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Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Please Join Me on August 7, 2013

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On Wednesday, August 7, I’ll be the featured speaker for the monthly meeting of the Santa Barbara County Horticultural Society. My talk will be: “Digging the Good Life: Creating Colorful, Water-Conserving Gardens.” I’ll describe how to create gardens in a number of different styles by using the wide range of colorful and interesting low-water plants that thrive in our mild, wonderful climate.

National Public Gardens Day: Go Play!

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Got spring fever? Itchy feet? How about playing hooky and getting out to visit a community garden? This Friday, May 11, is National Public Gardens Day. The fourth annual event, each year set for the Friday before Mother’s Day, is a “national day of celebration that invites communities to explore the beauty of their local green spaces while raising awareness of the important role public gardens play in promoting conservation, education and environmental preservation,” according to organizers. But cut to the chase. Locally, a host of public and […]

The Kindest Cuts: Pruning During the Dormant Season

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Sharpen those pruners. It’s time to start cutting in the garden. Despite a run of warm days, this is the season when many landscape plants are dormant — or as dormant as they’re going to be in our temperate climate. Making corrective cuts now will boost their health and encourage more buds, flowers and fruit. First up are roses and deciduous fruit trees. But other dormant plants will benefit from a shape-up now, too. It’s a lot easier to prune when your shrubs and trees are bare. You […]

New Roses for 2012

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If your idea of the perfect rose is a long-stemmed beauty with stately, overlapping petals, then this year’s introductions may come as a surprise. Of the 15 new roses that are sure to be the most widely available in 2012, there’s only one classic hybrid tea rose. Instead, most are shrub roses in one form or another, designed to be planted throughout the landscape, rather than isolated in a formal rose garden. As for the ever-important flowers — rather than formal and elegant, these newcomers trend toward clusters […]

Time to Tend Those Roses + New Roses for 2011

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Beauty or beast? Roses may be one or the other, depending on the time of year. Now, they’re undeniably the beasts of the garden. Whether already established or about to be purchased, they can look downright pitiful, truly nothing more than a few thorny sticks in the ground. Yet give them a few months, and they’ll soar right back to the top of the beauty chart. They’ll stay there, pumping out luscious flowers until next winter, at which time they’ll tumble back into beastly land again. While it […]

2011: New Garden, New Year

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It’s a new year. And with it comes an opportunity to approach your garden with a fresh eye. Month by month, here’s what to expect on the Central Coast during the gardening year. January January kicks off bare-root season. Roses, deciduous fruit trees and even a few perennial vegetables, including asparagus and artichokes, can be planted this month and next. Bare root plants are dormant: all you’ll see is a twiggy stick or two, attached to spidery roots. For roses, select varieties that do well in cooler, coastal […]

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