Category Archives: Uncategorized

Seed starting time is here.

Winter is still with us, but it is time to think about the plants that we will plant this spring. Three that immediately come to mind for me are tomatoes, eggplant and peppers, a trio of vegetables in the Solanaceae family that are widely planted for summer cuisine. All are tropical plants and thrive in […]

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Euphorbia euphoria — a fascinating collection of plants

Euphorbias are simply incredible. Over my many years of visiting various botanical gardens, arboretums, and nurseries, I’ve developed a great fondness for and sense of amazement about this genus of plants. Almost every time our family visits a new public garden, we encounter yet another Euphorbia species, and we exclaim in near disbelief, “That’s a […]

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Poinsettias: history, fun facts, and more

Poinsettias have become a symbolic plant during the holiday season, their deep green leaves and bright red rosettes adorning tables and windows across the country. Marcy Sousa’s recent column briefly discussed the care of this and other ubiquitous Christmastime houseplants, but let’s take a closer look at this unique plant species. Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are evergreen […]

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Time to think about garden plans.

It is almost winter or what counts for that mild season in California; a good time for taking stock of our gardens and plan for next year. What do I want to plant for next year? What seeds do I order and do I want to change the landscape or some aspects thereof next year? […]

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Pruning crape myrtles without murdering them

Winter time is here and it is time to think about pruning our ornamentals, roses and fruit trees. Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) are a wonderful ornamental tree commonly planted in our area. It has bark that is attractive; blooms from about July until fall in colors of white, pink, purple, crimson and comes in a range […]

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Winter pruning of fruit trees

We’re fortunate to live in California’s Central Valley—one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the country—and thus we have the ability to grow a huge variety of fruit- and nut-bearing trees. Stone fruits (apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums), pome fruits (apples, pears, Asian pears), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), and others (figs, persimmons) all do […]

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Loving trees is good for the spirit.

Japanese maples can show a range of fall colors

Recently, Andrew Carmichael, a Master Gardeners who is also a certified arborist among many other accomplishments provided our monthly meeting education lecture.  He spoke about the aesthetics of trees and about how if you really love trees you will both care about them and care for them. I was in total agreement with his views […]

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Multiply and share your perennials this fall

Have your favorite perennials been looking crowded and not blooming as abundantly as they used to? Maybe it is time to divide them and replant or share them with neighbors or friends. There are actually tables that will tell you how often you should divide your German bearded irises (Iris germanica), daylilies, Coreopsis, Pentstemons, Shasta […]

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Welcoming fall, and a look to the future

We’re only a week and a half into fall, but already it’s been a season of unexpected, roller-coaster temperatures, with record-tying heat alternating with unseasonably cool days and rain. Who knows what surprises are yet to come? Master Gardeners welcomed in the new season this past Saturday, September 28 with Open Garden Day at our […]

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Enjoy nature while in your garden.

Taking time to smell the roses can be extended to enjoying nature too as we go about tending our gardens. Recently, while in my garden, a beautiful black and blue dragonfly came along that I have never seen before. It landed several times on a steel stake, in fact, long enough that I could get […]

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