California Gardening 188 Stories

Great Design Plant: Firecracker Penstemon
Pass by any landscape that has firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatonii) and you can't help but be drawn in by its vibrant orange-red blooms. Native to arid regions of the American Southwest, this beautiful, low-maintenance perennial brings a...
Great Design Plant: Western Bleeding Heart
There is something magical about taking a woodland walk, especially in spring. It's the time to rediscover the native treasures of our landscape. Late March sees Western bleeding heart pushing up through the leaf litter in my own woodland, increasing...
Great Design Plant: Saucer Magnolia
A specimen tree that's unique and attractive, and offers year-round interest, makes sense in a garden; it's useful, hardworking and will perform season after season. Saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) performs most notably in one season...
California Gardener's February Checklist
When I worked for a California magazine company, the business folks thought that February was the time to invite prospective clients to the home office, a place with a big garden and patio for outdoor entertaining — a perfect setting for a little brainwashing...
Great Design Plant: Vine Maple
Whether you are looking for a well-behaved, smaller-size ornamental tree, wish to add some height to a native planting area, want to inject some great fall color and winter interest into your garden or just love something different, the Pacific Northwest...
Great Design Plant: Coyote Bush
You've seen coyote bush (Baccharis pilularis) spreading along California beach bluffs and up through coastal canyons. While more often than not it's found rather than designed with, restorationists and advocates of native planting...
Great Design Plant: Golden Currant
Found naturally across much of the United States and Canada, golden currant (Ribes aureum) occurs in many diverse habitats: prairies, stream banks edges, foothills, ponderosa pine forests and shrublands of sagebrush. Historically, several...
Great Design Plant: Island Alumroot
Island alumroot (Heuchera maxima), a native of California's Channel Islands and a shade-loving member of the Heuchera genus, is an attractive yet hardy underplanting companion for California’s native oaks and other large canopy trees. Majestic...
California Gardener's January Checklist
With cheer-bringing blossoms on bare stems in the dead of winter, the flowering quince is an ancient Chinese symbol of an auspicious New Year. At least as cheering to me would be seeing a Big 10 football team lose the Rose Bowl to a California team (go...
Great Design Plant: Noell's Grevillea
While grevillea hails from Australia, Grevillea ‘Noellii’ calls California home. This fine-foliaged evergreen shrub thrives in warm, coastal and dry areas and maintains an elegant and cheery garden presence year-round, displaying petite...
Great Design Plant: Coast Silktassel
Among the coastal shrubs and wild chaparral that call the mountainous coast of California and Oregon home, the pendulous catkins of coast silktassel (Garrya elliptica) are a prize. While most plants sleep through winter, coast silktassel comes...
Great Design Plant: Harry Lauder's Walking Stick
Not many plants boast a better guise without their leaves, and Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’) is probably the most distinct of them. Named for a connoisseur of unusual walking sticks, this contorted specimen shines...
Great Design Plant: California Poppy
Although California wildflowers are alarmingly threatened in their natural habitats, a number of them perform beautifully — if quirkily — in home gardens. In fact, the wildflower that's easiest to grow is also the best known and the most in-your-face...
Great Design Plant: Purple Prairie Clover
Purple prairie clover (also known as violet prairie clover) is a showy, adaptable perennial native to a wide variety of prairie ecosystems across most of central North America, from Saskatchewan down through Texas. It’s not a true clover but rather...
Great Design Plant: Persimmon
In late fall or early winter a leafless persimmon tree, branches bending under the weight of dozens (hundreds?) of gleaming orange fruits, looks like something out of an ancient Japanese brush painting. Before the fruit display, or along with it,...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™