A Native Garden

Container Gardening

By Susan

Gardening in containers is a way to expand your cultivation areas and experience.  By placing a beautifully planted container on a hardscaped location it will transform a sterile environment into a welcoming area.  A delicate plant can be grown by placing it where the conditions are agreeable and then if the conditions change, the plant can be relocated.  You can re-decorate your patio, entry or garden by changing your containers or the plants in them.  Containers allow you to visually combine plants which wouldn’t grow well together in the ground.

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California Cottage Design

By Susan

Abundance is the key visual element.  The California climate allows us to have this garden year round.  Plants are tightly spaced vying for your attention but getting along together quite happily.  Pathways are important design elements inviting you to enter and encouraging you to move through the garden.  Fragrances lure you deeper.  Something is always in bloom.  A bench or other seating is a visual design element and it invites you to linger.

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Habitat Gardening

By Susan

In the simplest form a habitat is a welcoming area for a specific life form.  To encourage a particular life form you should attempt to provide as many of your chosen occupant’s specific necessities as possible.

In the beginning you will want to concentrate on one specific life form and do it successfully.  Once that habitat is in place you can see if there are any other creatures which will live in harmony with your 1st chosen occupant.  You don’t want your avian friends looking at your caterpillars or butterflies as a nice supplement to their diet.  You may not want the caterpillars consuming the plant you wanted for the humming birds.

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Plants of the Ortega Highway

By Susan

When designing Gardens we strive to create an inviting environment.  Our goal is to create a situation which reflects our tastes and the land we live on.  Incorporating plants which live naturally in this area is not only good stewardship of the land but smart as a gardener.  Using native plants increases our chance for success and provides more food and habitat for the creatures living around and with us.  Using the plants which thrive in our back yard without man’s intervention is a bonus.  However any plant you bring into the garden will need your intervention by supplying it water until the plant can develop a root system to support it.  The plants of the Ortega Highway are the plants which grow here naturally and would have been found on the site where your home is located.  Knowing these plants will make your choices easier and your garden beautiful and more successful.

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Shade loving plants

By Susan

To aid in designing your gardens, I've put together a list of the plants that thrive in the shade.

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