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4 02, 2016

California pipevine

2016-09-27T19:49:25-07:00Categories: Blog, groundcovers, vines|Tags: , , , , |

Aristolochia californica, California pipevine,  with chrysalis of pipevine swallowtail butterfly California pipevine (Aristolochia californica) is one of the first plants to flower in my northern California garden, sending forth dozens, no hundreds, of tiny blossoms on leafless stems in mid-winter, after the manzanitas but before flashier plants such as native irises grab center stage.  Their appearance, noticed only up close at first, signals the approaching end of winter and fuels my anticipation of full-on gardening weather. The flowers are, to say the least, unusual.  They grow more like fruits than flowers, maturing, right before your eyes, from a

23 02, 2015

Dwarf Coyote Brush

2021-02-25T19:58:14-08:00Categories: Blog, groundcovers, shrubs|Tags: , , , |

In the world of living plants and landscapes there is no equivalent of the little black dress – the absolutely carefree plant that goes anywhere with the right accessories – but this has never stopped us from looking for one.  Nor has it stopped us from believing we’ve found such a plant, from embracing it with too much enthusiasm and then rejecting it outright when it fails to live up to impossible expectations, moving on to the next high fashion. Nowhere is this trend more obvious than in our vain attempts to completely cover the ground.  In the 1960s we

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