Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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Post Tag: Perennials

Have a sloping garden?  Tiers can stop the tears (sorry – couldn’t help myself)
Steep slopes in the garden are problematic at best.  Ever try and plant, prune, or deadhead on a steep hill?  NOT fun. I should know.  I've spent the past 2 years working in my new garden , trying to tame a pretty slope that has caused me to shed a tear or two in frustration. And you can imagine what it looks like after a pouring rain, right?  A big, muddy mess at the bottom of the hill. That’s where [read more]
The Sacramento Historic Cemetery’s Native, Perennial, & Rose Gardens
I can't believe it, but I'm coming up on the 2nd year anniversary since moving up north to Granite Bay from the Bay Area.  During the past two years, I've been having so much fun touring lots of public and private gardens in the area. It seems like a lot of my favorite gardens are linked with historical sites, which is no surprise since I live in the middle of gold rush country. The 30-acre Sacramento Historic Cemetery is one [read more]
Multi-Purpose Mediterranean Makeover
  While most of us are still recovering from a punishing few weeks of winter weather, longing for the first days of spring,  I thought I'd share with you another 'Before-and-After.' As you may remember, in my last post I showed a transformation that involved removing my client's pool and replacing it with a beautiful and functional garden. Today I'll show you an entirely different scenario.  In this Mediterranean garden, the pool is a actually cherished part of the [read more]
Drought Tolerant Superstars for the summer garden
I’m finally able to catch my breath after my big move, and now that the suffocating summer heat has passed and I can think and write clearly again!   It’s been a hot, hot summer with temperatures averaging in the 100’s for weeks on end (definitely not the norm, locals assure me, as they see me slowly begin to lose my mind.) And while some of the plants that I hauled all the way up here have melted away [read more]
Monarch Mayhem: joy and heartbreak in the garden
Remember last year when I wrote about my daughter’s newly found passion for monarch butterflies? Well, I recently received this text from her: “Guess who’s back!’ Emily was thrilled to find two more emerald chrysalises hanging from her front door – a repeat performance of last spring!  (can you spot them?  It's the teeny tiny bright green dot at the very top of the door.)   Remembering the Butterflyweed (asclepias tuberosa) that had at one point re-seeded and grew [read more]
Drought tolerant superstars for the spring garden
As I write the latest installment of my drought-tolerant series, yet another storm is heading our way.  Its been a soaking wet, record-breaking winter this year, with most counties having now lifted their mandated water restrictions. But there's still a few cities that realize this annual rainfall won't last, and continue to mandate strict water restrictions. Santa Barbara, for example, has recently banned watering residential lawns to help achieve their city-wide goal of 40% water reduction. (Click here to read an [read more]
Drought Tolerant Superstars for the Winter Garden – Part II
The other day someone asked me if I thought California's Governor would declare that we are no longer in a drought.  And if so, would I continue to focus on creating low-water gardens. While I’m rejoicing with all the rain that we've had, the question caught me by surprise. Of course, I’m going to continue with my low-water designs! For me, gardening with the drought in mind is a way of life. The fact remains that we live [read more]
The Getty Museum’s Central Garden
Two days ago I flew to LA for the day to visit my daughter, and on a whim decided to visit the Getty Museum's Central Garden. While I've been there before in the spring and summer, I've never visited in the fall and was excited to see the seasonal changes. The Central Garden differs from many of the other public gardens I've written about in that it was specifically created to be a permanent piece of living art for the [read more]
My Top 10 Favorite Black Plants
One of my all-time favorite colors to use in the garden is black.  While it can be tricky to find plants that have true black foliage (most are closer to maroon or deep purple), here are some of my favorites that come pretty close. And just in time for Halloween, too! (more…) [read more]
Drought tolerant superstars for the fall garden
After a lifetime spent gardening throughout California, one thing I've learned is there's drought tolerant, and then there's drought tolerant. Many plants that claim to be low-water might do okay for the first year or two, but soon cry uncle when blasted with year after year of unrelenting drought. As a designer, it's a constant challenge to find beautiful and unusual plants that don't just eek along in these difficult conditions but to discover those that actually thrive. And that's [read more]