Make sure you give your Salvia leucantha plenty of room to spread – as it will do. It usually tops off at about 6′ wide by 3′-4′ in height. Full sun and well drained soils are best, otherwise it gets leggy in the shade. Cut back to the ground after blooming (usually January)..this will allow sunlight to penetrate the lower stems and flush out again when the weather is warm. In climates like Southern California, Arizona and Florida cut back after bloom and it will usually start to regrow immediately.
This colorful summer garden I designed for Descanso Gardens started with a fall planting of perennial salvia and echium. I then added poppies and gaillardia in late spring. Last years self seeded linaria will never disappoint you as they always come up and if you look close you will see a few left over foxglove, pincushion and snapdragon from my early spring planting. To the right I added a mass of ornamental grasses. The upkeep was fairly easy as the density of the planting and mulch kept the weeds at bay as well as kept the soil from becoming too dry.
If you have any questions please address them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m Mike Brown your garden consultant and host of projectgreenscaping.com. I hope to be seeing you around the garden!
Photo credit and design: Mike Brown
Start your summer annual gardens in early spring and watch the magic unfold. For those on the east coast as soon as the soil temperatures heat up to 60+ degrees plants are on a mission to grace your garden. In this garden I planted Cleome the previous season (they self seeded and here is the design they came up with). Along with them I planted Rudbeckia and allowed everyone to tackle the elbow room together…plants can get along too you know. As a bonus for being well-behaved -they got a weekly dose of compost tea (made with sea-kelp and earthworm castings)….they got a root drench and a foliar splash too! Oh, you might see an errant snapdragon or two as well.
Enjoy your whimsical summer!
Photo and design credit: Mike Brown and Mother nature at self seeding.
This galvanized container is filled to the brim with phormium, sedum, fescue and beautiful blooming calandrina. The container has appropriate drainage and is coated with a sealant to prevent interior erosion of the metal. In addition, I used a very porous soil to expedite water away from the roots as these plants do best in well drained soil. These containers can be seen at the hip and down to earth Farmer’s Daughter Hotel on Fairfax Avenue, West Hollywood.
Project green-scaping is “Greening the world, one container at a time”!
Design and photo credit: Mike Brown
Above ground vegetable boxes are great if you have poor soil and you don’t want to amend your soil. Just make sure the soil beneath is tilled to help facilitate water percolation into the soil profile. Also, make sure the vegetables you are planting will have enough soil to root themselves into – I recommend at least 18″ of composted soil depth. Make sure the timber or wood you are using is not pressure treated – cedar or redwood lasts longer and is not pressure treated. Place your planter box in the sun or whatever the crop you are planting requires. Tomatoes and peppers need at least 6 hours of sunlight. I mix steer manure and composted soil together to give my seedlings the best head start. I also recommend compost tea at least twice a month as a foliar spray or root drench. Don’t forget to plant marigolds to help deter aphids and mealy bugs. Happy gardening!
Photo credit: Mike Brown
This narrow strip of property was overdue for a landscape makeover. These old shrubs and soil were excavated and sent to the landfill. In addition, the water requirements for Schefflera and the other shrubs were obsessive. I designed this climate appropriate landscape that complemented the house as well as the budget.
Design and Photo: Mike Brown 2012
Watch for my latest garden and landscape lecture and walks around the greater Los Angeles area! On Saturday January 19th our group will meet at Jurassic Gardens in North Hollywood at 11am. This walking lecture will be about a hour and a half. There will be a $10 class fee for adults – children are free.
For more information – please check out meetup.com
Please join us and I’ll be seeing you around the garden!