Post Tag: Fall color

Pyracantha Pandemonium
It started out just like any other January day. For the past week, I had been admiring one of my favorite shrubs growing in my side yard - the humble pyracantha. I had been wondering to myself why more people didn't love this shrub as I do.  Didn't they realize all the seasonal beauty it freely gives to the garden? In the early spring, I’m rewarded with a show of slender branches cloaked in cascades of dainty white flowers. [read more]
Create longer-lasting fall color in the garden
There's something magical about fall colors in the garden, isn't there?  My favorite time of year is the moment I open my front door and see my Japanese maples and Crepe Myrtle trees have turned their fiery shades of yellow, red and orange - signaling the calm before the storm (the storms from both winter as well as the holiday crush!) While it's easy enough to get fall color from the occasional maple, burning bush or viburnum in your garden, [read more]
Hooray for Heucheras! An interview with Terra Nova Nurseries
Heucheras (aka: Coral Bells or Allum Root) are one of my favorite perennials in the garden, whether adding spots of color in the front of the border, massed together in drifts or nestled into a container.   I'd be lost if I couldn't use these little treasures in my designs, as their foliage comes in just about every color imaginable, they reliably return year after year and they're even somewhat deer resistant. The folks at Terra Nova Nursery (located in [read more]
Cornerstone Garden Grasses
Sonoma's Cornerstone Gardens is one of my very favorite public gardens to visit any time of year.  In my opinion, though, the fall is the best time of all. Not only are the summer crowds long gone but the colors of fall are just beginning to explode.  No longer filled with grapes, the surrounding vineyards shimmer with shades of gold and red, and fall's soft and slanted sunlight peeks through the olive trees. And to top things off, the grasses [read more]
Kniphopfias (aka: Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily) are one of my very favorite flowers to add vertical interest to the garden.  Seeing their snake-like stalks rise from a clump of lush leaf blades is always a joy to behold as they stretch their long necks what seems like several inches a day. I don't know why, but they're really not planted enough around here (IMHO!) While visiting a client's garden a few days ago, I was amazed at the [read more]
 I'll admit it - I haven't included annuals in a design in a long, long time. Maybe even never. I'm not talking about the drool-inducing annuals over at Annie's Annuals.  I'm talking about the tried and true (some might say 'boring') ones that have been used over and over and over again. Now, it's not because I'm a plant snob, but simply a result of living in a mild climate.  Here in Northern California, many perennials are actually semi-evergreen, and [read more]
One of the benefits of speaking at different garden clubs is the chance to meet their members and visit their beautiful gardens.  One such person is Bonnie Manion, whom I met at the La Jolla Village Garden Club last fall. After a morning of touring gardens, we ended our day at Bonnie's home where we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in her vineyard.  Part of the fun was meeting her two chickens, Charley (short for Charlotte) and Dahlia. (more…) [read more]
Flowers in February? Absolutely!
While visiting the garden of one of my favorite clients yesterday I was really pleased with how it looked in the middle of February.  When designing, one of my priorities is to create a garden that looks good throughout the year.  Luckily, living in Northern California's zone 9, this is a very attainable goal.  However, so many clients think I'm exaggerating and doubt that it'll really look good in January and February. Even though we get temperatures that dip into [read more]
It’s that time of year again, when our gardens are aflutter with leaves falling (and falling and falling), blanketing our beds with brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. Ever wonder why leaves fall? (more…) [read more]
I'm so excited to be participating again in another fabulous Garden Bloggers Bloom Day! For those of you not familiar with what ‘Bloom Day’ is, it’s a blogging tradition started by May Dreams Gardens where, on the 15th of each month, garden bloggers everywhere have the opportunity to show you what’s going on in their own gardens.  My  garden is located in Los Altos, California (USDA Zone 9B) This summer, my garden has been largely ignored due to [read more]
. There's so many things I love about Fall - the holidays, the food, the smell of the heater turning on for the first time, putting the extra blanket on the bed and the way the garden begins to quiet down. , I think one of my favorite things, however, is the way the sun's slanted rays hits certain plants, causing them to glow with a magical brilliance. (more…) [read more]
. When you think of fall color California probably isn't the first (or second or even 20th) state that comes to mind.  Sure, those of you who live in the Northern states have your world renowned fall color, but out here in California we, too, have some pretty amazing color  - honest! I'm not talking about further up in Northern California, where temperatures dip into the single digits, helping leaves take on the brilliant hues of fall.  I'm talking about [read more]