hobbiton

Here we have the “living roof” at the Academy of Sciences.  Resident Expert asked how they handle seeds brought in by birds or the wind; they have volunteers who do the weeding, but they leave some of the native plants that take hold up here.  In this photo you can see some patches of golden […]

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castle gardens

We had an opportunity to visit the gardens at Hearst Castle yesterday, and we noticed that many of the plants can also be found closer to home – in our front and back yards.  Oleander, bottle-brush, rhododendron, geranium, hydrangea, boxwood, agapanthus, acacia, and many other basics of the California residential landscape are seen in abundance […]

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the agave defense

This weekend I was able to remove a “century plant” from a container in our backyard, but not without considerable effort. This plant (agave americana) has some unusual properties, including a few that make its removal from the landscape pretty tough. First, let’s describe some good things about the plant; it is visually striking – […]

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micro climate

We have two Japanese Maple trees in front of our house, about 15 feet apart. One started leafing out two weeks ago, and one just started opening leaves yesterday. There’s only a slight difference in the amount of sun, wind, and reflected warmth from the house between these two. One of them (the early-bird) is […]

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