Waterwise Blog

Waterwise Blog

Gardening in Southern California

Show your colors: Many-hued native bulb flowers are built to survive our hot, dry climate

Many people are amazed to learn that there are bulbs native to California. “Bulbs” conjures images of gladioluses, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, even snowdrops — all of which are native to other parts of the world. But, bulbs native to California? Really? Yes, really. Nearly all the bulbs offered in nurseries...

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Killer Rays from the Sun

Thinking of replacing your lawn but not sure how to kill the grass?  Just as we use the sun’s rays to power our houses, heat water and run our cars, we can use the sun to kill lawns as well. The process, called solarization, uses the heat of the sun’s...

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Yarrow Can Color Your World

  Evergreen blooms come in many shades and aren’t too picky about sun or water From the San Diego Union Tribune, July 2, 2011   According to “A Modern Herbal,” yarrow has a long tradition of being used to heal wounds. Yarrow’s botanical name, Achillea, is after Achilles, who was...

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Summertime's purple powerhouse

Eggplants come in solids and stripes, and all need full sun Originally published in the U-T, May 6, 2011 at 4:37 p.m Illustration by CRISTINA MARTINEZ BYVIK Baba ghanouj, parmesan, roasted, curried or stir-fried with Thai basil … I can’t think of a way I don’t like to eat eggplant....

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Eating From the Garden Today

My husband harvested our first fingerling potatoes this evening.  Its hard to get any sense of their scale from the photo, but the largest ones were not quite three inches long. First fingerling potato harvest, April 2011 He sauteed them in garlic and olive oil, and served them with an...

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Garden Serendipity

This amazing combination caught my eye this morning as I arrived home from running errands…. Spring morning color tapestry Chartreuse blooming Euphorbia wulfenii, deep purple bearded iris, and  Arctotis ‘Big Magenta’ make an amazing display.  They were originally planted in different locations but somehow, magically, they’ve drifted together.   Another lovely...

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On the Pages of Fine Gardening

Wow! My first book, California Gardener’s Guide vII received a rave review by Fine Gardening Magazine blogger Billy Goodnick in his Cool Green Gardens blog. Read it here…. Billy Goodnick's Fine Gardening Blog

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Heavenly Gardens to Share

Finally!  A garden that fuses my husbands passion for star gazing with my passion for gardening. The January 18th Astronomy Picture of the Day featured The Kona Galaxy Garden in Paleaku Peace Gardens Sanctuary in Kona, Hawaii.  The Kona Galaxy Garden is a 30 m diameter garden bed planted to...

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The Gift

I recently had a most delightful phone call.  A young man found my website and called to ask about community garden plots as a holiday gift for his mother.  He was in from out-of-town and wondered if I could help him. His mother, it seems, had suffered some financial setbacks ...

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Natives, naturally

If you live in a mild winter areas, especially along the west coast, this is the perfect season to plant natives; the air has cooled, the soil is still warm, and the rains are about to start. Some people have the mistaken idea that native plants are not “real” garden...

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The organic way: Be Wise Ranch has found success through tenacity and innovation

A tall man stands in the field, surveying a vast sea of green. It is late summer, and veteran organic farmer Bill Brammer has rivulets of sweat running down his neck. The mercury passed 100 degrees around midday. This oppressive heat is hard on people but great for ripening tomatoes....

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Pot Medic to the Rescue

This time of year, its pretty hot in my garden – too hot to for new plants to go into the ground and too hot for me to be out in the garden all day. Instead, I turn my attention to my container plants. I have dozens of them, so...

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