March has us thinking about the summer garden. Even though the days may still be cold, there are many plants flowering now. Alyogyne huegelii is one of our favorites, a long-blooming, drought-tolerant shrubby member of the Mallow family. Blue and purple and pink are the colors of spring, with bulbs like Scilla and Freesia looking

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I have a client this summer who is very capable. We have enjoyed working out the intangible design aspects of his garden vision in a series of sketches and wide-ranging conversations, and now it is time to start making a mess. I spent the afternoon onsite with a heavy mallet, a hand-held level, a Sharpie

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Lots of talk this week about California’s long dry spell and what it means for cities and counties. But what does it mean for you, Property Owner? If you haven’t assessed your irrigation system and your existing plantings and maintenance practices, this is a great time of year to do so. High-efficiency irrigation delivery systems

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It’s been about 12 years since I passed the three-day licensing exam and became the 4,953rd landscape architect to be licensed by the State of California. This morning I covered for the wonderful Ray Freeman, who teaches young aspiring designers how to do grading calculations, prepare plans for stormwater management, and many other intimidatingly technical

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With so much of the East Bay already developed, steep hillside gardens are becoming increasingly important for providing outdoor space. Steep sites often require extra structural work to carve out terraces and walkways. The challenge presented by retaining walls in the garden has a flip side – new opportunities for unique garden features. At this

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Chris Hecht, Wendy Wilde, and I put together a plan for this pocket garden, soon to be under construction. Watch for it as you get off Highway 24, Claremont exit. Many thanks to DaVita, Scenic Streets, and RCPC for making this community garden happen!

My eldest son goes to Berkeley’s King Middle School. A full acre of the school grounds has been developed into a teaching garden, complete with fruit trees, berry bushes, annual vegetables, a wood-burning pizza oven, shady seating areas, and a coop filled with chickens. On Saturday we attended the annual Plant Sale Fundraiser, and enjoyed

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Thanks to my homesteader friend, Mary Hofer, for this cool permaculture raised bed establishment method. The bed is supported by a bunch of rotting wood under the soil, permanent slow-release fertilizer… Has anyone tried this in the Bay Area? Seems like it should work. http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

was last week. Wisteria buds are swelling into panicles, and the fresh leaves are unfurling on rosebushes and flowering trees all around the Bay Area. Do you have an annual maintenance plan for your landscape or garden?