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June in the Garden

By Peyton / June 5, 2024

            June means hot and dry weather, with occasional drops in temperature. Daytime temperatures average around 92 degrees Fahrenheit daytime and 58 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Expect almost 14 hours of sunshine per day, but don’t expect rain: June is historically the third driest month of the year. We know how to keep our gardens […]

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May in the Garden

By Peyton / May 7, 2024

Join us at The Blue Oak nursery May 18, 2024 for a BIRDS! workshop. More INFO             The story of this month is the brilliance and abundance of flowers, in our gardens and in our wild lands. But have you noticed the foliage also seems especially vigorous and healthy? Along with my plants, native and […]

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April in the Garden

By Peyton / April 2, 2024

Are you enjoying spring so far? We are enjoying another “superbloom” year for native wildflowers. If you can, take a drive to see some of the wildflowers. In our gardens, too, we should see foliage growth and flowers. This is a month of plenty of activity and plenty of chances to be outside enjoying and […]

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March in the Garden

By Peyton / March 3, 2024

Will March be rainy, frosty, windy, sunny, snowy, or all of the above? That would be normal. Spring is in the air, but we could have reminders of winter and hints of summer all month. Then again, we could have endless warm days and cool nights. That is all typical of spring in foothill, mountain […]

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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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January in the Garden

By Peyton / January 23, 2024

(Revised)             January is the month of rain, snow, ice, freezing temperatures, fog and wind. Sound good? Although plant and soil organism growth slows down in the cold soils of winter, some growth continues, often only underground. Our winter and early-spring blooming shrubs, bulbs and perennials love all this frosty damp weather. And what moisture […]

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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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Are you a Native Plant purist?

By Peyton / February 22, 2021

When we design, we talk about “purpose.” In the established garden, we use the term every few years -to reconsider the garden. Guiding principles, such as water-efficient and beneficial-to-nature, are big-picture “purpose” values in many modern gardens. On the micro, unique level, has the purpose in your existing garden changed? Are there new activities that […]

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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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