Wordless Wednesday - Day Lily Style

Yes, they are still blooming in September!!!!

All the Day Lily Plants pictured above are available at: Greenwood Daylily Garden

For more about my designs please check out my NEW website


October 2010 Gardening Events & More....

This month is super busy! There is a lot to do to inspire you and best of all it is one of the best months of the year to plant in Southern California. So…if you haven’t planned your fall garden, get crackin’ or CALL ME!

As always, I want to remind you to shop local, and get the freshest produce around by heading out to the local Farmer’s Markets in Santa Clarita:

Sundays 8:00am – noon
College of The Canyons Parking Lot
Don’t forget to visit my friend Sarah from Worldwide Exotics – put her on your list and utilize her expertise!
There is also another great Farmer’s Market:
Thursdays in Old Town Newhall from 3-7pm.

Sat - 10/2/10 11:00 am – 4 pm
Bromeliad Plant Show and Sale
Tio Chucha’s Centro Cultural 13197 Gladstone Ave. in Sylmar, CA
You can grow epiphytic and terrestrial Bromeliad plants in Southern California. Bromeliads are plants of the America's that occupy dry environments to rainforests.

Sat & Sun - 10/2/10 – 10/3/10 9:00 am – 6pm
Festival of The Arts – Old Town Newhall, Main Street
This exciting two-day festival sponsored by Lockheed Federal Credit Union will be located along Main Street between Lyons Avenue and 5th Street. This year the highlight of the festival is the process of art. All weekend long, watch street painters, visual, digital, and multimedia artists create a works of art, from a beginning conception to the final masterpiece. For more information, contact the City’s Arts & Events Office at (661)286-4018 or visit the website.

Saturday - 10/3/10 - 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden (Bamboo Room)
Plant Information
A free class on a variety of plant-related topics, with botanist Frank McDonough

Sat - 10/9/10 - 9:30 – 11:30 am
Beginning Smart Gardening Workshop - Composting Info
William S. Hart Park 24151 N. Newhall Ave. Newhall, 91321
Attend a FREE Smart Gardening Workshop and learn more about backyard composting, worm composting, grass recycling, water-wise gardening, and fire-wise gardening! 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).

As a note, I bought my worm bin at the class and then found almost the same worm compost bin at a nursery the cost on that bin was $149.99! Quite a savings if you purchase at the class. My worms are happily eating my table scraps in the shade of my backyard and I have less waste!

Sat. 10/9/10 – 1 pm - Center Circle
Camellia Collection Sneak Peak
Descanso Horticulturist Wayne Walker leads a tour of Descanso’s famed camellia collection. Discover the many varieties of this beloved flower in our Garden – including the camellia leaf that is the basis for ordinary tea.
Free with Gardens admission: $8 adults, $6 senior/students and $3 children 5-12.
Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Dr.
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 949-7980

Thursdays 10/7/10, 10/14/10, 10/21/10 & 10/28/10
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Garden Talks with Lili Singer
Fall 2010: 8 Thursdays, September 16-November 11
9:30am–Noon / Palm Room
$100 for the series, $20 per class / Reservations or you may pay at the door
Information and registration: 626.821.4623 or jill.berry@arboretum.org

Sun - 10/10/10 – 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Bow Wows & Meows Pet Fair – William S. Hart Park 24151 Newhall Ave.
Santa Clarita, California 91321
Come and celebrate our 10th Annual Pet Fair! FREE to all, this years fair is sure to be our BEST yet! Over 70 vendors of pet related supplies and services, raffle, yummy people food, "kidz zone", demonstrations, animal photographer and artist, pet psychic, shows, low cost vaccine clinic, and of course: lots of dogs, cats, puppies & kittens from all 6 LA County Animal Shelters, available for adoption - in search of their forever homes! Pets on leashes are welcome. Info: Yvonne Allbee 661-297-5961 or info@BowWowsAndMeows.org

Sat 10/16/10 – 10:00 – 11:30
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Around the World in 127 Acres - Frank McDonough, instructor
Arboretum Edibles
Take a tour of some of the Arboretum's eminently edible plants with a possible taste tasting included.
$5.00 Members/$7.00 Non-Members

Sat & Sun 10/16/10 & 10/17/10 – 10 am – 4 pm
Autumn Air
Descanso Gardens will celebrate the changing of the seasons and a California artistic tradition with “Autumn Air” on Oct. 16-17.
Local artists who will be creating at easels set up under Descanso’s famed oaks, and observe masterpieces in the making. Artists will also have works for sale at Autumn Air. The event is free with admission to Descanso Gardens. Participants can also register for special workshops during the event. There are workshops for children & adults. Space in the workshops is limited; advance registration is recommended. To register for the workshops, phone (818) 949-7980. Fees for classes and programs include Gardens admission.
Free (except for workshops) with Gardens admission: $8 adults, $6 senior/students and $3 children 5-12.

Sat - 10/16/10 – 11 am
Paint Your Garden With Wildflowers
Toss seed balls into the garden to spread colorful wildflowers throughout. This event runs concurrently with the Autumn Air art event. Adults will create seed balls in this class. Space limited; advance registration recommended.
$20, $15 for members
Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Dr.
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 949-7980

Sun - 10/17/10 – 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Breakfast with the Gibbons – Santa Clarita Gibbon Conservation Center
19100 Esquerra Road Santa Clarita, California 91390Clarita, California
$10-$40 Children 5 and under are free.
This is the annual fundraiser for the rare singing apes of Santa Clarita at the Gibbon Conservation Center, across from Lombardi Ranch off of Bouquet Canyon. Vegan breakfast, childrens area, entertainment, silent auction, raffle and special tour of this world-famous facility. For more information and tickets: www.gibboncenter.org

Sun - 10/17/10 – 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Oktoberfest – Saugus Swap Meet 22500 Soledad Canyon Rd Santa Clarita, California $1.50 adults, Kids under 12 FREE,
A German Band will entertain and set the mood. And of course there will be German food and beer to complete the Oktoberfest experience.
Contact: 661.259.3886 sandra.speedway@yahoo.com

Fri – Sun - 10/22/10 – 10/24/10 - 9 am – 4 pm
Harvest Festival and Plant Fair
Autumn is peak gardening time in Southern California. Lots of events – see details.
The Harvest Festival and Plant Fair is free with Gardens admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors/students and $3 children 5-12.
Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Dr.
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 949-7980

Sat 10/23/10
Out of The Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention
Please join my friend Candice Hirst & I along with Team Mo in our walk in Santa Monica for this amazing organization. If you can’t walk, please think about donating. I will be joining with thousands of people nationwide to walk in AFSP's Los Angeles WalkOut of the Darkness Community Walk to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I would appreciate any support that you give me for this worthwhile cause. Check out My donation page

Sat 10/23/10 – 10:00 – 11:30
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Around the World in 127 Acres - Frank McDonough, instructor
World Wide Weavers An introduction to the uses, history and anthropology of the fabric-producing plants that grow at the Arboretum.
$5.00 Members/$7.00 Non-Members

Tuesday - 10/26/10 – 6pm
Santa Clarita Valley Green Drinks Meetup
New Moon Restaurant
28281 Newhall Ranch Rd
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 257-4321
Green Drinks allows for anyone concerned about environmental issues to get together over a drink. Green Drinks events are very simple, informal, unstructured, and self-organizing. We bring together the environmental community and have fun doing it! Please join
Green Drinks SCV MeetUp

This amazing Jack-o-lantern was made by my wonderful friend, Keith Dudley, of Blackstar Amplification.

Sat 10/30/10 – 10:00 am – 2:00pm
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Goblins In the Garden
Celebrate Halloween and explore the wonders of the Arboretum grounds with activities for children ages 10 and younger including nature-related crafts, art and gardening activities, botanical demonstrations, games, face painting, photo opportunities and lots of tricks and treats! Special surprises for all children dressed in costume.
Information call Nancy Carlton at 626.802-8471 or email nancy.carlton@arboretum.org.
$5.00 per child for Arboretum members/$10.00 per child for non-members; regular Arboretum admission fees apply for non-members.

10/30/10 - 9:30 – 11:30 am
Beginning Smart Gardening Workshop - Composting Info
Castaic Lake Water Agency 27234 Bouquet Canyon Rd. Santa Clarita, 91350

Attend a FREE Smart Gardening Workshop and learn more about backyard composting, worm composting, grass recycling, water-wise gardening, and fire-wise gardening! 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).

As a note, I bought my worm bin at the class and then found almost the same worm compost bin at a nursery the cost on that bin was $149.99! Quite a savings if you purchase at the class. My worms are happily eating my table scraps in the shade of my backyard and I have less waste!

For more on my designs, check out my NEW website!


Wordless Wednesday - Autumn Arrives in Santa Clarita

Burgundy Rudbeckia

Smoke Bush & Radiation Lantana

Mexican Evening Primrose (plant in pots... highly invasive!)

For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


How To Protect Your Plants From The Wind

Wind can adversely affect your plants in many ways and wind damage can take many forms. Broken branches and toppled trees are the most noteworthy effects and are often the topic of news broadcasts during windy spells. Other less noticeable types of damage include dried out soil, sprinkler overspray, and the loss of young plants. We in Southern California have a very special type of wind called the Santa Anas and as anyone who has lived here for a while knows they can be very detrimental.

Santa Ana winds are extremely dry offshore winds that usually hit Southern California in the late fall and winter. The worst part for us is that is also wildfire season, so those winds fan the flames and often take a small brush fire or even a spark and turn it into an inferno. With this in mind, it is important to remember to clear brush away from your home as early in the year as possible to reduce your risks.

There are a few things that you can do during a windy spell to keep your plants in the best shape possible.

Keep potted plants well watered, especially the small pots. They will less likely tip over or blow away if they are watered because they are heavier.

Stake new trees and shrubs properly. A row of trees or shrubs that you are growing into a screen will eventually be great protection, but while they grow to protect your landscape you need to protect them.

You can create small, protected recesses within windy areas on a slope or flat ground. Dig pockets for your plants then surround the plants with stones or rocks.

Protect the soil from drying out with a layer of mulch (another reason to mulch!)

You can also select plants that do well in the wind. Here are some suggestions that do well in Southern California.

Crape Myrtle, conifers, ornamental grasses, Lagunaria patersonii (Primrose Tree), most Melaleucas, many Pittosporums, Arbutus unedo (strawberry bush), ceanothus, dodonea (Hopseed Bush), Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo), Westringia fruiticosa (Coast Rosemary), Penstemon, Salvia, Day Lily and many more.

Take some time to assess your property because we're getting closer to Santa Ana time, and you'll want to be prepared!

For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


Happy Birthday Dad!

On our family visit to the Japanese Gardens in San Francisco

Thank you Dad for sharing our love of gardens, the outdoors and everything that we drag you to. I know it wasn't always your first choice, but you've always been a great sport and all of us love sharing these great places and plants with you!

We love you, Julie, Loren, Dan, Ruchie, LaurieAnn, Peter, Marlon, Aidan, Becca, Shimmy, Yaacov, Eytan, Zev, Zak, & Sky


Wordless Wednesday - Santa Clarita's Still HOT!

Salmon Canna

Barberry and Flax

Lantana montevidensis - ground cover Lantana (poisonous)

For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


How To Care For Lavender

photo from: Beauty Bunch

Lavender (Lavandula sp.) is a great plant for Mediterranean climates. It is beautiful, fragrant, and a perennial (or sub-shrub). It is essential that you select a variety that is the proper type and size for the area that you want to plant it in because, some lavenders can grow quite large and will quickly outgrow your planter bed.

Lavender prefers lots of sun will it will tolerate some shade, it must have well-drained soil to maintain it’s health and does not do well in clay soil without a good amount of compost added at planting time. Yellowing leaves are a sign of an unhappy lavender planted in clay soil, as you can see without the proper soil your lavender will be very short lived. Lavender is a very drought tolerant perennial however if it is very hot and dry for a long period make sure that it gets enough water. It is best not to water lavender foliage. So take care when adding extra water. By grouping lavender with other plants of the same watering requirements, this problem will be minimized.

After your lavender blooms you should dead head it to produce more flowers and when the season is over and it looks spent it should be pruned immediately to keep it neat and as compact as possible. If you allow your lavender to grow unattended and it becomes woody as it gets older, you can rejuvenate it by cutting it back half way in spring (when new growth begins). This is also a good technique to use if there are any branches that die back during the winter. If you need to divide your lavenders fall is the time for that.

Lavenders like neutral or slightly alkaline soil, so don’t plant it with Hydrangeas and Camellias (different water requirements too), and if your soil pH is acid you can add lime to balance it out. Lavenders don’t need much in the way of fertilizer, so fertilize sparingly if at all. And of course I’m going to push that organic slow release on you for all your fertilizing – better for our environment.

You can make wonderful things from lavender – sachets, potpourri, lavender lemonade and more so with a little bit of care, lavenders make a wonderful addition to most landscapes and remember size matters!

For more on my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


Wordless Wednesday - Fruit Trees In SCV

Pear Tree (only certain varieties bear fruit here)


Fig Tree

Eureka Lemon should be ready for winter!

For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


What To Do In Your Southern California Garden in September

Labor Day in Southern California, so that means the Santa Clarita Valley only has another two months of summer! I shouldn’t complain (but what fun would THAT be) because it’s really been a fairly mild summer – we have not had the prolonged bouts of 115-degree weather, but it has gotten pretty warm some weeks.

Since it is still quite warm please be sure to complete your gardening chores in the cool of the morning or evening, drink plenty of fluids, and make sure to wear your sun protection. If you’re on a jobsite with me, you’ll hear me harping over and over again about sunscreen, hats, and water please take that to heart.

Continue to give your trees and shrubs infrequent deep watering while it’s still hot out. Every few weeks is good. If you have picked up a free WBIC you are ahead of the game, but deep watering with a hose or bubblers to your trees will pay off with healthy trees and deep roots.

Clean up those rose beds! Pick up old leaves, prune lightly and check for pests and diseases.

If you are planning to plant roses in the fall, this is a good time to order roses from catalogs. Since we are lucky enough to live in a rose loving climate, we also have some great resources right around the corner. Instead of ordering from catalogs you might want to peruse Otto & Sons’s Nursery out in Fillmore. It’s a great trip and Scott and his staff have an amazing array of beautiful plants. I NEVER can’t find what I’m looking for there. (A double negative is a positive!)

Check all your hanging baskets and potted designs clean them up (a little judicious pruning) and fertilize them now and they will last well into the cooler months.

Start thinking about your cool season vegetables, you can sow seeds if you are planning to start your veggies from “scratch”. Squash, green beans, cucumbers, and pumpkins can be started.

You can plant a second set of pepper and tomato plants to extend your harvest too. Green Thumb Nursery has a nice selection of cool season tomatoes right now (see my blog post about extending your tomato harvest). I just replaced two of my non-producing summer plants with brand new babies, I picked up a Stupice and a Glacier – both of which produce tomatoes quickly.

Once your summer blooming shrubs and vines have finished blooming, give them a good pruning.

You can plant fall and winter blooming perennials such as aloes, Echinacea (they last a long time) sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and clivia.

I hope this helps you keep your garden in tip top shape!

For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


Wordless Wednesday - Inspiration from Sheri


A beautiful vision of trees as far as the eye can see

Cannas at San Rafael Mission, San Rafael, Ca.

My friend Sheri and her husband Louie went on a great vacation. They just got in the car and drove. No reservations, no destination - I want to be Sheri when I grow up! Sheri has an Inspiration brand find her at: SheriBabyTshirts or AffirmationsWithAttitude

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