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sunlight through fence with mirrors

In the Garden; Stripes are in Order

A straight line….a band of color…in other words; a stripe….brings a sense of order to a disorderly world. Stripes are trending right now. As evidenced by recent spreads in national magazines from Elle Décor to Oprah. We usually think of stripes as two or more colors, alternating and repeating to form a pattern. Thus we […]

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Geranium Biokovo with spirea

Mistaken Identity; True Geraniums Deserve a Place in The Garden

Think you love ‘em or think you hate ‘em? Either way, geraniums are often misunderstood.   Long appreciated in the UK, true Geraniums (aka Hardy Geraniums) are not as well known in the US.  The biggest part of the problem is that, historically, we have had a case of mistaken identity. The flamboyantly colorful plants that […]

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meyer lemon chickweed salad

Winter to Spring; Citrus and Other Seasonal Salad Inspirations

The premise is simple; take what’s outside, bring it inside and eat it. What’s in the garden right now? Weeds and citrus, that’s what. All types of citrus hit the spot at this time of year, so they are easy to add to everything. .. and the weeds…well I find the best way to deal […]

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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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