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California Gardening 192 Stories

March won't be the same around my garden this year. After somewhere between 10 and 20 years, our Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' went out in blaze of blue glory. Every spring you could...
March won't be the same around my garden this year. After somewhere between 10 and 20 years, our Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' went out in blaze of blue glory. Every spring you could...
10 Top California Native Plants, Trees and Grasses
These plants provide an important habitat to critters large and small, stunning seasonal colors, textures and interest in any-size garden, and are climate appropriate in dry California summers. They were chosen for their gardening ease, extreme...
Great Design Plant: Bouteloua Gracilis
I have a crush on blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis), whose feathery summer seed heads would be the envy of any mascara commercial. Even better, blue grama grass is a resilient, tough little native prairie grass that thrives in dry, sunny locations...
Great Design Plant: Gilia Capitata
Don’t let the delicate powder-blue flowers fool you. Globe gilia (Gilia capitata) is tough and one of the easiest annuals to grow. It loves hot sun and dry, rocky hillsides. I have it in sunny locations in my home garden — on the slopes of...
Great Design Plant: Aloe ‘Blue Elf’
There are so many different aloes available for the drought-tolerant landscape, but Blue Elf aloe (Aloe ‘Blue Elf’) offers something that other aloes can’t — it thrives in full sun, including areas that receive hot, reflected heat. Shady...
Great Design Plant: Agave Vilmoriniana
While you normally wouldn’t describe a succulent as being graceful, it is one of the first words that comes to mind when you see the curved leaves of octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana). This agave species has a tropical look and is somewhat unique...
10 Top Native Plants for Southern California Gardens
From the stunning blue of California lilacs in spring to the joyful, daisy-like blooms of California sunflowers from spring to fall, and the spritely charms of pink chaparral currants in winter, the plants below have been selected for their wildlife value,...
Great Design Plant: Juniperus Squamata ‘Blue Star’
Certain garden plants earn their designation as go-to plants, and usually for good reasons. Consider Blue Star juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’). It has a compact size and offers evergreen foliage with seasonal interest, versatility,...
Great Design Plant: Ribes Malvaceum
Pink chaparral currant (Ribes malvaceum) revives the sleeping garden with elegant pink tassels and handsome mallow-like leaves on its upright branches. The white to pink flowers bloom as early as October and continue as late as March. It is an...
Great Design Plant: Winter Jasmine Gladdens Snowy Gardens
Just when you can’t bear the thought of another gray day, winter jasmine comes to the rescue. Cascading bright green branches are covered with sunny yellow flowers from Thanksgiving to early spring, not missing a beat — even when it snows. Although...
Mistletoe Is Coming to Town
For many, mistletoe prompts visions of holiday celebrations — maybe a stolen kiss or two. When it’s not being used as holiday decor, mistletoe is actually a parasitic plant, attaching itself to the branches of trees for water and nutrients. In winter...
Great Design Plant: Cyrtomium Falcatum ‘Rochfordianum’
By late fall much of the woodland garden has gone to sleep until spring. Many ferns show only brown, lifeless remnants of their former seasonal glory, making the few evergreen fern species even more valuable this time of year. Let’s consider Japanese...
Great Design Plant: Low-Maintenance Calliandra Eriophylla
Pink fairy duster (Calliandra eriophylla) pairs the ability to thrive in the hot, dry deserts of the U.S. with delicate, puffy pink flowers. This medium-size shrub takes center stage in spring (and occasionally in fall), when...
Great Design Plant: Annual Phacelias
Phacelias start their springtime display by uncoiling their curved racemes with flowers of blue, mauve, purple or lavender. As their eye-catching, bell-shaped flowers open, these annuals call pollinators for a yummy meal of nectar and pollen. The high...
Great Design Plant: Convolvulus Cneorum
The silvery foliage and white flowers of bush morning glory (Convolvulus cneorum) make it is easy to see the benefits of adding it to the landscape. Not to be confused with invasive bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis),...
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