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Gardening: Tips for growing tropical and exotic fruit trees in Southern California via Orange County Register

The pleasure of hanging out with plant people is what you learn from them. Such people, and the plants they grow, are typically full of wonderful surprises. Just the other day, I met Ash Jahanbin, whose mission in life is to grow and to care for exotic fruit trees. To this end, he runs a […]

Bringing nature home: Why and how to garden with native plants via Coastal View News

Gardening with plants native to the Santa Ynez mountains and Carpinteria’s coastal bluffs is a beautiful way to honor the ecosystems in which we live, as well as providing an environmentally sustainable alternative to water-guzzling landscapes such as lawns.   Native plants bloom and fruit prolifically throughout the year with almost no water, providing crucial […]

Plant of the Day Sunday 18 February 2018 In a courtyard of the… via Plant of the Day

Read Plant of the Day Sunday 18 February 2018 In a courtyard of the Alcázar of Seville, Spain, Cestrum ‘Newellii’ (bastard jasmine) was flowering. This vigorous evergreen shrub can grow to 3m, with clusters of bright crimson, tubular flowers that can be followed by purple berries. This plant comes originally from Mexico and can withstand temperatures down […]

Announcing Our New Guide to Garden Shed Design via Gardenista

A garden shed should be a sanctuary. Your safe space. At its most modest, a shed is the little building in the backyard, preferably covered with vines, where you can slip off on your own to hang your hat on a hook, re-pot an overgrown scented geranium, and organize all your sharp-edged tools. Read Announcing […]

Gardening 101: Coleus via Gardenista

Coleus: Plectranthus scutellarioides   Is coleus a plant you have to learn to love? Garden trends ebb and flow—and bright, dramatically colored foliage can be an acquired taste. I used to dismiss these tropical plants because I thought their brightly tinged leaves screamed gaudiness and were unbelievably hard to mix with other flowers. No longer. Now I […]

Dazzling Dahlias – 2 in a series – Dahlia ‘Contraste’ via Gardenia.net

  Dahlia ‘Contraste’ produces profuse and spectacular dark red flowers adorned with contrasting pure white tips. The fully double flowers, up to 8-9 in. wide (20-22 cm), are borne atop strong stems from summer to frost and provide an amazing focal point in the garden or in a vase. Bred in France as a cut […]

How To Use A Bulb Auger (And Plant Bulbs In Minutes) via The Impatient Gardener

I wish I had had one of these when I was planting my own bulbs. It is slow going with a trowel in hard soil but this could have made all the difference. — Douglas   Last spring Mr. Much More Patient looked out the window at our still-gray landscape and asked why we didn’t […]

Leuchtenbergia principis / Agave cactus via CactGuy

Click through to see 2 additional pictures Read Leuchtenbergia principis / Agave cactus via CactGuy * A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! An interesting link found among my daily reading Read more on this topic: Dramatic […]

Elements of a Japanese Garden via FineGardening

The art and craft of the Japanese garden continues to thrive today after well over 1,300 years in Japan and for the last 150 years in various points west and east. It is difficult to define one reason for the almost instant endearment of these beautiful spaces, but for me, it has always been the […]

Your First Garden: What You Need to Know Before You Plant Bulbs via Gardenista

I love garden bulbs and have planted over 150 here in my own garden. They bring me joy each Spring when I am rewarded with lovely flowers for little to no effort (after the initial planting). I have snowflakes, paperwhites, daffodils, and a few amaryllis that return year after year. Bulbs are a great idea […]