Visiting Denver Botanical Garden

One of the reasons I love to travel is to visit public lands and botanic gardens, both to admire and discover plants that I am unfamiliar with, and to bring ideas back that might work in our Southern Sierra and southern central valley areas. I’m always interested and delighted when …

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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 …

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A garden of another color

Our newer, water-saving landscapes are helping us break free of plain old green in the garden. With many plants, the traits that make them water-thrifty, also give them interesting foliage color and form. We can use this to our advantage by creating a “wow!” garden based on the monochromatic style. …

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The New Perennial Movement & California Native Plants

                                A design style that makes good use of California native plants is The New Perennial Movement. This design trend, likes most styles, shares similarities with other themes. Probably the best comparison is a naturalistic or wild-scaping style. Efforts to encourage planting native plants has also been a large part …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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