The “Other” Japanese Maple

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 […]






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R.I.P. big manzanita

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 […]






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Using irises in the garden

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 […]






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The wildflowers are here!

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 […]






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