Gardening Fun etc - June 2010 SCV & Beyond

Plant Sale! June 4 – 6, 2010 - 9:30am – 4:00 pm at Worldwide Exotics – 11157 Orcas Avenue Lakeview Terrace, Ca. 91342 818-890-1915 Tell Sara, Shelly & Ken that Julie sent you! Worldwide Exotics

***************************Santa Clarita Valley Event*********************
Memorial Garden Tour Sunday June 6, 2010 - 10 am – 5 pm Self Guided Tour Donations are a free will offering to benefit the Cole William Larsen Foundation, which supports families of fallen and wounded military. Garden tour programs are available at Green Thumb Nursery, Sunset Nursery, and Green Landscape Nursery.
Memorial Garden Tour or call 661-433-9141 – Christi

photo from beautybunch

Lavender Festival June 12 – 13 & June 19- 20, 2010 from 10am – 6 pm in Cherry Valley, Ca. (2 hours from Santa Clarita) Organic Marketplace, Organic Herb Garden, Workshops, Seminars – looks like fun and it’s Free! Lavender Festival Info

photo from essentialojai.com

Ojai Wine Festival – June 13, 2010 at Lake Casitas Recreational Area – Gates open at noon and close at 5 pm – there are over 40 Wineries & Breweries will be represented. There is also Entertainment, Arts & Crafts and Food. $10.00
Ojai Wine Festial


Wordless Wednesday - Glendale Style

Iris & Nasturium

Golden Celebration

Poppies & more poppies

All photos courtesy of Tanya Page posted to my Facebook Fan Page - Please visit & "Like" the page. If you post photos & allow me to - I will showcase them here.

For more information on my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener.net


Los Angeles Downtown Inspiration

I always enjoy spending time with my friends, and the ladies that I hang out with are not your ordinary book club! We’re a group of artistic, eclectic women that value art, design and inspiration because we need it and use it in our every day lives. Being around other women that value the same things that I do really helps me in my work. I am able to share my thoughts and ideas with them and can put that back into my landscape designs.

Last week we celebrated two of our friends’ birthdays, Candice Hirst and Sheri Varela so we decided to head downtown Los Angeles on the train. Harriette Knight, Tami Smight and I are very lucky to have these great May birthday girls in our lives! The Metrolink is an easy hour trip from Santa Clarita or Newhall right into Union Station. Of course we talked the whole way down, so the ride seemed a lot shorter than an hour. Union Station is a beautiful destination in itself and there are some wonderful tiles, lighting fixtures and artwork right in the station.

We started the day on Olvera Street, which is a hop, skip & jump from the train station. Much to my delight the walk over to Olvera yielded some beautiful plant combinations, which I had to photograph. I will be sure to use them in some of my landscapes.

We shopped, we ate great Mexican food and we walked and walked. After lunch we headed over to Chinatown, which is less than a 10-minute walk from Olvera Street, since I’ve usually driven I was completely turned around and never ended up in the area that I am used to. It didn’t matter at all… since there is so much to see and with good friends, it doesn’t really matter where you end up.

We found lots more inspiration, did more shopping, more walking and on the final leg back to the train station we found this wonderful plaque set into the ground. The plaque says, prosperity and we had to have a shot of us all on the plaque. We began as mastermind group, created to help one another with our businesses. The group has helped us prosper which is why we had to have that photograph, yet it has turned into so much more. I am sure that I would not be where I am today with out these great friends.

Inspiration is so important not to just "creative types", but to everyone. Please take some time for yourself, your family and your friends and go out and enjoy life! It’s too short to hide yourself away and work, work, work. Your added bonus is that the inspiration will come back to you in spades in your life and in your business.

For more information about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener.net


Wordless Wednesday - Roses and more

Roses gone wild --- brilliant climber

Grape Leaves - promise of summer fruit

Early Bougainvillea in bloom

More information on my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener.net


How To Care For Cannas

Cannas are a beautiful old Victorian plant with bold color flowers, and gorgeous big tropical looking foliage. They are perennials so you don’t have to replant them and are very popular throughout the country. They have been used less in California for a few reasons and John Schoustra of Greenwood Day Lily Gardens outlines a few here and some solutions for you.

Cannas like warm nights. Although our climate is warmer year round, Eastern nights in May or June are warmer and more humid. Our cold spring nights slow the emergence of cannas from their semi-dormant winter state. For best results, protect cannas from cool coastal breezes and plant them where pavement or masonry walls will re-radiate heat at night.

Cannas can go dormant or look straggly. The key to canna vigor and appearance in our climate is a simple grooming technique. After the first cluster of blooms on a cane has finished, cut that cane back to the ground. With secondary bloom bud showing, it is tempting to remove just the spent blooms. If this is done, over time the plant habit will become more and more sprawling, with spindly new canes.

Canna viruses. A complex of at least four viruses together cause slow spring growth, reduced vigor, streaky foliage and misshapen blooms. Our mild winters allow cannas to avoid full dormancy, which allows the viruses to over winter. The viruses are spread by cutting tools and insects, so most cannas in California are infected. Virus free plants are usually infected within a year. Some of the varieties that suffer worst from virus symptoms include: ‘Lucifer’, ‘Technicolor’ (Pink Sunburst), ‘Wisley Dwarf’, ‘Panache’ and ‘Ehemanni’. The key is to plant vigorous virus-resistant cultivars, site and prune them properly.

(Taken directly from Greenwood Reference Guide – courtesy of John Schoustra)

Once your plants are well established, try watering them deeply once a week; you may even be able to go few weeks between. Mulch will help to hold in water and will provide your cannas with nutrients. You will likely have to water generously in summer, however you can usually cut back in September.

The Cannas that are offered at Greenwood Day Lily Gardens are primarily virus resistant; to have the best chances of virus free Cannas, try John’s varieties.

So many people are going to low water and native plants and most people interpret these to be high water plants, but actually they can take deep infrequent watering and be very happy. They can also be greedy and will happily accept a lot of water and fertilizer if you give it to them. So… If you have a spot in your yard where the water is pooling, neighbors over watering into your yard, or just a low; spot pop a few cannas in. The cannas will drink up that water and filter pollutants out to boot! Before popping in those cannas make sure that you check your irrigation, you might have a sprinkler or timer problem and that should be fixed.

Cannas like humidity and don't mind a splash of chlorine, so they are great near pools; I like to keep them contained within hardscape because they tend to take over the area that they live in.

Cannas may be used to add a tropical look to your garden. They have the look of a tropical plant without a lot of the negatives; they can take the sun and heat where others may not. Cannas are a beautiful addition to Hibiscus, Birds of Paradise and of course Day Lilies for that tropical poolside oasis.

Cannas are an old world looking plant, one that could easily remind you of simpler times and your grandmother’s garden. A few bright cannas at the back of a bed with some Grandma’s Purple Flag Iris are a stunning contrast… what could be better?

For more on my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener.net


Wordless Wednesday - Santa Clarita in May

Carex, Verbena, & Dianthus

Armeria & Viola foliage

Looking to the sky through Privet flowers (watch out for bees!)

For more information on my designs thegrassisalwaysgreener.net


Best Little Rose "House" in Fillmore

Rose Days at Otto & Sons is an annual event, they pull out all the stops and the roses are in full bloom. As always it is lovely traveling out to Fillmore but the beauty certainly doesn’t end with the drive. I decided to attend Saturday’s events this year and although I’m sure I would have gotten a lot out of both days it certainly didn’t disappoint.

I arrived in the tent in time to listen to Pat Carney talk about the new roses that Jackson & Perkins have out this year as well as give tips and tricks for rose care. With over 20 years at Jackson & Perkins he certainly knows what he’s talking about. Scott Klittich, owner of Otto & Sons was standing by lend a hand and put his two cents in and they made a great team. While Pat is attracted to the color of the rose, I am enamored of their scent. I may first be pulled toward the color, but if it isn’t fragrant, I usually opt for a less colorful more fragrant specimen (although there are exceptions). Here are some of the things that I want to pass on to you from their talk as well as first hand knowledge. Below is Perfect Moment Rose, a favorite of Scott's.

We here in Southern California have no excuses to not have roses (except if you only grow natives) because we have the perfect weather for roses and that goes double for Santa Clarita! We have far less problems with diseases and pest due to our weather and they are an almost bulletproof plant for us. The biggest problem with growing roses in SoCal is that people don’t prune their roses. I understand that it’s hard to prune something that just keeps blooming and blooming, but they need to be pruned and they are much happier for it. The harder you prune your roses the better they are. An exception to that rule is their first year of growth. You should not prune your rose the first year you have it. (Deadheading is okay.)

When you buy a new rose, give it three years to mature and come into itself. The first year it will establish, the second year it will grow and thrive and the third year it will look like it should. If you are not happy with a rose in it’s third year, perhaps it’s not the rose for you. Dig it up, give it to a friend or neighbor and plant a new one that you might like better. With so many choices you can try and try again.

Rose Days is a big event for the family owned nursery and all the kids come out to help the staffers. Barbara & Marge manned the check out desk and were there to offer plenty of advice and even a ride on one of their golf carts to pick up a load of roses. Unfortunately I didn’t see anyone driving the awesome old truck, or I would have hopped aboard.

Otto & Sons is growing 24,000 Iceberg roses this year! An astounding number to me, however I bet there won’t be many left at the end of the season. Otto & Sons has over 800 varieties of roses and in addition to Jackson & Perkins roses they also carry Weeks Roses, Star Roses, and David Austin Roses. Below is Cinnamon Girl & Sweet Intoxication.

Some new offerings for 2010 include:
Ch-Ching, Green Romantica, and Sedona all Hybrid Tea/Grandiflora roses.
Bubblicious, Lavender Meidiland & Limoncello Shrub Roses
Easy Does It, Pumpkin Patch, and Sweet Intoxication Floribunda Roses
Charles Darwin, The Endeavor, and Young Lycidas English Roses
Apricot Drift, Beach Blanket, & Sweet Drift Groundcover Roses
Cinnamon Girl and Daddy’s Little Girl Miniature Roses
Cancan, Citrus Burst, and The Charlatan Climbing Roses.

Below is Rock & Roll with Easy Does It and Orange Crush a beautiful climber.

I hope that if you didn’t come this year, you will consider taking the beautiful drive out to Fillmore next year and join me and rose lovers like Rick & Gail Thompson of Valencia (of course I have to meet someone from my town) in enjoying some beautiful and fragrant stars of the garden.

For more information on my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener.net


Wordless Wednesday -Happy Cinco de Mayo!


A profusion of bloom & texture

Paprika Fonos Iris

For more information on my designs: www.thegrassisalwaysgreener.net


Gardening Events (& more) For May & June 2010

Santa Clarita - BEGINNING Smart Gardening Workshop - Attend a FREE Smart Gardening Advanced Workshop to learn more about organic gardening techniques, the art and science of good soil, Integrated Pest Management (environmentally responsible ways to control pests), conserving water around the garden, and using native and drought-tolerant plants! Compost bins can be purchased at the subsidized prices of $40 each for a backyard compost bin and $65 each for a worm compost bin (this price includes 1/2 lb. of worms). 5/8/2010, 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM - Castaic Lake Water Agency - 27234 Bouquet Canyon Rd. Santa Clarita, 91350


5/22/2010, 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM - William S. Hart Regional Park 24151 N. Newhall Ave. Newhall, 91321

Pine Mountain Lilac Festival May 15 & 16 from 9-5 pm www.pmclilacfestival.com

2nd Annual Jewish Food Festival Sunday May 16, 2010 - 11am – 4 pm Bridgeport Marketplace (McBean & Newhall Rd) $5 for adults kids 12 & under free www.templebethami.org 255-6410
Bring a non-perishable food item for the SCV Food Pantry and receive 1 free admission with 1 paid adult admission

Plant Sale! June 4 – 6, 2010 - 9:30am – 4:00 pm at Worldwide Exotics – 11157 Orcas Avenue Lakeview Terrace, Ca. 91342 818-890-1915 - This is a great family run nursery, they are knowledgeable and very friendly. I buy many plants from them and am never disappointed!

Memorial Garden Tour Sunday June 6, 2010 - 10 am – 5 pm Self Guided Tour – donations are a free will offering to benefit the Cole William Larsen Foundation, which supports families of fallen and wounded military. Garden tour programs are available at Green Thumb Nursery, Sunset Nursery, and Green Landscape Nursery. www.memorialgardentour.com or 661-433-9141 – Christi

For more information on my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener.net


What To Do In Your Southern California Garden in May

May has a lot of the same chores on the list as we had in April, so if you didn’t get them all done fear not you can continue to work on them during the beautiful month of May. During this particular May (2010) Mercury is in retrograde until the 11th, so you can re-do all that you did in April and maybe have even more success!
Like my good friend Harriette Knight always says, “You should do anything that starts with re”. Renew, re-do, recycle, refresh. I say recycle some old containers you have and refresh them with some beautiful plants!

May is a great time to plant or continue to plant annuals for summer color

You can prune spring-flowering shrubs and vines while they are blooming or just after they finish. Hardenbergia and Carolina jessamine vines as well as spring blooming Ceanothus are almost done – don’t forget to prune them. You can also prune subtropical shrubs if they are getting leggy. Princess Flower and Hibiscus would fall into this category.

May is an excellent time to transplant warm-season vegetable seedlings. If you didn’t get your tomatoes in during April… get them in now! And don’t forget to support them. (see blog post on tomatoes).

It is a great time to experiment with those subtropical fruit trees that I love so much. Take a trip over to Papaya Tree Nursery (tell Alex I sent you) and take a look at some of his unusual citrus trees, figs, passion fruit, cherimoya, papayas and more. Make sure you tell Alex where you live when you are selecting plants. Call ahead first before popping in, you want to make sure that he’s at the nursery.

You can start shopping for and planting summer and fall bloomers like such as day lily, iris, gaura, gaillardia, penstemons, pentas, asters, coreopsis, salvia and the Echinacea will be available soon. I love to buy my day lilies, iris, and more from Greenwood Day Lily Gardens and they are still open to the public on weekends through June. John Shoustra the owner of Greenwood will be speaking about Pelargoniums at the Huntington on May 13th so put that on your calendar too!

You should continue to feed and water blooming and growing cacti and succulents

If you didn’t spray your peach trees for peach leaf curl, blight and canker… now is the time!

Don’t forget to feed those houseplants too, they feel the flush of growth that spring brings, so help them out. Use a nice organic balanced fertilizer, especially if they are blooming houseplants.

You can continue to plant fall-blooming bulbs in May such as Aconitum
Amaryllis, Begonia, Lycoris Spider Lily (not supposed to bloom here, but mine do)
and Trycirtis You can buy bulbs at a nursery or online – here are two online suggestions.
Brent and Becky’s Bulbs
McClure Zimmerman Bulbs

For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener.net

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