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Author: mandmweb

Spring is coming

Spring is coming to the South Pasadena Nature Park (and the rest of Southern California). And from the looks of it, we may be in for another Super Bloom year! At the park the weeds are bursting out in response to the nice, steady rains we have had this winter; but so are many natives. Some native shrubs have changed from their twiggy, moribund winter appearance to a vibrant, youthful presentation. Just a few short weeks ago the California sagebrush (Artemisia california)  looked more dead than alive. Now it has soft, light green feathery leaves, begging all who pass by...

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How to Prune CA Buckwheat

My most popular blog posts were on pruning sages, here and here. Clearly people are interested in, and possibly confused about, how to prune native shrubs. Many of the wild sages that are used in native gardens (Salvia clevelandii, S. leucophylla and cultivars of both, to name a few) are fast growing, woody shrubs. Experts suggest that gardeners should prune and shape these plants when they are young, before they grow these woody stems. The wood does not always grow new leaves, so pruning into it can expose dead branches on a misshapen plant. On the other hand, I have seen some...

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Planting season for California native gardens

Long time since I checked in with you all. It has been a super, busy fall – wedding, plant sale, autumn foliage trip, another trip to Pacific NW, along with the more mundane activities of playing with grandkids, working at the nature park, and even doing the laundry once in a while. All of this is to say, sorry that it has been so long. Planting season It is planting season and I couldn’t be happier. For the first time in twenty years of gardening in my Southern California wild suburbia, I feel like I won’t be making significant...

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Tips for Native Plant Heat Wave Gardening

Now that last summer’s extreme heat is behind us, it is time to take stock and see what we have learned. Although I have seen numerous articles (here and here – thank you, Jane S. for sharing these) on garden tips for nonnatives, including subtropicals, vegetables, and fruit trees, I have not found much related to native plant gardening. Below I have laid out some tips for pre, during, and post-heat wave gardening with native plants. I also made an inventory of my garden plants that survived and those that didn’t. Before the heat arrives Water thoroughly. You want the water to...

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PechuKucha, anyone?

Almost two months since my last post. Are you still out there? Well, it isn’t cause I ain’t been busy. Spent the summer in the Pacific Northwest and was relieved to get back to LA where the air is clear. Funny when our air is better than Seattle’s but that’s what happens when there are fires nearby. Since returning I have been playing around with PechuKucha. That’s a presentation format of 20 slides X 20 seconds. I first tried using PowerPoint, but the recording was a nightmare. Had it all written out, but I’d mess up on slide #18...

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