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December in the Garden

By Peyton / December 20, 2023

            December is the coldest month of the year in our area, and the winter solstice occurs this year on Thursday, December 21 at 7:27 P.M. That’s the moment the sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn, which is the equatorial line cutting through South America, the tip of Africa and through Australia. At noon, the […]

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May in the Garden

By Christina Morris / May 11, 2023

Welcome to those of you who recently subscribed, at the Visalia Earth Day event or at the Blue Oak nursery! Every month I publish a general gardening “to do” blog which includes California native, exotic ornamentals and edibles. Newsletters focusing on native species and gardening go out seasonally and/or when there’s an event or news […]

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Spring Planting

By Peyton / February 21, 2022

          You hear it often that Autumn is the best season to plant in California. This is true, but you can plant in the spring. And how can we not be outside when the weather is so gorgeous? And really, we must do something besides battling weeds, right? There are many California native plants that […]

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Native Plants and the Vegetable Garden

By Peyton / June 25, 2020

What does vegetable gardening have to do with California native plants? Plenty, it turns out. When I first became interested in native plants, my philosophy was that it would be a good idea to use water, time and chemicals (if needed) on the edibles and use ornamental plants that wouldn’t need so much from me. […]

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Fragrance in the California Garden

By Peyton / February 8, 2020

First some basics: Fragrance will vary by season, air temperature and moisture content of the plants Experiment – create blends. It is generally better to have a dominant fragrance and many supportive fragrances Some plants that don’t smell powerful by themselves combine with others to make a great fragrance In our workshops, we snip and […]

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The Book is Published!

By Peyton / January 17, 2019

Anyone who has moved from inland coast areas, or anyone who has read the books, blog posts and articles based on coastal-California gardening, soon discovers that it’s a different story once you try to establish a native-based garden in the Great Central or other inland valleys, or up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

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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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In Love with Spiders

By Peyton / July 19, 2017

I admit it: I love spiders. When people post on social media their “Ick” and “OMG” reactions to spiders in the house, garden, barn or garage, all I can think is “cool.” I admit to killing a few black widows, knowing that re-location does not work well with them, plus I’ve already been bitten more […]

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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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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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The New Perennial Movement & California Native Plants

By Peyton / June 3, 2016

                                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 of The New Perennial Movement […]

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Cold, cold, cold

By Peyton / December 10, 2013

This article first appeared in the Porterville Recorder newspaper Dec. 7-8, 2013 and was written with mainly the Southern Sierra and Central Valley gardens in mind, but hopefully it’s useful to native plant gardeners across California.  Cold, cold, cold Frost periods like the one we’ve just had make me glad most of my plants are […]

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