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February in the Garden

By Peyton / February 3, 2024

Is it spring yet? Many days in February feel like spring. Early wildflowers have appeared. Some trees are starting to leaf out already. But we still might get frost, fog, rain, snow and even hail. It’s a transition month which means change which means expect variety, in the weather and in our gardens. Enjoy watching […]

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September in the Garden

By Peyton / September 4, 2023

I’m thinking of “resilience” as we enter September and a new season. After years of drought, this year has brought historic flooding to end winter and enter spring, heat waves but also periods of unseasonably cool summer weather, thunderstorms and wind, a tornado or two, and measurable, in some cases significant, rain in August. What […]

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August in the Garden

By Christina Morris / August 15, 2023

Bonus web-only content: June seemed to go on for six weeks. July was two weeks. August is lining up nicely with the Julian calendar (so far). Expect another heat wave or two. Watch night time temperatures more than daytime. If temps are in 60’s, the plants can cool off. If nighttime temps are in the […]

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July in the Garden

By Peyton / July 14, 2023

            “We’ve had a lovely long spring, but summer is inevitable.” I wrote that last year for the July Garden Tips, but it applies this year as well. It seemed like June went on forever, weather wise, and I’m not complaining! But, beginning this weekend, July has arrived. With the snow still on the mountains […]

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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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Autumn arrives

By Peyton / September 26, 2018

A busy year! And we’ve barely begun begun our busiest season, which is autumn, the best time of the year to plant almost everything here in the Southern Sierra and southern Central Valley of California. Challenges: I need to hire another landscaper! Quick!* Joys: I have great clients, customers, colleagues and team members! The plants […]

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Three Seasons & A Rest

By Peyton / April 2, 2018

In California’s Central Valley and Southern Sierra, we have three seasons of garden work, and one season of rest. Although most of our California gardens have a much lighter maintenance schedule than the gardens of our grandparents or parents, in order to look their best, there are a few meager chores we want to keep […]

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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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Making use of all this rain

By Peyton / February 10, 2017

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 […]

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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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