Summer is Here (no kidding)

I’m writing this from my outdoor office, surrounded by shrubs, trees, vines, perennials and one giant night-blooming cactus. It’s hard to be a gardener and not prefer the out of doors. But it’s hot. Barely summer and it’s already hot. And dry. Not brown in my courtyard, thank heavens! But brown on the hills surrounding… Continue reading Summer is Here (no kidding)

June

            June means hot and dry weather, with occasional drops in temperature. Daytime temperatures average around 92 degrees Fahrenheit daytime and 58 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Expect almost 14 hours of sunshine per day, but don’t expect rain: June is historically the third driest month of the year. Without adequate snow pack and rainfall this… Continue reading June

Spring

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly. “One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” Hans Christian Andersen This year, spring sprang into being in the Northern hemisphere at 2:37 a.m. PST March 20. Some plants in the garden decided it was spring in February, or even January. Some are just getting the… Continue reading Spring

Are you a Native Plant purist?

When we design, we talk about “purpose.” In the established garden, we use the term every few years -to reconsider the garden. Guiding principles, such as water-efficient and beneficial-to-nature, are big-picture “purpose” values in many modern gardens. On the micro, unique level, has the purpose in your existing garden changed? Are there new activities that… Continue reading Are you a Native Plant purist?

February in the Garden

February is a busy gardening month in our area, even with fog, rain, snow, cold weather and general gloom. It’s not my favorite month. But some of you love cold and fog, and even I recognize the importance of winter. So on we go with dreams of spring, cheerfully taking care of the following garden… Continue reading February in the Garden

Will summer ever end?

Concha Ceanothus

September is a hopeful month that begins to remind us that winter will be here again someday. It has become harder to predict what kind of September we will have. Historically, we should enjoy cooler temperatures both day and night, mostly due to the ever-shortening days. Planting:. We can finally begin to plant trees, perennials… Continue reading Will summer ever end?

Native Plants and the Vegetable Garden

summer squash love bumblebees!

What does vegetable gardening have to do with California native plants? Plenty, it turns out. When I first became interested in native plants, my philosophy was that it would be a good idea to use water, time and chemicals (if needed) on the edibles and use ornamental plants that wouldn’t need so much from me.… Continue reading Native Plants and the Vegetable Garden

The Latest on Bees

Last week I attended a webinar hosted by the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program about what’s new in the world of our bees here in California. The basics: 60-70% of flowering plants require animal pollination. More than 80 crops require animal pollination. Some agricultural/garden crops require specific types of pollinators. For example,… Continue reading The Latest on Bees

Spring is Here, whether we are noticing or not.

“In time of crisis people want to know that you care, more than they care what you know”      Will Rogers How will we remember this spring of 2020? What we remember? How much we learned about coronavirus or how much we discovered we cared about things we took for granted? I’ve been reading lots of… Continue reading Spring is Here, whether we are noticing or not.