California Gardening 161 Ideabooks

This time of year I wake up thinking about watering — sometimes, though, about the Giants game the night before, or Mad Men if it's Monday. True, most of California has had hardly any rain since last Christmas, but instead of obsessing about what a garden most desperately needs in midsummer (irrigation, crabgrass...
California Gardener's August Checklist
From the sparkling beaches to the craggy mountaintops, Northern California's magnificent scenery and activities beckon summer vacationers. Those same places also vividly display the area's wildly contrasting plant climates that make gardening here so...
California Gardener's September Checklist
It's pretty safe to say that fall, more than any other season, is what distinguishes California gardening from anywhere else. Notice I'm not talking about the weather. In much of the U.S. and around the world, September and early fall often deliver the...
Northern California Gardener's October Checklist
If you want further proof of how different California is, watch a Notre Dame football game on TV this month. I'm not talking about the more exciting way California teams play the game but about the fall scenes on Notre Dame's Indiana campus — gorgeous...
Southern California Gardener's October Checklist
Fall is prime planting time in Southern California. The well organized among us are rumored to plan all year long so that they're ready to spring into action the instant the hot weather subsides (usually by mid-October). The shorter days, cooler nights...
California Gardener's November Checklist
Other than the smell of a turkey roasting in the oven or the sight of a quarterback tossing a football to a receiver in the flat, nothing makes me feel better about November than a persimmon tree fully loaded with gleaming orange fruit among foliage turning...
California Gardener's December Checklist
As a way to make us appreciate what we had, I guess, my mother used to tell a girlhood story about trudging through the California foothills gathering red toyon berries to sell for holiday decorations. She wasn't the only toyon bandit. In the 1920s collecting...
Great Design Plant: Evergreen Huckleberry Appeals All Year
Evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) is surely one of the most versatile, attractive and wildlife friendly of all the Pacific Northwest natives. Factor in the delicious berries that are adored by wildlife and humans alike, and you have a plant...
Great Design Plant: Try California Wild Grape for Interest All Year
California wild grape is known best for its sensational fall colors, but it is much more than a one-season plant. In spring its silvery leaves and tiny buds emerge from bare vines. In summer the lush foliage with ripening fruit will conceal that...
Great Design Plant: Beavertail Prickly Pear Wows With Color
Take a walk through the desert in spring or early summer, and you’ll halt at the sight of vivid magenta flowers bursting forth from this medium-size prickly pear. Beavertail prickly pear’s lack of long spines and presence of attractive gray-blue...
Great Design Plant: Feed Wildlife With Flowering Currant
Long admired in the British Isles for their chubby racemes of bright flowers appearing in late winter to early spring, flowering currants (Ribes sanguineum) are now gaining the appreciation they deserve in West Coast gardens. Flowering...
Great Design Plant: California Buckwheat Pleases Pollinators
Of all the plants you could put in a native garden, buckwheat is a must. There are many species of buckwheat available. In the California garden, clusters of pink to cream flowers of California buckwheat are a huge hit with many pollinators,...
Great Design Plant: Chuparosa Brightens Casual Desert Gardens
It may come as a surprise that many plants native to the dry desert produce beautiful flowers. Chuparosa is one such plant; its bright red flowers add beauty to landscapes throughout the low-desert regions of the Southwest. Found along desert washes,...
Great Design Plant: Little Heath Andromeda Brings 4-Season Color
I always look for interesting foliage when selecting shrubs for the landscape or a container, and Little Heath andromeda is a reliable favorite. The small green and white variegated leaves form a tidy mound, unlike some of its larger cousins that can...
Great Design Plant: Baja Fairy Duster, a Scarlet Stunner
Whether you call the uniquely shaped flowers of this shrub fairy dusters or puff balls, they are sure to add beauty to a Southwestern landscape. Baja fairy duster’s dark green, lacy foliage provides a great backdrop to the vibrant red flowers, which...
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