Waterwise Blog

Waterwise Blog

Gardening in Southern California

Hot Colors, Dry Garden #1

For months I’ve wanted to start this series, “Hot Colors, Dry Garden” so consider this the first installment.   And what better way to start out than with a pair of mind blowing images taken just a few weeks ago in my front garden? Hot Colors, Dry Garden is an invitation...

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Plant a Kaleidescope for Spring

I always caution gardeners in California and other hot, dry summer areas not to plant in summer. Plants just don’t adapt very well when it is so hot. Instead, it is better to plan in summer and plant in winter. That said, there are a few groups of plants are...

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Nan's Garden Tip #101: Mulching Vegetable Gardens

Want to make your vegetable garden more waterwise?  Here are two suggestions: Switch to drip irrigation Most vegetables dislike having wet leaves. In fact, wet leaves often become mildewed leaves.  Drip irrigation is far more efficient than overhead spray and it keeps leaves dry and mildew free. Mulch with a...

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Tom Sawyer and My New Wall

Is it okay for my blog to quote another blog?  Oh, what the heck! The wonderful Sharon Cohoon, Southern California editor for Sunset Magazine (and the woman I’d like to be when I grow up) wrote about my new garden wall in her blog, Fresh Dirt.   I love what she...

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Trouble with Tomatoes?

Monday a week ago, I was a guest on These Days, the morning talk show on San Diego Public Radio, KPBS.  I appear on These Days about once a quarter, where the delightful host Maureen Cavanaugh and I always start off on a topic or two.  Soon, however, the many...

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On the radio this morning

Had a great time doing my quarterly gardening radio gig on KPBS FM 89.5, Public Radio in San Diego. Host Maureen Cavanaugh is a blast to talk with, and the callers had great questions about tomatoes, how to water, the cool weather, and lots more. Click here to listen!

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Spring Cleaning in July

In most gardens, spring cleaning means preparing for spring.  In my garden, it means cleaning away the spring. Here in Southern California, spring is when plants explode into growth, expanding inches, it seems, each day.  By time we get to the heat of summer (which should be about now, though...

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Bye Bye Grass!

Its the “default landscape,” the “worry-free garden,” “the easiest thing in the world” – or is it? More and more, people acknowledge they are tired of having to mow, water, fertilize, weed, and pesticide (is that a verb?) lawn that they hardly ever use. Fortunately, there are lots of options...

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Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and honorary dad’s out there! I’m playing sous chef and head dishwasher for my daughter Tamar, as she prepares a meal for her dad from Cooking With the Seasons, Rancho La Puerta.  This is one of the wonderful cookbooks from Rancho La Puerta,...

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From Sticks to Stems

Years ago, a neighbor introduced herself to me as “the plant pincher.” I must have looked surprised because she explained that whenever she saw a plant she liked, she pinched a piece and took it home to try to root it. And, she continued, would I mind if she pinched...

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My Greener, Waterwise World

I had a delightful morning as I welcomed the crew from Growing a Greener World into my garden.  Growing a Greener World is the new PBS television gardening series hosted by Joe Lamp’l, one of my co-authors on my latest book, Waterwise Plants for the Southwest. Theresa Loe, associate producer...

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Living in beauty and privacy

When Maury and Heather Callaghan moved to their newly built Olivenhain home in 2001, they carpeted the two-thirds-acre lot in sod. The New Zealand natives had lived all over the world, most recently in Kentucky where they had a large, woodland garden. Both had gardened with their parents as children....

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