Landscaping - page 1
The morning glory was one of my wise old
grandmotherís favorite flowers, which is why I
used a picture of morning glory flowers for this
page. Click here to read a good article on the
morning glory and its cousins.
Need help identifying a bug?
Try Whatís that bug? and the Bug Guide.
Africanized honey bees
Bee Alert: Africanized honey bee facts.
We didnít have bougainvilleas in South Texas, but
Iím sure that if we did, it would have been a
favorite of my wise old grandmotherís. When I
first got to San Diego in 1993, it seemed that there
were only red and purple varieties with long, sharp
shorns (roses didnít have anything on the
bougainvillea!) that could grow to 10 feet high with
a spread of fifteen feet. Geneticists have now
produced many colors, including some where the
bracts open as one color; fade to a second, more
vibrant color; and then fade back to the original
color. Colors now include gold/orange, white,
white/pink, pink, red, and purple. Additionally,
there are dwarf varieties, perfect for a pot on a
patio, and varieties with very soft thorns and very
few thorns. Click here to read a short article about
the bougainvillea and see some excellent pictures.
Cactus, succulents, and native vegetation
My wise old grandmother introduced me to
low-water use gardening because of the common
droughts in South Texas. Here are ten succulents
that anyone can grow.
Flowers that attract hummingbirds
Which irrigation system is best for which plants?
Smart irrigation controllersóVoucher incentives
for installing self-adjusting, weather-based
Cut a wide swath, but keep safe.
Making the most of mulch
Simpsonís ďGarden TownĒ NurseryóThis is my
favorite generalist nursery in San Diego County
encompassing 25 acres out in Jamul. They also
have lots of gifts, pottery, bird baths, interesting
garden art, country collectables, and more. Even if
youíre in North County or points farther distant,
go at least once (and take the kids) and visit the
great collection of historic automobiles in their
Auto Barns, as well as the collection of trailer
homes and camping trailers. Thereís even a 2-acre
park so take a picnic lunch with you.
One of my wise old grandmotherís favorite plants
was the poinsettia. She had several plants along
the side of the house by the driveway and diligently
took care of them to make sure that they bloomed
each Christmas. I used to hate helping her prune
them in July because the sticky sap caused a rash.
Now, of course, I know that the poinsettia is in the
Euphorbia family, a very large plant family of
which virtually every plant has white, sticky sap
that causes rashes or other allergic reactions, and
can be toxic to cats and dogs. The Paul Ecke
Poinsettia Ranch right here in Encinitas grows most
of the poinsettias sold in the United States. Click
here to read a short article about poinsettias.
Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac
Is there something you can take to avoid getting
poison ivy? Iím extremely sensitive to poison ivy
and its cousins, poison oak and poison sumac, so
Iím always on the lookout for something. Click
here to read the answer to the question.
Snails and mulch
Shortly before my wise old grandmother died in
2003, she asked me if there was anything I wanted
to know. I said, ďYes! How do I get rid of snails.Ē
She calmly repled, ďMulch.Ē Now I know why she
was spreading the coffee grounds everywhere and
why we didnít have any snails. Apparently the
reason why mulches work is because the sharp
edges, especially on the fine mulches, cuts the little
tummies, which hurts them. It also allows them to
dessicate and die, resulting in fewer snails. Itís
worked everywhere I didnít want snails, and my
Clients have reported similar success.
In trying out the various mulches, I looked for
something that would stay in place when walked
on, even on a hillside, and that looked good. My
favorite has turned out to be a very fine mulch sold
only at Home Depot. Click here for a picture of
the bag. Although I have found this brand and size
at other home improvement stores, there seems to
be a difference, and Iíve learned to only buy it at
Home Depot to get the texture that I want.
Ideas and tips for saving on energy and water
26 tips for lowering water and energy use in your
Be Water WiseóGreat web site for people living
in Southern California
Choosing trees to shade and cool your house
Forty ideas for lowering energy and water costs
How organic matter helps conserve water
How to water efficiently. Discussion about root
depth, hydrozoning, water runoff, where your
water goes, and an efficient watering checklist
Know your soil
Water conservation links
The Westís best shade trees (many good for other
areas of the country, as well)
Landscaping - page 1
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