Other WelchWrite Blogs: My Word with Douglas E. Welch Career Opportunities

Home -- Contact Me -- Search Welchwrite.com -- Subscribe to AGN
Join the AGN Mailing List!

Saturday, January 04, 2003

Pat Welsh's Southern California Gardening
: A Month-by-Month Guide


When we bought the house back in 1997 -- with its 10-year-old gardens, front and back -- I knew I needed a good gardening reference book specific to Southern California. My gardening knowledge from Ohio wouldn't suit me well out here.

I came across this book at a small bookstore in Santa Monica and had to have it. Not only is it chock-full of marvelous information, it has monthly checklists so you can be reminded of the important gardening tasks each month. I have found it unvaluable in maintaining and refurbishing my garden.

My edition of the book is older, but a new version came out just last year. If you are a Southern California gardener, or have a similar Mediterranean climate, I highly recommend this book.

Waiting on the porch

I have 2, 1-gallon containers of yellow lantana sitting on my porch, awaiting addition to the front bed along the street. I am only waiting for a little relief from a rotten head cold before I get out the spade and golves.

The purple variety of lantana,(Lantana montevidensis, I believe) I planted a few years ago has taken off very well and is really helping to keep the nut grass out of the bed. Long ago I decided on developing some sort of purple and gold theme for this front bed, but the yellow coreopsis that were once there have died out. I hope that the addition of these 2 yellow lantana do as well as the others. If so, I will be able to remove some of the other plants which are cluttering up the bed.

The plant links above come from The Plants Database, a great resource for plant information and pictures I found only today.

Friday, January 03, 2003

Rose Pruning

Since the weather is so mild in most of California, except at higher elevations, gardeners don't "bed down" their roses for the Winter as might happen elsewhere. That said, our roses still require a yearly pruning to remain productive and healthy. This job is already on my to-do list, but I often end up doing it on a whim when I have the energy and time.

I have about 50 roses, but the process only take a few hours, at most. It usually fills all my garden bins, as the rose canes tend to knit together and not pack as tightly as other materials.

Whatever the weather, be sure to wear long sleeves and long pants made of tough fabric. I have created long gashes in my arms and my clothing while pruning.

There is a lot of rose pruning information on the web and also through local botanical gardens. Descanso Gardens and The Huntington Library and Gardens offer pruning class each year.

Google Search on Rose Pruning

Weeping Willows

Many people find AGN when searching for information on Weeping Willows. One of my first AGN columns, years ago, was dedicated to the removal of one of these trees when I moved into my current home. In an effort to serve this need for more willow information, I am looking up some other great resources available on the net and posting them here.

Here is the first of those links.

Web House.net Willow Info (w/pictures)

Willow Myths and Stories

Wellesley College Willow Information

A Gardener's Notebook
, a monthly - then weekly, - then monthly column, has always been one of the most visited areas of my web site, even long after I stopped writing the column. In an effort to find an outlet for all my garden-related information, I am revitalizing AGN as a web log.

Web log technology makes it easier for me to maintain the site and more quickly place new content. I hope you enjoy my ramblings here as I sit in my garden and ponder that joy that is the outdoors.

Past AGN columns are still available on the web site.