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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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Earth Day in the native plant garden

By Peyton / April 25, 2016

     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 […]

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Spring in the CA native plant garden

By Peyton / February 11, 2016

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, […]

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Planting in winter

By Peyton / December 14, 2015

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 […]

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Autumn is here, but do we care?

By Peyton / September 24, 2015

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 […]

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A New Era

By Peyton / April 10, 2015

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 […]

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