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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


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


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 […]

How to Keep Your Trees Healthy During the Drought


Make like rain and start irrigating your trees. The two gentle waves of rain that fell this week have been wonderful for washing off dust, freshening the air and moistening the soil. But they only put a dent in a water deficit that’s been building for the past few years. 2013 was one of our driest years on record and both Gov. Jerry Brown and Santa Barbara County have declared a drought emergency. So why suggest upping your irrigation if we’ve had a little rain, plus we’re in […]

It’s Time to Plant Bare-Root Deciduous Fruit Trees


Garden miracle or lesson in patience? Planting a bare-root, deciduous fruit tree is a little of both. The garden miracle: that what looks like a stick with a few scraggly roots will ultimately yield a delicious bounty. The patience: you have to care for that stick for three to five years before it completes its transformation into a leafy tree that begins to bear fruit. Now is the season for bare-root fruit trees. They’re dormant, so they don’t mind being stripped of soil, transported and planted before waking […]

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


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


I’m happy to announce that I’ll now be contributing my In the Garden articles to 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 […]

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