



Trabuco Creek: Take a Walk in the Wild of Orange County

In Orange County, we are lucky to have many Regional Parks, community parks PLUS ample open space. O’Neill Regional Park is a large park within South Orange County that overlays a portion of the Arroyo Trabuco, a beautiful riparian area. Trabuco Creek runs along the bottom of the Arroyo, and a few trails jog along it or cross it.

I recently hiked along Trabuco Creek Trail, the portion near Rancho Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo. It is a fairly easy hike, but I would suggest going with a buddy due to mountain lion sightings in the area. Please visit the OC Parks site, specifically the O’Neill Regional Park page, to get more info, rules and hours.

Some of the beautiful sights are posted here, but visit my other site HERE for even more beautiful photos and information.

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