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Setting Your Garden’s Tone

“Beneath all the moods and faces of my garden, there is one constant: its tone,” says Fran Sorin, author of Digging Deep. “No matter how bright or dark or stormy or cold it is, my garden has a very specific feeling that defines it: bold.” Here are some tips from Fran’s book in what to place in your garden to achieve a certain tone.

Garden Planner: March

Weather may swing back to rain and frost, but rising temperatures and longer days revive gardens and energize gardeners who plant and prune, fertilize and fine-tune everything from perennial beds to backyard orchards. Nurseries brim with tempting new plants, and opportunities abound to polish gardening skills and find design inspiration. Make time to enjoy the season of rebirth.

Herbs Shine a Light on History

Herbs are adored for food flavoring and their healing properties. Another feature of these little powerhouses is their ability to shine a light on history. In fact, almost every herb has a tale to tell. Here are some of them.

Herbs for Indoor Growing

Although many herbs do beautifully in an indoor growth space, some varieties can be surprisingly fickle if you’re trying to grow them from seed. Here are some options from author Elizabeth Millard that are easier to grow.

The Meaning of Flowers

To help you convey the right message on Valentine’s Day, follow this list of flowers and their meanings.

A Sea Change

With two Labrador retrievers in tow, Dana Saxten left behind country living on an acre estate in Rancho Santa Fe for a contemporary cottage just blocks from the ocean and downtown Encinitas.

Popular Houseplants

Houseplants not only add beauty indoors, but also improve the health of our environments by releasing oxygen, reducing dust particles and absorbing pollutants in the air. The peaceful Zen feeling they bring can reduce stress. Here are some of our favorite houseplants.

Seed Viability

Spare yourself a disappointing spring by testing the viability of the older seeds in your collection before planting time. Month-by-Month Gardening California provides this simple procedure to calculate the germination rate, requiring nothing more than a paper towel, water and a plastic bag.

Bring Bees to Your Yard

You’ve probably heard by now that bees in the United States are disappearing. The following tips will help you create a beautiful garden that is helpful to bees and other beneficial insects.

Garden Planner: January

A new year, especially one in the midst of a drought, calls for gardening resolutions. Here are three easy-to-keep vows.

New Plants for 2015

High Country Gardens has introduced its 2015 plant varieties that thrive in a wide variety of growing conditions. “The plants we offer celebrate the concept that landscape and garden plants should reflect the natural beauty and growing conditions of each local climate,” says David Salman, chief horticulturist. Here are five that work well in San Diego.

Bring Mustard to the Mix

At The Red Door Family Garden, we grow produce for The Red Door Restaurant and Wine Bar and The Wellington Steak and Martini Lounge. With San Diego’s mild weather and year-round growing climate, it’s tempting to plant well-known vegetables back-to-back for 12 months.

Bare-Root Strawberries

In San Diego, December is the best time to plant bare-root strawberries for a sweet spring harvest.

Garden Up!

“Living art” is Jim Mumford’s apt description for the vertical walls of greenery he and his San Diego firm, Good Earth Plant Co., have installed in dozens of homes, restaurants and offices around the Southland.

Eco-friendly Approaches Revolutionize Landscaping

The trend toward sustainability in backyard vegetable gardens is becoming a major force in ornamental landscaping as well.

Landscape to Save Water

While some residents are removing entire lawns to reduce water use, others are shrinking the footprint of their grass and retaining areas that are most important to them. Here are some water-saving tips for all landscapes.

Welcome Butterflies

Butterflies inside the Water Conservation Garden’s new Dorcas E. Utter Pavilion seem to pose as they light on flowers to sip nectar. Since the pavilion opened in April, home gardeners regularly stop by hoping to learn how to attract some of these same butterflies — Monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries, Painted Ladies, Buckeyes and more — to their back yards throughout the seasons.

Your August Garden

Now is a good time to take a serious look at your garden to determine any changes that you may want to make during cooler months. With longer days and increased heat, August is the time of year when your garden is stressed the most.

Butterfly Bonanza

Carolyn Barber of Hot House Flowers, an eco-friendly, full-service floral studio in La Mesa, says that whether you have a large patch of land or just a small area for pots, you can attract and support butterflies. Read on for her tips to create a butterfly garden.

Fire-Resistant Succulents

The May wildfires were a stark reminder that we live in a sea of combustible fuel. Landscape-sized succulents are an excellent resource for defining zones and creating fire breaks.
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