Sweet Peas

Posted on May 17, 2013

We are experimenting with various flowers this year, to help us determine recommendations for the best to grow in a cutting garden.  I think that you will agree, that Sweet Peas steal the show.  The picture below shows the plants themselves in our garden — we planted SIX seeds! — in a vase, and up close. They have been blooming like this for about a month now, and we fully anticipate another month of being able to step outside and cut a bouquet for ourselves or to give away.  Once cut, they must be immediately placed in water, so take your vase outside with you.  And sadly, their sweet, sweet fragrance and the flowers themselves only last a few days.  Even...

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Cabbage Aphids

Posted on Apr 26, 2013

Beginning in the Spring, Cabbage Aphids (Brevicoryne brassiere) can become an issue on cole crops that include brussel sprouts, cabbage and kale, to name a few.  The best defense is to watch carefully for infestations, removing any signs with a strong stream of water.  Pay especially close attention to the innermost stems, underside of leaves and any leaves that have curled, opening them up for inspection.  Natural enemies such as the lady beetle and parasitic wasp, Diaeretiella rapae, can also prove effective.  These beneficial insects can be purchased at better gardening centers or online.  For further information, please refer to the University of California...

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First Pick From A Cutting Garden

Posted on Apr 25, 2013

I have been so busy on projects, that I have neglected this blog, meant to be filled with tips and inspiration for clients and visitors.  To kickoff the goal of getting back to the business of blogging, I wanted to start by sharing with you a photo of the first-picked flowers of the season from my cutting garden.  Ideas, a variety of plants, and gardening techniques are tested in my own garden.  Sometimes, the results truly depict a season.  Here is Spring:  

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Raised Bed Gardens – Elevated Garden Beds

Posted on Mar 17, 2012

There is a movement across America, and Southern California is no exception —  adding a place to grow edibles in your garden.  There are several options for finding the right spot for growing vegetables (or maybe a flower cutting garden!).  One of the following ideas or a combination of the ideas, will probably work well for you. You can amend the soil at ground level in either an existing bed, or one that you create by removing a patch of turf, etc.  The soil should be amended with manure, compost, or leaf mold to create an environment that will promote microbial activity which not only affects the texture of the soil, but also supplies nutritional benefits. ...

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Garden Journals & Logs

Posted on Feb 8, 2012

Garden designers have been known to say that the most important component of a garden is 40 years.  Plants are alive and seem to exist just to break the rules of what we expect. It is seldom that they perform or behave as described in the reference books that we have pored over to do our planning.  It is the gardening experience and observation of our own piece of the earth that will lead us to understand – and possibly forecast – a plant’s behavior. In defense of these plants and trees, we need to remember that the influences that affect the rate at which they grow, the color they develop, their size and longevity, are never the same.  It is through journaling and...

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Garden Styles and Gardening Concepts

Posted on Jan 10, 2012

The cooler months are the perfect time in Southern California to begin planning your Spring garden project, whether that is to completely redo your gardens or to simply make changes to an existing flower bed. There are three words that we are hearing on a regular basis in the gardening community: sustainable, green and Xeriscape. These three terms or garden concepts have overlapping meanings that can cause some confusion. They are not garden styles, but rather descriptions of the practices to be used in the garden. Wikipedia has a great definition of the concept of a sustainable garden, which is “integrate environmental, social and economic factors in an attempt to...

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