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15 03, 2016


2017-04-17T22:57:32-07:00Categories: Blog, California Native, shrubs|Tags: , , |

Frangula californica (Rhamnus californica) California coffeeberry (Frangula californica, formerly Rhamnus californica) is a handsome evergreen shrub with significant wildlife habitat value.  Low and spreading to tall and upright, coffeeberry is an excellent candidate for the summer-dry garden. Coffeeberry can grow to ten feet tall or more and eight or more feet wide, but some varieties are only four to six feet tall and others are mounding groundcovers.  All have substantial dark green to olive green leaves, gray-green beneath, inconspicuous greenish yellow flowers, and copious berries loved by birds and other wildlife. Berries turn from lime green to red

13 02, 2016

Coast silktassel

2017-04-17T23:02:55-07:00Categories: Blog, California Native, shrubs|Tags: , , |

Garrya elliptica (coast silktassel) in bloom Coast silktassel (Garrya elliptica) is best known for its elegant display of silky, silvery green to creamy white catkins that decorate the plant in mid-winter.  No matter how many times you’ve seen the show, a mature silktassel in full bloom never fails to amaze and delight. This lovely evergreen shrub is resilient and easy if you plant it where it is content.  Native to coastal California and southwest Oregon, silktassel needs good drainage and, near the coast or with some afternoon shade, requires little to no summer water unless winters are exceptionally

16 01, 2016


2017-04-17T23:07:20-07:00Categories: Blog, California Native, shrubs|Tags: , , |

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) If you have space in your garden for a large shrub or small multi-trunked tree that will live for decades, is attractive year-round, and provides food and shelter for wildlife, you can hardly beat California's native toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) for its resilience, habitat value, and natural beauty. Toyon is native to much of California and survives drought, though occasional deep watering may be needed in the driest times and will bring fresh new growth with quick results.  Toyon needs good drainage and thrives in full sun to part shade but tolerates full shade. Toyon

14 01, 2016


2017-04-17T23:08:05-07:00Categories: Blog, California Native, perennials|Tags: , , |

California native plant garden with Armeria maritima edging a walkway Sea pink or sea thrift (Armeria maritima) was once more commonly found on "drought-tolerant" plant lists than it is today.  Gardeners who were led to plant it no doubt discovered that it just doesn’t thrive without summer water or afternoon shade except right along the coast. Sea pink is nonetheless perfect for small gardens or small garden areas where a little summer water can be spared.  Its densely hummocky cushions of evergreen grassy leaves are six inches tall and spread to about a foot wide.  Pink or sometimes

11 09, 2015


2017-04-17T22:58:37-07:00Categories: Blog, California Native, shrubs|Tags: , , |

Ceanothus griseus horizontalis 'Yankee Point' If you’re looking for a plant that provides masses of spring flowers, stays green year round, takes little to no summer water, and thrives on benign neglect, it’s hard to beat California’s wild lilacs (Ceanothus). There are so many kinds of ceanothus that it takes a little research and some trial-and-error to find one that will do well in your garden.  Fortunately, most grow quite fast, so an initial failure is not irreparable. Some ceanothus are wide-spreading ground-huggers.  Others are medium-height mounds.  Still others are tall, upright shrubs that can be gently trained

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