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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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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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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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Winter Wonderland (California Style)

By Peyton / January 9, 2018

I love this season! Wait – didn’t I say that about Autumn?      As I’m writing this it is raining, the first “real” storm of the season. In California’s Mediterranean climate, the normal is for us to receive the majority of rain and snow in winter and early spring. It’s been a dry fall. December […]

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Autumn color in the California garden

By Peyton / November 16, 2017

I love this season! We get to fill empty spaces with new plants or move them around, re-imagine & renovate garden rooms or the entire landscape, and work in pleasant weather. Plus – the colors are wonderful! Sometimes I hear people wish for “more fall colors” in their California garden. What I think they mean […]

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Heat Stress

By Peyton / August 30, 2017

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 […]

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Visiting Denver Botanical Garden

By Peyton / July 26, 2017

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 I see California native plants […]

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Wrong Wrong Wrong

By Peyton / May 31, 2017

I’m an expert, right? Doesn’t mean I don’t get things wrong sometimes. My contractor colleague and friend, Steve Koemppel (SK Landscaping) said, “The only wrong thing is to quit.” Thanks, Steve! It’s tempting to pretend no one noticed, no one will notice, or that whatever you got or did wrong won’t really matter because whoever […]

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7 Great CA Native Plants for Southern Sierra & South Valley Gardens – Pt 2

By Peyton / May 17, 2017

Greetings! Welcome to new subscribers and thanks to all of you for reading and spreading the word about this blog.  The following is part two: please also read part one, available in the archives. In the upcoming weeks, I will write about plants, life, and our life with plants. Mostly native, but not always. Let […]

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7 Great CA Native Plants for Southern Sierra & South Valley Gardens – Pt 1

By Peyton / May 10, 2017

Greetings! Welcome to new subscribers and thanks to all of you for reading and spreading the word about this blog.  The following two-parter is something I’ve been wanting to share for a long time. So, here it is! In the upcoming weeks, I will write about plants, life, and our life with plants. Mostly native, […]

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Promising new (to me) California native plants

By Peyton / October 3, 2016

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 […]

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A garden of another color

By Peyton / August 7, 2016

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. Monochromatic gardens have been around […]

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