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Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Edible Gardening with Children: Summer Playtime in the Garden

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School’s out and there’s no better time to enlist your kids to grow fresh edibles. Many summer crops grow fast and yield bounty that children like to eat. Start your kids playing in the dirt early, and they’ll develop an appreciation for home-grown food and healthy habits for life. If you don’t have children, gather your neighbors’ kids instead. Or simply vow to rediscover your inner child by taking time to view your garden with wide-eyed wonder, kneeling down to breathe in the scents and to inspect your […]

Water Conservation and the Drought: Local Landscape Experts Meet to Discuss Ways to Cut Water Use

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They’re not hitting the panic button yet. But there is an increasing sense of urgency on the part of local water agencies to get out the word that the drought is serious and that people need to start using significantly less water. Earlier this week, water purveyors met at Chase Palm Park Center with about 30 landscape architects, designers, irrigation specialists, master gardeners and other landscape pros to talk about the drought and explore ways to capture the public’s attention. “Obviously we had a lot of rain in […]

Poinsettias Don’t Have to Get Tossed With the Gift Wrap

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Face it. While your poinsettias may still be in picture-perfect condition, they’re likely to collapse after the first of the year. Then the easiest course of action is to toss them into the green waste. But I often feel a twinge of guilt for discarding what might be a perfectly reasonable plant. In most parts of the country, the climate takes care of the decision. It’s too darned cold in the winter or too blazing hot in the summer for poinsettias to survive. But they will live happily […]

My Newest Venture: My In the Garden Column Will Begin Running in Noozhawk

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I’m happy to announce that I’ll now be contributing my In the Garden articles to Noozhawk.com. Noozhawk, “the freshest news in Santa Barbara,” is an online-only news service that delivers essential local news and community information to readers in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Carpinteria, Summerland and the rest of Santa Barbara County. The beauty of an online “newspaper” is that it’s not limited to traditional deadlines, it’s always ready to post breaking news, you can easily retrieve any article day or night, and you never again have to […]

Growing Hops: Time for Beer

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“Fresh from the vine” is not a phrase usually associated with home-brewed beer. But grow your own hops, and you can claim just that. In the garden, hops are fast-growing, perennial vines that can soar 20 feet tall in a flash. They’re also exceedingly deciduous, dying to the ground and vanishing each winter. But in late summer or early fall, their female, cone-shaped flowers grow plump with lupulin — yellow, pollen-like granules — that preserve and add aroma and flavor to beer. The lime-green cones look similar to […]

Waiting for Fall: Start Planning Now

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Limbo. That’s the status of many Central Coast gardens during the first part of September. Other than harvesting the last sun-ripened summer vegetables, keeping pace with watering and pulling an occasional weed, there’s not much that demands our attention. Which makes this the perfect time to prepare for fall. Whether you’re anticipating a simple tune-up or wholesale renovation, you can start planning now. Consider the overall layout and flow of your garden first. Then focus your attention on plants. Hardscape Hardscape is just about everything that’s not a […]

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