August 2014
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Home make over – Sierra Madre.


Salvia leucantha makes a terrific statement in the garden…

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 [...]

A whimsical color palate of summer flowers…

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 [...]

Saving water by planting a climate appropriate garden!

Here is another example of what you can do by removing your lawn completely. We took out the large Crepe Myrtle along with some very thirsty sod and created an informal climate appropriate garden. We installed: Miscanthus ‘morning light’ ornamental grass, Festuca ‘glauca’, Ceanothus, Santolina, Salvia leucantha, a Michelia champaca and an Acacia baileyana. [...]

Summer gardens mean lots of work and color payoff….

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 [...]

Replacing sod with other choices…

This lawn was removed and planted with lavender, sage, olive and penstemon…before, during and after and six months later. Plant with knowledge and make it right the first time so you can save money and encourage local pollinators.

Mike Brown of Project Green-scaping. 2013


Be creative with your containers and plant choices…


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 [...]

Above ground vegetable planter boxes…

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 [...]

Before, during and after a home make over Bel Air style…

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: [...]

Join me for garden and landscape lectures…..


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 [...]