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November in the Garden

By Peyton / November 8, 2021

Autumn is in full gear this month. This is a great time to plant almost any tree, shrub, perennial, ground cover, wildflower seeds and the last of spring-flowering bulbs. While the days are shorter and storms may affect our ability to work outdoors (we can hope for many such interruptions!), it is generally more pleasant […]

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October in the Garden

By Peyton / October 14, 2021

We’ve had a taste of autumn already in September this year, but October is really when sweater season starts. We can still have many warm, or even hot, days, these are balanced by the shorter days and cooler nights. If you are paying attention, you will notice more irrigation water run off and puddling. You […]

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September in the Garden

By Peyton / September 10, 2021

Perhaps you have noticed the days are getting shorter? A sure sign that summer is winding down and fall is around the corner. I think of the garden year not from January-December, but from autumn to autumn, since so much of our garden creation and re-creation happens in the fall. The first half of September […]

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Keeping

By Peyton / August 25, 2021

            De-cluttering has become a modern attribute of the successful productive life, like brushing your teeth or going to the gym. Which is all well and good, but sometimes I just want to keep it. Whatever it is. I was having this conversation with my sister the other day. My house isn’t nearly as full […]

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August in the Garden

By Peyton / August 2, 2021

            August can be a light work month in the garden, assuming you have repaired water leaks and kept the weeds, diseases, and pest insects to a manageable level. The main job this month is to conserve water in every way you can and plan on ways you can make your garden more drought resilient. […]

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Gardening in a Drought

By Peyton / July 20, 2021

                While hand watering my container plants on Wednesday, the approved day to water in my district’s guidelines, I thought about comments people made to me last week. They were basically of two kinds:                       “We’re all going to have to move out of California.”                 “We can’t have gardens anymore. There is no water.” […]

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July in the Garden

By Peyton / July 5, 2021

Be easy on yourself and on your garden this month. Do everything you can to conserve water. Enjoy the harvest of the summer garden. PLANTING: Don’t plant ornamental plants in July. Instead use your water to keep the vegetable garden, orchard and existing plants (especially trees) healthy. Edibles to plant include tomato, basil, and artichoke […]

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Summer is Here (no kidding)

By Peyton / June 19, 2021

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 […]

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June

By Peyton / June 1, 2021

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 winter […]

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Spring

By Peyton / March 27, 2021

“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 […]

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March in the Garden

By Peyton / March 1, 2021

March was the first month of the year in the original Roman calendar.  That feels right to me: March is a month of flowers and growth, the first full month in which almost everything in the garden is bursting with energy. Even the weather gets in on this act: March may be hot, cold, dry, […]

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Are you a Native Plant purist?

By Peyton / February 22, 2021

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 […]

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