The full moon maple’s Latin name, Acer japonicum, actually seems more Japanese than the Japanese maple, Acer palmatum. It’s native to Japan, of course. To confuse things even more, there’s Acer shirasawanum, also called full moon maple, sometimes considered a subspecies of A. japonicum. The ‘Aureum’ variety is an incredibly beautiful tree that’s incredibly difficult […]Read More The “Other” Japanese Maple
These large boxed trees originated in multiple wholesale nurseries, who mark their logos on the boxes the trees are shipped in. In this case, two logos and a lot of unmarked boxes. The shade cloth protects the trees from being whipped by the wind, and keeps them a bit cooler, too. Considering that trees don’t […]Read More Where do big trees come from? Big trucks!
The amaryllis are in bloom at a much needed time: mid-summer, when flowers are scarce.
The Outdoor Room, a special issue showcasing exactly what it says: outdoor rooms. More specifically, outdoor rooms with cooking centers and fire features, mostly. Our design had a challenge that was rather unique: we had to maintain access to the garage, and the owners had to be able to park a car behind the patio. […]Read More We’re in Hearth and Home magazine’s Outdoor Rooms special issue!
Our Dr. Hurd manzanita has been in decline for three years, after growing vigorously from a small five gallon plant to a four foot tall shrub. Leaves in some stems began to look thin and dry. I started a bit of water in summer, just hand watering on cooler days. This seemed to help, for […]Read More R.I.P. big manzanita
It reseeds, it’s tall, it’s got more leaves than flowers. Its flowers fall off as soon as the day warms. But it’s also a fantastic thing to watch as night deepens. After sunset, the buds begin to swell. The sepals crack apart, then flip open. The petals emerge like popcorn, their motion apparent as you […]Read More Oenothera Hookeri: a wonderful “weed”
Transforming this front yard into a wildlife garden brought a lot of color to the neighborhood. It now feeds pollinating insects, hummingbirds and other small birds.Read More Bringing the ‘burbs to life
Our last post was about enjoying your irises; this article is about how to use them to best effect in your landscape design. Pacific Coast irises can be a bit fussy if they’re not in their preferred coastal climate, depending on which species were used to breed them. Some species come from the foothills, and […]Read More Using irises in the garden
Some thoughts on bearded irises in California gardens…Read More Irises: lush in spring, water saving in summer
With all the rains come lots of wildflowers. These are typical early spring wildflowers growing over much of Northern California. Most can be grown in gardens from seed, bulbs or plants… well, maybe not the poison oak… I don’t know which species all of these plants belong to. Maybe that’s good, since I can just […]Read More The wildflowers are here!