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Will summer ever end?

By Peyton / September 15, 2020

September is a hopeful month that begins to remind us that winter will be here again someday. It has become harder to predict what kind of September we will have. Historically, we should enjoy cooler temperatures both day and night, mostly due to the ever-shortening days. Planting:. We can finally begin to plant trees, perennials […]

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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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The Latest on Bees

By Peyton / April 17, 2020

Last week I attended a webinar hosted by the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program about what’s new in the world of our bees here in California. The basics: 60-70% of flowering plants require animal pollination. More than 80 crops require animal pollination. Some agricultural/garden crops require specific types of pollinators. For example, […]

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Spring is Here, whether we are noticing or not.

By Peyton / March 26, 2020

“In time of crisis people want to know that you care, more than they care what you know”      Will Rogers How will we remember this spring of 2020? What we remember? How much we learned about coronavirus or how much we discovered we cared about things we took for granted? I’ve been reading lots of […]

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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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What Should I Be Doing in the Garden?

By Peyton / February 4, 2020

Garden Tips for February 2020 Wait out rainy days – should they actually return — by planning the garden year ahead and shopping online or in print catalogs for ornamental and edible seeds. On dry days, at our little farm, we are harvesting oranges, pomelo, limes, kale, collards, chard, lettuce, spinach and radish. The broccoli […]

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Spring must be here

By Peyton / March 5, 2019

It’s not unpleasant to be out of doors in a light March rain, but working the soil at all when it’s this wet can easily cause compaction problems, which means drainage, root growth and root health problems later.

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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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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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