Happy New Year!

To all my friends and family,

You have added so much to my life, I would like to thank you for a wonderful year.

2011 will just be better.



Wordless Wednesday - Gabriola, British Columbia

Tony The Fjord


Moss covered tree

Tree Fungus

Equisetum growing (going) wild


Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful holiday... no matter how you celebrate!

January 2011 Gardening Events & More...

The Holidays are over, the family is floating back from whence they came, kids are heading back to school and things are starting to normalize. You can make sure that you don’t have a let down if you plan ahead and take advantage of some of the fun gardening events coming up in our area. Here are some to pique your interest.

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 Nursery
There is also another great Farmer’s Market:
Thursdays in Old Town Newhall from 3-7pm.

Thursday Garden Talks with Lili Singer
Winter 2011: 8 Thursdays, January 6-February 13
(Please note special times for field trips, self-driven & require pre-registration)
$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
Thurs - 1/6/11 – 9:30 - noon – Palm Room
Water Wisdom 2011: An Overview for Gardeners with Bob Galbreath
Our first session of the New Year discusses the latest and greatest on landscape irrigation, including water-efficient equipment, catching run-off and graywater, smart controllers and more. Bob is an irrigation consultant with 30 years of experience in landscape water conservation. A former certified irrigation designer and landscape contractor, he recently retired as a Landscape Water Resources Manager for the City of Santa Monica

Garden Chats With Mike Brown
Saturdays 9:30-10 a.m. Nature's Table
Back by popular demand: Mike Brown, Descanso’s Display Horticulturist, leads informal talks on gardening issues. Bring your gardening questions. Mike's chats are most Saturdays, except Christmas and New Year's. Meet at Nature’s Table, Descanso’s garden of edibles.
Free with Gardens admission.
Descanso Gardens

Boy… there is a lot of Rose information out there this month!

Rose Care University at Otto & Sons Nursery
This event will be repeated all month!
Sat. 1/8/11 – 10 am – noon - $15.00
Otto & Sons is located out the 126
1835 E. Guiberson Rd., Fillmore, California 93015
phone: 805.524.2123

Rose Pruning at the Arboretum
Sat 1/8/11 – 9am – Noon
Meet at the Arboretum’s Victorian Rose Garden
$25 / $28 non-members
Join Jill Morganelli, curator of the Arboretum’s Victorian Rose Garden, for a hands-on workshop about rose pruning and rose care. January is a big month for roses; proper pruning and soil building will determine the health and beauty of roses throughout the year. Bring your garden gloves and a sharp pair of pruning shears as after learning pruning techniques, you are invited to practice what you’ve learned! Disease control and soil building will also be covered.

Adventures at the Arboretum - January is Wildlife Exploration
Sat 1/8/11 – 10am - noon
Free with Admission
Meet by the fountain in front of the Oak Room.
Join your adventure guide as we explore the Arboretum. Each Saturday is new and exciting, and will have a different theme relating to nature. Come early as space is limited to 25. Children of all ages are welcome! Family adventures will go on rain or shine so dress appropriately!

Rose Pruning Demo – Rose Pavillion Descanso Gardens
Sat 1/8/11 – 11am
Conquer your fear of pruning: Amanda Everett, Descanso Rose Horticulturist, will go over the basics of pruning different types of roses. Find out why pruning is necessary, what tools to use, the best times to prune and pruning techniques. The program starts with classroom discussion and presentation, then moves out into the Gardens for a field pruning. Free with admission
Descanso Gardens

Free Pruning, Planting, and Rose Care Seminar
Sun 1/9/11 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Cost: Free of Charge
Location: Located at SCV Senior Center
22900 Market Street
Santa Clarita, California 91321
The Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society is hosting a free rose care seminar.The seminar will feature Rose Consultants Bob Belendez, Kitty Belendez, and Steve Jones who will demonstrate how to properly prune various types of roses. The Rose Consultants will also explain how to plant bareroot roses, how to rejuvenate roses grown in containers, and how to fertilize and mulch. You will be rewarded with beautiful blooms when you practice these techniques on your own roses. The club will also have a door prize, rose raffle, and refreshments after the seminar.
There is no cost to attend, and the public is invited. New members who join the rose society (annual dues are $20/e-mailed or $30/mailed per family) will receive a year’s subscription to the club’s award-winning newsletter “Rose Ecstasy” and a 10% annual discount card good at Green Thumb Nursery all year.
For more information contact Kitty Belendez at (661) 296-5033, or e-mail rosextckb@aol.com. Please RSVP so that we can provide sufficient seating, handout materials, and refreshments. Visit the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society web site at www.scvrs.homestead.com

Thursday Garden Talks With Lili Singer
Winter 2011: 8 Thursdays, January 6-February 13
(Please note special times for field trips, self-driven & require pre-registration)
$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
Thursday 1/13/11
Recycling in the Garden with Yvonne Savio
Go really green in your garden! Join Yvonne Savio, manager of the University of California Cooperative Extension Common Ground Garden Program in Los Angeles County, and most recently the Southern California Horticultural Society’s 2010 Horticulturist of the Year, for a showing of the “California’s Green” program of Huell Howser’s visit to her garden and a stimulating discussion of the many ways that household throwaways can be used as garden tools in home and community.

Rose Care University at Otto & Sons Nursery
This event will be repeated all month!
Sat. 1/15/11 – 10 am – noon - $15.00
Otto & Sons is located out the 126
1835 E. Guiberson Rd., Fillmore, California 93015
phone: 805.524.2123

Heritage Oak Walk Center Circle Descanso Gardens
Sat. 1/15/11 – 11 am
Meet the giants of today and tomorrow, Descanso’s six “heritage” oaks. Curator Wen Wang leads this informative walk focusing on Coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia). These trees are a keystone species, meaning many creatures (including humans at one time) rely on the trees for their existence. Free with admission
Descanso Gardens

Baiko-En Bonsai Kenkyukai Show and Sale – LA Arboretum
Sat & Sun 1/15-1/16/11 – 10am – 4:30pm
The Baiko-En Bonsai Kenkyukai Society will present the only show of deciduous miniaturized trees in the US. This show features Japanese graybark elms, ginkgo, zelkova and maple trees in their dormant stage. Demonstrations each day will show how to prune the branches and roots of ordinary nursery plants, transforming them into classic bonsai planted in the traditional shallow pots. Bonsai trees, both finished and partially trained by club members, will be offered for sale.

MLK and Cookies – For Martin Luther King Jr Day
Sun 1/16/11 - 3pm St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church – A Season of Diversity Event
*All Ages and Families
Blessing, prayers, and a few songs for unity honoring Martin Luther King, and enjoying some good homemade cookies.
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is located at:
24901 Orchard Village Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Culture Night – A Season of Diversity Event
Fri. 1/21/11 - 5 pm Newhall Community Center
During this event, participants will enjoy multi-cultural performances, arts and crafts, and a diverse selection of food from a variety of cultures, countries, and continents. Special cultural artifacts will also be on display.
Newhall Community Center is located at:
22421 Market Street, Santa Clarita, CA 91321

Backyard Orchard Culture at Otto & Sons Nursery
Sat. 1/22/11 – 10 am – noon - $15.00
Otto & Sons is located out the 126
1835 E. Guiberson Rd., Fillmore, California 93015
phone: 805.524.2123

Rose Care University at Otto & Sons Nursery
This event will be repeated all month!
Sat. 1/22/11 – 2 pm – 4 pm - $15.00
Otto & Sons is located out the 126
1835 E. Guiberson Rd., Fillmore, California 93015
phone: 805.524.2123

Family Fun Classes – (Jan)Terrarium Madness!
Sat 1/22/11 - 10 am – Noon
Create your own little ecosystem, take it home and watch it grow! We will learn a simple lesson about habitats, decorate miniature clay figures and create terrariums for them to "live" in. The class will end with a walk to one of four different types of habitats talked about.
Price: $12 per family for members; $14 per family for non-members
Pre-registration required for all classes. Enrollment includes admission to the Arboretum. Call 626.821.4623 or 626.821.5897 to register. Meet by the fountain in front of the Oak Room.

Introduction to Gardening – Descanso (Birch)
Sat 1/22/11 – 10 am
Don’t know diddly about gardening? Rachel Young, Descanso Native Horticulturist, can get you started digging. The first session of this two-part class teaches basics about soil, planting, how to choose plants, differences between perennials and annuals, how to water and how to pick a container for planting. The second class covers plant care, pruning, pests and weeds. Part Two is scheduled for March 5 and is priced separately. Classes meet indoors and outdoors; dress appropriately. $20, $10 members

Santa Clarita Street Fair
Sat & Sun 1/22-23/11 - COC Parking Lot 8
A once-per-month marketplace that is fun, festive and entertaining for the entire family. Open Saturday and Sunday, 8am-3pm. Vendors offer arts, crafts, handmade items and new merchandise presented by some of Santa Clarita’s most innovative and creative entrepreneurs.
So come on by to browse, shop and have lunch. We will have special lunch vendors arriving between 11am and 2pm each day.
So come early and come often as the admission and parking are always FREE!
We will continue to look for new vendors, entertainment and attractions for you to enjoy month after month."
10% of proceeds will benefit SCV Emergency Winter Shelter.

We Shall Overcome – A Season of Diversity Event
Sun 1/23/11 - 2pm Valencia Library
*All Ages and Families
Musical theater, educational and historical journey through African and African-American music. In this animated and interactive show, Makinto explains the history of black people in America through the evolution of black music.
Valencia Library is located at:
23743 W. Valencia Boulevard, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Santa Clarita Valley Green Drinks MeetUp
Tuesday – 1/25/11 – 6pm
Salt Creek Grill
Towne Center
Valencia, CA 91355
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 MeetUp

Thursday Garden Talks With Lili Singer
Winter 2011: 8 Thursdays, January 6-February 13
(Please note special times for field trips, self-driven & require pre-registration)
$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
Thurs 1/27/11 - 10am - 1 pm
Field Trip: Four Westside Gardens by Susanne Jett
Traveling from the Pacific Palisades to Mar Vista to the Robertson district, we’ll visit four residential gardens of varying sizes, styles and ages – each with its own stunning mix of native, South African and other Mediterranean-climate plants. Susanne, owner of Jettscapes Landscape has been designing and installing environmentally sensitive gardens in the Southern California area for nearly three decades. Since 1989, as landscape consultant to the City of Santa Monica, she has designed and coordinated four public demonstration gardens. Pre-registration required.

Rose Care University at Otto & Sons Nursery
Last chance for this event!
Sat. 1/29/10 – 10 am – noon - $15.00
Otto & Sons is located out the 126
1835 E. Guiberson Rd., Fillmore, California 93015
phone: 805.524.2123

Spring Bedding Plants – Descanso (Promenade)
Sat 1/29/10 – 10:30
Mike Brown will discuss choosing and planting spring bedding plants for maximum impact and lasting beauty. Free with admission

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Dance
1/30/11 – 2pm Santa Clarita Senior Center
Family Program - Open to the Public
Enjoy traditional Lunar New Year performances, including Chinese and other Asian dances, songs, and drums.
Senior Center is located at:
22900 Market Street, Santa Clarita, CA 91321

I hope you like the list that I have compiled and that you can attend some of the events. We can always use volunteers at the Community Garden and we’ll be working hard to be open this March, so please visit our Facebook Page for updates and to offer your volunteer Services!

For more on my designs, check out my website!


Wordless Wednesdays - Holidaze in Santa Clarita, Ca

Spine Tingling Cactus Against The Sky

Mexican Sage


For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


How To Care For Holiday Plants

The holidays are upon us! Happy Chanukah (past tense) Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and more. You may find (like I do) that Holiday plants become a part of your home but once the holidays are past what do you do with them? Here is a blog post that I wrote for Scene In SCV about Holiday Plants, I think it will be very helpful to you. There is also a more detailed post about poinsettias available from last year, so have no fear your new beautiful plants are NOT doomed!

Holiday Plant Care from Scene In SCV

Poinsettia Care

For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


Wordless Wednesday & Bloom Day - Santa Clarita

Lomandra & Euphorbia

Pansies w/Armeria


For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


How To Care For Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

Star Jasmine is one of my “go to” vines for Southern California and especially for Santa Clarita. It is a fast growing vine that can cover 25 feet, so a little goes a long way! It is also happy to bloom in sun, partial sun, and even shade in our hot valleys. So, it is eminently usable under many conditions and it will help you create unity because you can utilize it in different sun exposures in your yard. Star Jasmine is also a nice shrub; great in a pot and a useful ground cover if you don’t mind it’s height.

Star Jasmine is very easy to work with, because it has nice side shoots so you can make it go exactly where you want it. This vine has no tendrils but will twist around pretty much anything that it touches – I like to use it on a trellis or wire up a wall and let it go!

Oh, about letting it “go” I don’t mean ignore it – I mean it can grow far and cover an ugly wall pretty quickly however like most vines it requires maintenance! Please don’t go planting one and ignore it for a couple of years…you need to pay attention to it and make sure that you trim it when it starts getting unruly (and believe me it will). Ignoring it will mean that when you do finally trim it back you see nothing but ugly sticks.

Make sure that you plant it with enough room between itself and other plants so that you won’t be untangling it from the plants in front of it. I like to treat vines like wall paper or paint on a wall – it’s nice to put stuff in front of it but you don’t want to be so close that the two types of plants merge and become one.

Star Jamine is very fragrant, blooms in spring and summer and is much more tolerant to cold and heat than say night blooming Jasmine or Jamine Sambac. It wants consistent moisture, so proper irrigation is a must, and good soil, so don’t skimp on the compost when you plant it and if you keep up on mulching it will be very happy on both counts. It has been known to survive after a freeze (three years ago we got below 23 off and on for three days) but like other plants if it shows sign of frozen leaves, don’t prune it! Wait, wait, wait until it really warms up (April). Speaking of pruning, it is always good to prune your vine after it has bloomed, this will encourage growth of the vine. You can deadhead as needed too, and make sure that on a regular basis you get out there and make sure that your vine is following directions and covering what you want covered and nothing else.

For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener and visit my Facebook Business Page for new installs as they happen!


Wordless Wednesday - SCV Around Town

Variegated Succulent

Mimosa Pods


For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


What To Do In Your Southern California Garden in December

We are so lucky to have gardening chores to do all year round, it may seem like a crazy time to be out working in the garden but think of it as an opportunity to work off that Thanksgiving Turkey and make room for your December Holiday latkes, roast beef, goose, and of course all the sweets!

I think one of the biggest chores at hand right now is … raking leaves! Believe it or not New York and Boston, we don’t shovel in December and January we RAKE!

If you have a living Christmas tree don’t forget to water it on a regular basis, it’s been pretty cold the last few weeks heaters are on and they will rapidly evaporate the water in your tree stand.

Peruse you seed catalogs and get excited about spring plants, if you order now you get the best selection!

You can also plant bulbs for both winter and spring blooming bulbs. Visit my favorite websites McClure & Zimmerman Bulbs, Brent and Becky’s Bulbs for ideas.

Remember to stop feeding your dormant houseplants. If you have blooming plants, you can continue with their feeding. Keep your eyes open for my upcoming Scene In SCV post on taking care of Holiday plants. I’ll make sure you know when it’s available.

If you haven’t planted those winter annuals (sounds like an oxymoron) now is a great time. By adding annuals to your perennial garden you can save on Holiday decorating. Cyclamen, pansies, begonias and many more can be used is swaths to greet the guests at your next holiday soiree’.

You can start shopping for bare root plants, however you’ll find a bigger selection in January when the Christmas décor is gone. However, keep your eyes out because you might just find an unusual or hard to find new rose, shrub, vine or fruit tree.

If your cacti and succulents have finished blooming and are a bit root bound you can repot them now. Keep those pots near protection, you never know when we’ll get another cold snap like last week. I have a few sad looking echeverias right now.

Keep your eyes peeled for frost warnings, you may have to protect your citrus (with frost cloth or Christmas lights) re-read my post on frost again soon.

You can plant more winter blooming perennials and vines such as clivia, ceanothus, Carolina Jessamine, Hardenbergia, Breath of Heaven, and Cyclamen (good Christmas décor!)

If your fall blooming shrubs or vines are done blooming, it is a great time to prune them.

You can still get your cool season vegetables seedlings in – take a look at my Winter Vegetable Gardening Post for ideas.

This may sound unorthodox, but it is a good time to use a super bloom time organic fertilizer on your Plumerias and other later blooming plants. The phosphorus takes up to six months to take effect, so if you fertilize now you will be timing it just right. It is also probably the last time in the year that you’ll want to fertilize most anything (you can continue to fertilize your winter veggis) – the soil is getting a bit too cold for your plants to utilize the nutrients.

If you are in Santa Clarita take a trip to Central Park on Bouquet Canyon and take a look at the site of the Community Gardens of Santa Clarita! We just had a ground-breaking ceremony and there are planting beds out there for you to look at. Get inspired and think about signing up for the plot. We have both 10x10’ and 10x20’ available – send me an email and I’ll get you an application as well as a copy of the garden rules.

For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener


Wordless Wednesday - It's December!

Agave - a succulent swirl

Kangaroo Paw - Anigozanthus

Detail of a Succulent "Wall"

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