• Plant Profiles

    Deer-resistant low growers for the Sierra foothills

    by  • September 24, 2016 • Drought tolerant plants, Plant Profiles • 0 Comments

    Creeping thyme and Ajuga

    27 favorite ‘ground covers’ Growing plants that ‘cover the ground’ means you have something to plant in the front of a flower bed, something for along the edge of paths and, importantly, something that prevents weeds from growing.  You can even ‘create’ a lawn-like area that doesn’t take the maintenance of usual lawn care. All...

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    Discover Hummingbird Mint!

    by  • June 27, 2016 • Plant Profiles • 3 Comments

    Hyssop or Agastashe or Hummingbird mint

    A plant I’d love to see in local nurseries… Considering their long-lasting vibrant blooms, hardiness and resistance to drought, deer, extreme temps, Hyssops or Agastache offer plenty of food for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. What more can a gardener ask for? No wonder they’re adored by gardeners far and wide – with several varieties hardy to USDA...

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    For the love of Iris

    by  • April 2, 2016 • Field Trip, Plant Profiles • 3 Comments

    Historic Iris

    A gardener’s April day trip On a recent visit to Coarsegold, California, I stopped by the Hillside Iris Farm of Bill Tyson, just before the peak bloom.   His farm is open to the public just during the month of April when Iris are in full bloom and ready to order by color and shape.  You choose the...

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    Why hate the beautiful Bull pine?

    by  • August 4, 2013 • CA natives, Plant Profiles • 23 Comments

    Bull pines

    Myths and facts about the Sierra Foothills Bull pine From the time we moved into the mountains, I heard from neighbors and local friends about the Bull pines.  Bull pines, Pinus sabiniana, are seemingly hated, seen as ugly, messy trees and reputed to somehow(?) suck water from people’s wells and aquifers. You must cut down...

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    Planting Dudleya in a brick

    by  • June 6, 2013 • Plant Profiles • 11 Comments

    Canyon Live-forever or Rock Lettuce, Dudleya cymosa, is a great California native for containers.  This container is a brick found at the lake and probably used as an anchor along the shore.  I found a better use for it and planted a small dudleya in each opening.   It’s lived happily here for two...

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    Bringing home ‘rescued’ plants

    by  • September 15, 2012 • Plant Profiles, Winter • 4 Comments

    Brown leaves will fall and hopefully sprout again in spring!

    How to choose end-of-season sale plants Every year, while visiting my favorite nurseries, I prowl the sale tables in late August and September.  I cheerfully call these plants that I purchase “rescued plants.”  I bring them home at a much discounted price and find them a home in my garden so that they can...

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    Spicy mints in the foothill garden

    by  • August 30, 2012 • Garden, Plant Profiles • 8 Comments

    Spicy mints? “Much Virtue in Herbs, little in Men.” – Benjamin Franklin The rich, spiciness of these plants makes them useful in cooking, and nearly half the spices in your kitchen come from this one family, including basil, rosemary, lavender, marjoram, germander, thyme, savory, plus culinary sage and of course mint, peppermint, and spearmint....

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    Thinking plant combinations in a California foothill garden

    by  • February 26, 2012 • Design, Garden, Plant Profiles • 5 Comments

    Have you ever noticed a striking color combination when planting flowers together by chance?  You suddenly see that the hot pink rockrose bloom looks stunning with lime and burgundy euphorbia.  Or you see that an orange Monkey flower contrasts wonderfully with an iridescent lavender-blue Cleveland sage ‘Pozo’.  I recently became aware of this particular...

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