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
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!
As the California asters come into bloom, flocks of butterflies stop by for a meal.Read More Here come the butterflies!
These California native shrubs create quite a show when in bloom, but they require a lot of room to spread. The benefit? They’ll grow without summer water, and actually don’t want any. These flannel bushes are growing in a field without irrigation, and this year they really seemed to appreciate all the rain they received. […]Read More Flannel Bush (Fremontodendron sp.)
The goal is to remove last year’s vegetation before it starts to grow back. The asters’ seeds have long since been picked over by the finches, and the sedges have not yet begun their spring growth spurt. Likewise, the grasses and other plants are just beginning to think about emerging from dormancy. It’s trim back […]Read More Trimming the meadow
California Dutchman’s Pipe flowers putting on a show in late January.Read More It’s pipevine time again!
After summer’s growth, the asters have come into flower, bringing clouds of hungry butterflies. This is when the meadow is tallest, where it starts looking wild and unkempt. Asters arc in all directions, visited by multiple species of butterflies: skippers, buckeyes, blues, sulfurs… Beneath the asters, native goldenrod blooms following earlier waves of flowers now […]Read More The meadow at it’s messiest: butterfly paradise
Removing lawn is a good thing if you live in an area where water is limited. You’ll save on your water bill, avoid breathing dust and smog from a mower and gain more color and interest. Here are some things to consider when removing your lawn to conserve water and create a more sustainable landscape. […]Read More Five things to consider when removing your lawn