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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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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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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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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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Milkweed for the California Garden

By Peyton / July 16, 2016

Almost everyone has heard that our beautiful Monarch butterflies across the United States are in decline. Fortunately, many gardeners and property owners, including farmers, are taking steps to help the population rebound. Habitat loss is the main reason for the butterfly decline, according to the experts. It’s also at least partly responsible for the decline […]

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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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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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