Heat Stress

Western spice bush (Calycanthus occidentlias) under some severe heat stress in this part sun foothill garden. Is more water the answer?  I’ve been receiving several questions over the past month or so about plants that have been doing fine for years, but suddenly this summer are looking ragged. This is occurring in gardens that are… Continue reading Heat Stress

Making use of all this rain

After years of dry winters, 2015/16 wasn’t bad. But nothing like this winter. In almost all of California, we receive the overwhelming majority of our annual precipitation in the winter months of December and January, with good amounts still possible in February. This year’s above-average amounts so far, combined with saturated soils and warm storms… Continue reading Making use of all this rain

Promising new (to me) California native plants

Like every other gardener I know, I love to try out new plants. And, lucky me; I get to call it part of my job! Here are some promising new plants we’ve been growing this year in my Springville garden. Some of you may have been growing these already, but they are new to me… Continue reading Promising new (to me) California native plants

Earth Day in the native plant garden

     When I was a younger, idealistic college student, I participated in Earth Day activities every year in the Southern California city where I lived. I don’t remember thinking I was making a big positive change to the environment. It seemed more like something I should do, and it was fun, and made me feel… Continue reading Earth Day in the native plant garden

Spring in the CA native plant garden

Late-winter is one of my favorite seasons in the garden.  Plants that were dormant in summer and fall look refreshed and green now. One of the showiest is silver bush lupin (Lupinus albifrons), with great stalks of purple or pink flowers that you can see from a distance. Bush lupin like to grow in colonies,… Continue reading Spring in the CA native plant garden

Planting in winter

Our season of fall planting is nearing its conclusion. But if you need to finish off the landscape this year, or are like me and want to add “just a few more” new plants to the garden, here are some ideas and tips to ensure success with your new transplants. In fact, there are some… Continue reading Planting in winter

Autumn is here, but do we care?

I should have paid more attention to the Autumnal Equinox, the day when day and night are the same length. For a few months, until the solstice, there will be a little more night than day. I should have posted something on facebook, sent out a tweet, posted pictures on Pinterest of what a typical… Continue reading Autumn is here, but do we care?

A New Era

This article first appeared in the April 4 edition of the Porterville Recorder newspaper.                You’ve probably heard that on April 1, the state Water Quality Control Resource Board announced new state-wide water restrictions. This was no April Fool’s joke, however. Stricter restrictions were expected, so there was nothing surprising in the announcement, and nothing… Continue reading A New Era

Winter in the California native plant garden

What do you need to do in winter to keep your California native plant garden thriving? The following tips are geared towards gardens in California’s Central Valley and Southern Sierra Nevada. These ideas can also apply to gardens that share similar traits: 1) Inland – Little or no ocean influence means cold winters and long,… Continue reading Winter in the California native plant garden

Summer: planning & preperation time in the California native plant garden

The next few months are planning and preparing season in the California native plant garden. Perhaps especially this year, we look forward to the return of seasonal precipitation and cooler weather. But we can make the most of the long, warm, dry days. Yes, there are benefits to these days of summer! Benefits both to… Continue reading Summer: planning & preperation time in the California native plant garden

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Categorized as Seasons