Gardening Events & More June 2011

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
she has a wide variety of torture-friendly plants!

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

June 14, 2011 (Tuesday) 11 am – I am speaking at Ronda Fisher’s Shine & Dine Luncheon. The Event is called “Life By Design” Ronda is going to uncover design secrets for both your private life and your public life and I am sharing design tips to help you create the garden of your dreams. We’d love if you would join us. Register on Ronda's website

June 18, 2011 (Saturday) 8 am - Early Morning Bird Hike
With summer fast approaching, spot where and how our local birds handle the heat. Beginners welcome on this easy hike. Binoculars optional. Meet at Towsley Canyon’s front parking lot. 2 hours.
Program is free; parking inside park is $7.
Ed Davis Park in Towsley Canyon
24255 The Old Road, Newhall, Ca. 91321

June 18, 2011 10 am – 4 pm – Spiritual & Psychic Boutique at Courtyard Marriott
28523 Westinghouse Ct. (where the 5 meets the 126) Valencia, CA. Lots of great services and vendors to chose from. This is organized by my good friend Harriette Knight, to learn more about her visit her website.

June 18, 2011 8 am – 5 pm – Otto & Son’s Summer Solstice Sale - They are in Fillmore, so enjoy the beautiful ride on the 126 and enjoy their beautiful selection of roses, fruit trees, and other ornamentals.

June 18, 2011 9 am – noon - CLWA – Landscape Education Class
All About Turf in the SCV. Castaic Lake Water Agency on the hill above Central Park. Please RSVP to (661) 513-1230.

June 26, 2011 (Sunday) – 4:00 PM will be the first Quarterly Gardener’s Meeting for the Community Gardens of Santa Clarita. All gardeners and the Garden Council will be meeting at the Garden keep in touch, share tips, and have a forum. If you are a gardener that has a plot in the garden be sure to attend! If you are interested in signing up for our waiting list, please visit our website.

Descanso Gardens:
They have so much going on so here is a link to the June Calendar. Here are couple that I consider highlights:

Garden Chats with Mike Brown every Saturday morning at 9:30 am
June 18 & 19, 2011 - Descanso Bonsai Society & Show

LA Arboretum
Another place that has so much to do here is a link to their events. Here are some of my choices for the month:

June 4, 2011 – Organic Fruit & Vegetable Gardening
June 11 & 12, 2011 – Fern and Exotic Plant Show & Sale
And there is even Summer Nature Camp for 5-10 year olds.

I hope you find a few things to do this month, enjoy!

For more about my designs check out my website


Wordless Wednesday - Acton, Ca.

Aloe in Acton

Evening Primrose & California Poppies in Acton

Agave and Evening Primrose slope in Acton


How To Care For Penstemons

Penstemons are a wonderful plant, and depending on your site there is probably a penstemon that can work for you. A single specimen can be variable so it is best to plant penstemons in a mass where they will put on a dramatic show. They come in many colors from vibrant red, to sky blue/purple to apple blossom. They attract hummingbirds and since they have tubular flowers – the red ones don’t attract bees! Penstemons make a great border plant and look good in both a cottage garden and a rock garden… very versatile. They do well in loose soil that is gravelly, love raised beds, and are perfect for slopes and hillsides.

All penstemons like to have full sun (but will take some shade, especially in hot areas) soil that drains well, and they need plenty of room. They like to spread out and come in a variety of sizes both in height and in width. They can be plant in spring through summer and should be spaced 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety.

In California we have both native varieties and non-natives, care instructions have similarities but there are a few differences. I will mention them below.

In either case prepare your bed by loosening the soil, if you are planting non-natives add some amendments and then plant your penstemons in a hole that is the same height as it’s nursery pot but twice the diameter. You can also add an all purpose fertilizer at planting. If you are planting natives, don’t amend the soil or add fertilizer – but make sure that you are planting it in soil that has good drainage… not clay.

Both natives and non-natives will benefit from a layer of compost each spring, 2-4” depending on what “school of mulch” you belong to. This will help the plants retain the moisture they need and control weeds. All plants will need to be watered regularly in the first year to establish them, after that the natives will want MUCH less water (so don’t mix them). Water plants during dry periods and you can allow the soil to dry between waterings and since their roots don’t go deep you only need the soil to be wet 3-4” down. You can fertilize non-natives every six weeks during the season and they will benefit from high phosphorous fertilizer just prior to bloom time.

Flower spikes – you can cut them and bring them in the house or leave them for the hummingbirds. Once they have finished blooming cut back the spent flower spikes because this will encourage re-blooming. Once the season is over cut the plants back to about 2” from the ground but DON’T pull them out. They are perennials and will come back year after year. If your areas gets cold, you can add a new layer of mulch to protect the rhizomes.

California Penstemons also need full sun and good drainage, plus they need little water. After the first summer of establishment they need little to no water everywhere except the hottest areas, including the desert. They actually like hot, arid, dry conditions so they do best in the interior of California, and not so well in the coastal areas. They can easily survive on the 14-15 inches of rainfall that we usually get.


For more about my designs please visit my website.


Wordless Wednesday - Spring Is Surely Here



Snail Vine - Vigna caracalla


Container Gardening

It's been a great, busy week and I'm so excited that I am going to be doing a lot of planting this week including some awesome container designs to add punch and accents to my client's homes. So, since it was on my mind, I decided to share the link to my post on Tree.com's Home & Garden Blog. Check out Container Design Basics.

For more about my designs check out my website.



Wordless Wednesday - California Natives

Pacific Coast Iris

Salvia columbariae Chia & California Poppies



What To Do In Your Southern California Garden in May

It's that time again... here are your reminders for what to do in your garden this month. It's May, it's hot but we might still get some May gray so there will be plenty of time to get those gardening chores done. Click here and read all about what to do in your garden this month.

And if you're confused, please feel free to give me a call and we can take a look at your garden together and make a list of things you might want to do (or have a gardener do for you).

If you are looking for some drought tolerant perennials, cactus, succulents, tropical or bog plants my good friends at Worldwide Exotics are having a sale next weekend. Friday, Saturday & Sunday May 13, 14, & 15th 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. I'll be there on Friday, so I can beat you to all the best stuff! They are located at 11157 Orcas Ave. Lakeview Terrace, Ca. 91342 (818)890-1915 25% off everything!

Please tell them that Julie sent you!

For more about my designs have a look at my website.


Wordless Wednesday - Iris

For more about my designs, visit my website.

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