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24 10, 2016

Carpenteria

2017-04-17T22:59:59-07:00Categories: Blog, California Native, shrubs|Tags: , |

Carpenteria californica Gardeners who relish a bit of a challenge and delight in a smashing success probably already grow California’s native bush anemone (Carpenteria californica).This is a connoisseur’s plant, elegant and refined virtually year round and seasonally extravagant in its flowering. Where it is happy — and there’s the catch — it is surprisingly easy to grow. This splendid multi-stemmed shrub is grown mostly for its impressive early to midsummer display of large, glistening white, lightly fragrant, simple but showy flowers with bright yellow stamens. Carpenteria is evergreen, with long, narrow, somewhat leathery, dark green leaves that are

3 07, 2016

Hesperaloe

2016-09-27T19:47:48-07:00Categories: Blog, perennials|Tags: |

Hesperaloe parviflora Hesperaloe parviflora is a handsome architectural plant, as effective singly in large pots as in mass plantings geometrically arranged in the ground.  It is equally pleasing in a naturalistic mixture of succulents, grasses, or other dry-garden plants. An evergreen plant with long, narrow, gracefully arching foliage, hesperaloe grows three to four feet tall and spreads six or more feet wide by rosettes so closely spaced that they seem to be part of the same plant.  The leathery dark green leaves are spineless with distinctive white threadlike fibers along the margins.  Sprays of pink or pinkish coral

17 05, 2016

Agave parryi

2017-04-17T22:56:23-07:00Categories: Blog, California Native, succulents|Tags: , |

Agave parryi Agave parryi is quite variable, some forms or varieties an ethereal blue-gray, others a silvery gray-green, some with leaves that are broad and rather blunt on top, others with narrower and more elongated leaves.  But all are elegantly symmetrical, and all bear leaves with distinctive dark brown to maroon to almost black marginal teeth and an equally dark, viciously sharp terminal spine. Agave parryi grows fairly slowly to about two to three feet tall and wide, and most spread by offshoots or “pups.”  As the plant grows the leaves open from a tightly packed central core,

3 05, 2016

Dasylirion

2016-09-27T19:46:03-07:00Categories: Blog, shrubs, succulents|Tags: , , |

Dasylirion wheeleri in succulent border with barrel cactus in foreground A boldly architectural plant for big drama in pots or in the ground, Dasylirion wheeleri (desert spoon or sotol) forms a dense, symmetrical rosette of long, narrow, silvery blue-green, somewhat twisted leaves with aggressively hooked teeth along the margins and attractively frayed straw-colored tips.  Over time plants develop a short, stout trunk, which may not be noticed unless older brown leaves are removed. Native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, Dasylirion wheeleri is rather widely available in the trade.  Several other dasylirions are available with a

26 03, 2016

Salvias

2016-03-26T15:03:18-07:00Categories: Blog, perennials|Tags: , , |

Salvia officinalis with oregano in background There are sages (Salvia) for almost any garden.  Annuals, perennials, or shrubs; low and spreading to tall and upright; sun or shade loving; moist or dry soils or anywhere in between.  If you are unsure what a particular sage needs, look it up or consult your nursery professional before adding it to your garden. One of the most reliable low-water sages for full sun is Cleveland sage (Salvia clevelandii), and one of the best varieties is ‘Winifred Gilman’.  The spikes of bright lavender-blue to purple flowers in early summer are memorable, especially

15 03, 2016

Coffeeberry

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

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