Plant Selection is one of my ultimate favorite ways to spend the day, this is especially true when I am shopping for clients who I feel a part of, and know that I will be adding to the landscape of their dreams. On a particularly beautiful spring day in the Santa Clarita Valley, I headed out en route to Fillmore, a beautiful little town north west of my home that has been featured in Big Love... "The Compound" is filmed there.

My destination however, was not The Compound but a wonderful nursery named Otto & Sons that specializes in a plethora of roses among other ornamentals and fruit trees. As usual I was not disappointed. The roses that I ordered were waiting and the coral Drift Roses were in full flush. My client would be pleased with our selection. After a lovely chat about growing vegetables with Mike, I headed back to my car to resume my journey on to the next nursery.

The winding roads of Fillmore pass by citrus and avocado groves as well as a large variety of vegetables. Usually I admire the citrus and glance at the vegetables trying to figure out what they are as I speed by. This is a journey I often take, so sometimes I don't really notice what I am passing, sometimes I even waste my time by talking on the phone.

As I chatted away, I was scanning the horizon and suddenly up loomed the most amazing sight, a sight that I'd never noticed before. As far as the eye could see were a sea of nodding cotton balls and behind them statuesque hills. I quickly (and hopefully not too rudely) hung up the phone and immediately pulled over to the side of the road. Getting out of the car I realized that I was standing in front of a huge onion field and I was mesmerized.

Silently thanking my husband and kids, for buying me an iPhone last year. I snapped photos of this wonderful scene. Being thoroughly entranced I did not notice the hundreds of bees alighting all around me, however I had no reason to fear for they were as captured by the onion flowers as I had been. I breathed the deep clean (yes clean) smell of spring before I headed back to my car and continued my journey. This time of the year is truly magical in this little part of the world.

How to Care for Day Lily Plants

Well-established Day lily clumps can produce as many as 400 flowers in a single season. Day lily plants can produce blooms for 30–40 days between early and late summer. By using repeat bloomers and by planting several different cultivars you can have beautiful color spring through summer. There are literally hundreds of different types of day lilies in many colors and shades, some of them even fragrant.

Things You'll Need
Shovel or Fork
Gardening Gloves
Garden Shears

For the best quality flowers, day lilies plants should be grown in full sun, There are however some varieties that will do well in light to medium shade. Consult your landscape professional to find the varieties that are right for your situation.

Day lilies require regular garden water and should fertilized on a regular basis. It is best not to plant them too close to trees and shrubs that will compete with them for nutrients and water. Although Day lilies can tolerate drought, they perform best when they receive a deep watering of an inch of water or more each week. More frequent watering may be necessary if they are planted in sandy soils.

Day lilies grow best in slightly acidic, well-drained soil, which has a high organic content. A ph of 6 to 6.5 might works well. Make sure to amend the soil with lots of rich organic matter and your plants will flourish.

In spring an application compost or a good complete fertilizer is just what the plant doctor ordered. To help the plants through the colder winter months a low nitrogen fertilizer should be applied in the late summer or early fall.

Grooming your Day lily plants will keep them looking good all season (year round in the warm weather areas). Remove the seed capsules after the bloom has faded. This step will prevent seed production. Seed production can weaken your plant and will decrease the number of blooms next year.

Day lily plants should be divided every three to four years. The best time to transplant or divide plants is in early spring or they can be divided right after they finish flowering. In warm weather zones they can also be divided in the fall.

Using a garden fork or shovel dig the entire plant up and rinse off the excess soil.
Gently pull the leaf fans apart by working the roots apart with you hands. If the going gets tough use a tool.

Note: Newly divided plants may not flower the first summer.

Work the roots apart, and if necessary, use a tool. Trim long roots and foliage on divided fans to about 6 inches. Make sure each division has at least three (3) fans. Replant your day lilies and get ready to enjoy the extra color.

Tips & and Warnings:

Cutting the clump with a shovel can damage the crown.
Day Lily plants are poisonous to cats.

For more information see my website www.thegrassisalwaysgreener.net

How to Choose Mulch

Decide to mulch. Here are a few reasons that you might want to mulch:

Mulch holds in soil moisture
Mulch prevents soil temperature fluctuation
Mulch protects plant roots from cold
Mulch protects plant roots from heat
Mulch prevents weeds from germinating and growing
Mulch can add nutrition to your soil

Mulch protects the temperature of the soil, so plants can set fruit. Learn about - Wood bark or chips - this mulch looks neat and attractive, stays where you put it and decays fairly slowly. They add nutrition to the soil but don't make too thick a layer, 2-3" is good or you create an area that bark damaging insects can hide.

Mulch = Large fruits... Learn about - Decaying leaves - this mulch keeps the weeds down and hold the moisture in well and... they are usually free. They are not particularly attractive though.

Mulch = Beautiful Flowers Learn about - Compost - this mulch adds nutrients to your soil as it breaks down. If you have your own compost bin it can be free and plentiful. However if it contains manure or grass clippings it can burn your plants.

Learn about - Pebbles or gravel - this mulch has a nice neat look and it's very easy to install. It won't wash or blow away easily and will last a long time. It does not provide any nutrition to the soil and if mixed in with the soil can be very difficult to remove. If you ever want to take it out to re-design, it can be a big pain!

Learn about - Grass clippings - this mulch is cheap and easy to get a hold of if you have a lawn. Since grass decays quickly you will have to replenish your mulch often. Only apply an inch or so at a time or it can become slimy when watered. You might be adding grass seed to your planter beds if the lawn has gone to seed.

Avoid Coco Mulch... it can harm animals Choose your mulch. There really isn't a right or wrong type of mulch. You have to weigh all the pros and cons of the mulch and think about your garden, the plants in your garden, and even your lifestyle. It would be good to experiment with different kinds of mulch, you may find that a certain type of mulch is better for one area than another, or one time of year or another. The most important thing is that you spend quality time outdoors enjoying your garden, so think of it all as a fun experiment and go with the flow!

How to Plan Your Home's Landscape


The first thing that you want to do is relax. Find a time that you can sit down and think about what you really want and need around your home. Take the time to organize your thoughts, grab that pen and paper and do a little brain storming. The following are some questions that you need to ask yourself to help you decide what you want in your landscape plan.


How long are you planning to stay in your home? If you are only planning to stay in your home for a short time, you want to think about doing things to your yard that will have the maximum effect in the shortest amount of time. Think, fast growing trees, beautiful perennials and annuals. The longer you plan to stay in your home, the more complex a project you can think about taking on. A deck, patio, pool or new entrance is something that you will use for many years.


Are there areas of your yard that are unusable? How much of your yard can you actually use? Think out of the box, does your front yard have a very sunny spot perfect for a vegetable garden or small orchard? Traditionally that would be in the backyard, but... why not the front? Screening shrubs can be useful if you don't want the world to see the veggies when they are not looking at their best. Or better yet, mix in beautiful herbs, ornamentals and edible flowers to beautify your vegetable patch! Don't forget about your side yard, you don't have to make it only the utility area. A Zen garden or beautiful arches of flowering vines can hide your neighbor's mess wonderfully.


Make a list of things you will want to use your yard for. Start with the basics like play area for your children, a dog run and let your imagination run wild. How about a small Dojo area or meditation corner. Do you have a fabulous view that would be perfect space for a relaxing cup of tea or wine? This is a good time to start talking to other family members, see if they have input for you. Getting their input now will make the rest of your process that much easier. Planning ahead instead of adding on later is a much more effective use of your time.

Read My Full Story HERE



Julie Molinare - Landscape Designer. After years in the rat race of Corporate America, the economy and family sent me back to school to find my true calling. Graduating with Honors from California State University at Northridge, Landscape Design Extension Program in 2003; I have begun my journey into the backyards of my community. I truely enjoy working with my clients to create their own little haven.

In 2007 I returned to California State University at Northridge this time as the Instructor of the Introduction to Landscape Design Class. This has been a wonderful experience, and has kept me in touch with the new energy and ideas of people experiencing my joy for the first time!

Striving to help all my clients find the right plants and design to fit their needs is what makes me enjoy my new found vocation. Fulfilling the needs of families while at the same time preserving the environment and complementing the community they live in is another big plus. My designs are created with the client as a primary focus, while taking into consideration the microclimate and planting requirements of each site.

Would love to meet you and work with you to create the landscape of your dreams. Call me for a consultation.


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