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Ceanothus Skylark

Warm and Cool Together; Finding Balance in the Garden with the Color of the Year

For 2016, the Pantone Color Institute made waves for selecting not one but two colors, for the first time ever, as their Color of The Year. Both  Rose Quartz, a warm pink, and Serenity, a soft blue, were chosen this year and Pantones Leatrice Eiseman explained that together these colors create  “an inherent balance…reflecting connection […]

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Milestones_SFBG_benchseats_4076

Evolving Ideas; Celebrating Botanical Milestones

  This is the time of year where we traditionally reflect on the past as well as look forward to the future. There have been a number of important anniversaries to celebrate this past year; 800 years since the Magna Carta, 250 years since the first French restaurant – and yes, 30 years since Saturday […]

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yerba all landscape

A Gift From The Garden; Native Groundcover Makes a Perfect Drink

Soothing and refreshing, all at the same time, a cup of tea centers me and gives a pleasant pause. The heady scent, of mint in particular, brings both comfort and focus. Sipping something warm and fragrant provides a meditative moment that can warm the body and soothe the soul.     Technically a flavorful herb […]

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Drought tolerant landscape with Carex and paver entry

Low Water Design Style; Gardens for Drought or Deluge

“If I re-landscape because of the drought, what happens when it starts to rain again?” This is a question I have been asked a lot lately. The re-education of the California gardener is really having an effect. More and more clients are wanting to put in low-water landscaping, even though I’ve been designing those kinds […]

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white amaryllis belladonna up close

Garden Moments; Perfect Pears and The Dog Days of Summer

A moment…I had one this morning. It was the best kind…the kind that just sneaks up on you in an ordinary day. I noticed that the first Warren Pear looked like it was ready to eat. I took a bite, expecting a pleasant experience. But apparently, all the things necessary, for this pear and I […]

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Dipltaxis Rocket Flowers with Pollinator

Wild Arugula; Delicious Low-Water Beauty

  What edible plant takes little summer water, contributes color to the landscape and adds flavor to salads, pestos and more? Answer; Common Arugula’s louder, brighter, cousin “Wild Rocket”. This assertive member of the mustard family, Diplotaxis tenuifolia, is also known as Sand Rocket, Italian Rocket, Rucola Sylvetta and Rustic Arugula, depending on who you ask […]

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Tokyo dome iris river

Inspiration; Five Favorite Japanese Gardens

I just returned from Japan and saw so many beautiful gardens and landscapes that it’s difficult to contain myself.  Visiting after the legendary cherry blossom season is over drives home the concept that a skillfully designed garden doesn’t need to rely on flowering plants to create a thing of beauty. Although it certainly doesn’t hurt. […]

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water wise lavender hedge

No Lawn in California Landscaping? Change is Good

Lose the lawn? No problem. More and more people are getting on board with lawn-less gardens in California. Of course, historically low rainfall and state mandated water conservation are the reason for the change of heart for many people. But losing the lawn can make room for re-thinking what you want in your landscape to begin […]

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johnny jump ups vertical

Fields of Flowers; Past and Present, Native and Not

Call it a ritual or a pilgrimage or just an old habit. Whatever you call it, every spring I must get eye-level with as many flowers as I can manage. For me personally, if comes from my childhood – where my family took, what we called “Sunday Drives”, in the spring. We loaded into the family […]

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tulips mixed colors

Spring in Motion; Potted Tulips I Have Known

“Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances.” – Maya Angelou. As spring approaches, tulip buds emerge from the folds of nurturing leaves. They slowly rise above the verdant embrace, standing ever taller, like a dancer allowing a green shawl to drop away from her shoulders.     Filled with the turgid vigor of youth, the tumescent […]

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