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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Photo - Outdoor Quartzite Tile

This beautiful tile was chosen for both its color and
non-slip characteristics.  The tile was laid over concrete
and mortared in place.  A slip screen was placed in between
the tile and concrete to insure that the tile will not crack
even if the concrete does.  For for examples of fine outdoor tile
look at Arizona Tile's webpage;
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Rancho Bernardo

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photo - Aeonium 'Kiwi'

This compact succulent is great for tight spaces and containers. 
It reaches 2' tall x 2' wide and flowers in the summer.

Photo by Doug Kalal

Monday, November 28, 2011

5 Fantastic Rabbit Resistant Plants for San Diego

         Although there is no such thing as a rabbit proof plant, bunnies will usually skip these 5 plants and look for something else to munch on.  Click on the link below each description to see a photo of the plant from my blog.

California Fuschia
Epilobium canum also sometimes labeled
Zauchneria californica
A terrific perennial that blooms in the fall.  Bright orange flowers are a real hummingbird magnet.  This native will spread slowly via underground runners to fill in any space.  Nice gray foliage is attractive in the spring and summer.

Lantana
Lantana sp. ‘New Gold’ or 'Dallas Red'
A tough, drought tolerant shrub that is also good for slopes.  This variety tends to be a more prolific bloomer.   

Orchid Rockrose
Cistus x purpureus
A tough shrub that works on both slopes and flat spaces, reaches 5 feet wide and tall.
Sticky Monkey Flower
Mimulus aurantiacus
This California native is also a terrific hummingbird plant, 3 feet tall x 4 feet wide.

Yarrow
Achillea millefolium
This perennial is also a terrific cut flower and comes in lots of colors.

Photo - Lantana sp. 'Dallas Red' (Lantana camara)

This shrub reaches 3' tall x 4' wide and is great for
both attracting butterflies and repelling rabbits.

Photo by Doug Kalal

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Photo - Camellia sasanqua 'Kanjiro'

This beautiful winter blooming shrub can handle full sun
on the coast, part shade inland.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's house in Kensington

Photo - Flagstone with Decomposed Granite

There are several different materials to use with flagstone:
ground cover such as dymondia or creeping thyme,
pebbles, grout or decoosed granite (DG).
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Normal Heights

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photo - Red Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos flavidus)

This variety of Kangaroo Paw is called
'Big Roo Red'.  All of the Big Roo's reach 6 feet tall.
Kangaroo Paws are terrific drought tolerant and cut flower plants.
It is important that they have full to part sun and well draining soil.
Always plant your Kangaroo Paw so that the the root crown
(where the roots meet the leaves) is at least 2 inches above the soil,
and then add mulch for those last 2 inches.  That way water can't collect
around the root crown which can lead to disease.

Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Tierrasanta

Monday, November 21, 2011

Photo - Monarch Stone (Antique European Flagstone)


Monarch Stone (Antique European Flagstone) are
large pieces of concrete with an integrated color. 
They come in both square and rectangular pieces. 
 Antique European Flagstone comes in 5 different colors;
Bristol, Adagio, Yorkshire, Windsor Hills and Roma.
For more information, here are the web pages for both
KRC Rock and Monarch Stone (Coronado Stone).

Photos provided by Monarch Stone

Garden Elements - Antique European Flagstone (Monarch Stone)

             There are many different types of materials to use in creating a patio.  Among the materials featured in this blog are; Pavers, Concrete, Flagstone, Decomposed Granite and Brick.  Add to that list a new type of material that is part paver and part flagstone.  Antique European Flagstone is an architectural paving stone produced by Monarch Stone and sold here in San Diego by KRC Rock. 
            Antique European Flagstones are large pieces of concrete with an integrated color.  They come in both square (20” x 30”) and rectangular (20” x 30”) pieces.  Each piece is roughly 1 ½ inches thick. Antique European Flagstone comes in 5 different colors; Bristol, Adagio, Yorkshire, Windsor Hills and Roma.  One of the unique features of this material is that the flagstone has been created by making molds of centuries-old streets in London. 
Horse hooves, carriages and hundreds of years of wear have made their impressions on the original streets.  That old world feel has been brought into each Antique European Flagstone piece.

At KRC Rock you can buy Antique European Flagstone by the piece or by the pallet.  One pallet has 44 pieces and will cover 150 to 170 square feet.  Each pallet costs roughly $700.  The cost per square foot of the material is about $4 which makes it a little more expensive than some of the standard flagstones such as Arizona Buff.  However, because of the shape of Antique European Flagstone, it is a much easier material to install than regular flagstone.  Antique European Flagstone can be installed in a similar fashion to either pavers or flagstone in that sand or mortar can be used in between the pieces.  Because of this flexibility, Antique European Flagstone generally costs about $15 to $20 per square foot for a contractor to install them.  For more information, here are the web pages for both KRC Rock and Monarch Stone (Coronado Stone).


Photos provided by Monarch Stone

Photo - Hummingbird and Chiapas Sage

Hummingbirds love all different types of Salvias. 
The long tubular flowers and bright colors are just what
these fun birds are searching for.  This plant in this photo is
Chiapas Sage (Salvia Chipensis), a native of Mexico.
This wonderful perennial blooms all year around
here on the coast of San Diego.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Point Loma

Friday, November 18, 2011

Photo - Grandiflora Rose 'Rock N' Roll'

Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Grandiflora Rose 'Bronze Star'

This rose is very disease resistant and easy to grow.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Container Patio Garden

This was my garden at the 2009 San Diego County Fair.
It was a cute little container patio garden with lots of hummingbird
plants such as Hot Lips Sage, Penstemmon and Butterfly Bush.
The bistro set is sitting on top of Flagstone and Dymondia.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Thursday, November 17, 2011

50,000 Pageviews

Thank you loyal readers! Today my blog passed the 50,000 page view mark in just 10 months of publication.  Keep following my blog and I will keep churning out the photos, tips and stories about gardening here in San Diego.  Feel free to send me your ideas about what you would like to see in this blog by clicking on the comment section below this post.

Photo - Stamped Concrete with Mexican Tile

Although it looks like tile, this is actually stamped concrete
with an integrated color.  The contractor then grouted the
expansion joints to further the illusion that tile was used
to create these stairs.  Real Mexican tile was added
to the face of the stairs to complete the look. 
These stairs were built by Nature Designs Landscaping
and here is their webpage;
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's house in Rancho Bernardo

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Miramar Nursery is having a tree sale

Fall is the perfect time to plant most trees and Miramar Nursery is having a tree sale on their large 24" and 36" box specimens.  Here is the webpage for more info;
http://miramarsale.com/Tree_Palm_Sale.pdf

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Photo - Tumbled Paver Patio with Stone Veneer Covered Retaining Wall

A large CMU retaining wall was built in order to create
this additional space in the client's backyard.  The wall
was then covered with a stone veneer from El Dorado.
A matching paver was selected from RCP to create the
finishing touch on this wonderful new outdoor space.
Here is RCP Block & Brick's webpage for more
product info.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Encinitas

Photo - Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)

This perennial is easy to grow and a great hummingbird plant.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in El Cajon

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Photo - Dry River Stream Made from Recycled Glass

A dry river stream made from 3 different colors
of blue recycled glass.

American Specialty Glass takes old windows & bottles
and melts them down into 10 different sizes for a wide range
of uses.  The most popular size for landscape use is the
¼ inch – ½ inch. Available in 18 colors, recycled glass
 is heated and tumbled to remove the sharp edges.
Here is the American Specialty Glass web page with more info;

Photos provided by American Specialty Glass


Garden Elements - Recycled Landscape Glass

         Anybody who gardens knows the importance of caring for the environment around you.  Recycling clippings to make mulch, recycling kitchen scraps to make compost, even recycling concrete to make pathways are a few of the ways that garden lovers can recycle materials.  American Specialty Glass has taken that philosophy one step further.  American Specialty Glass takes old windows & bottles and melts them down into 10 different sizes for a wide range of uses.  The most popular size for landscape use is the ¼ inch – ½ inch. Available in 18 colors, recycled glass is heated and tumbled to remove the sharp edges. 
      In the landscape field, American Specialty Glass products can be used for mulch, fire pits, at the base of water fountains and for creating amazing dry river streams as seen in the photos below. Here is the American Specialty Glass web page with more info; http://www.americanspecialtyglass.com/
      The price for recycled glass depends on the amount ordered.  American Specialty Glass ships in everything from 1lb bags to 50lbs bags.  It takes roughly 7 lbs of ½ inch sized glass to cover 1 square foot to a depth of 2 inches. Here is a chart showing all their prices. http://www.americanspecialtyglass.com/media/pricelist.pdf.

Glass bottles about to be recycled

Recycled Green Glass after heating and tumbling

Recycled glass used in a water fountain base


All photos provided by American Specialty Glass

Photo - Pillar wrapped with Stone Facade

Does your patio have a pillar supporting
a shade structure or a second floor balcony?
You can convert that pillar into a little
counter for drinks by wrapping it first with
backer board and then a stone facade.
Top it off with a nice 9 inch capstone and you
now have a drink shelf.  For more facade colors and patterns
(also known as stone veneer), here is the RCP website;
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Rancho Penasquistos

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Photo - Round Water Fountain

Water fountains are great ways to bring
sound into your garden.  They also attract
small birds which can help with insect control.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in La Jolla.

Photo - Paddle Plant mixed with Blue Chalk Sticks

The foliage of these 2 succulents contrast nicely and
create a colorful space without any flowers.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adventures with a Gopher Snake

I was at a client's house last week when I spotted a small snake in the bush.
Since the client had a 2 year old grandson who was about to play outside,
 and I thought it might be a rattlesnake,
I decided the snake needed to be removed. 
I used to just kill snakes whenever I saw them,
but I have since learned how important
snakes are in controlling rats and mice in San Diego.
I called a snake expert who said to just scoop up the snake
with a flat nosed shovel and dump it in a large plastic container.
NOTE: You should not try this at home.  Do not handle
any snake unless you are sure it is not venomous.


Once the snake was in the box and the lid was on, I was relieved.
The snake was quite annoyed to be captured and
kept striking at the sides of the box.
Later I realized that this was a gopher snake and one
of its defense mechanisms was to imitate a rattlesnake
by puffing out its cheeks, shaking its tail
 and striking like a rattlesnake. This behavior along
with the rattlesnake like markings helps to confuse the snake's enemies.

Now that the snake was secure, I walked across
the street to an open canyon to set the snake free.

Gopher snakes are a constrictor type of snake. 
They grab and squeeze their prey to death. 
Rats, mice, lizards and insects are the food of choice
for gopher snakes.
Be free! And kill those rats!
For more information on this and other snakes
check out this web page;

Photos by Doug Kalal and my client

Photo - American Sweet Gum Tree (Liquidamber styraciflua)

This is a great tree for fall color, but watch out
for those spikey seed balls that start to drop from the
tree in the fall.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Ask Doug - "My baccharis is dying from the inside, what is causing it?"

Baccharis pilularis, also known as Coyote Bush, is a terrific drought tolerant, California native shrub.  Coyote Bush is great for slopes and requires little care once established.  This client noticed that her Coyote Bushes started to turn brown at the center of the plant and are slowly dying.

Since only the Coyote Bushes were affected, the probable cause is an insect.  The most common type of insect in San Diego that causes this kind of damage is the Flatheaded Borer.  Borer insects lay their eggs on the bark of trees and shrubs, especially ones that are weakened by drought.  The eggs hatch and then the larvae bore their way into the bark of the plant.  This tunneling damages the phloem, or food carrying, section plant.  This in turn will slowly kill the plant.

Some borers can be killed with a systemic insecticide.  For more information about insects and how to kill them check out the UC Davis Pest Control Webpage;
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Photo - Camellia japonica 'R. L. Wheeler'

Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Concrete Mow Strip

Concrete mow strips are a great way to
separate lawn from shrub beds.  Mow strips
allow for a lawnmower to just run over the edge of
the lawn easily.  This is turn reduces the mainenance needed
because you will not need to drag out another yard tool
to do the edging on the lawn.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's house in La Jolla

Monday, November 7, 2011

Photo - Golden Aucuba (Aucuba japonica)

The foliage on this shrub is great for brightening up shade
parts of the garden.  As the shrub matures it will
start to produce red berries, which birds love.

Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in La Mesa

Photo - Shade Sails


Shade Sails comes in a wide variety of colors and shapes.
Got Shade can custom make a shade sail solution for any size
patio and thanks to their contractor’s license,
they can install shade sails anywhere in California.
For more information, here is their webpage;
Photos provided by Got Shade

Garden Elements - Shade Sails

         Here in San Diego we are blessed with sunshine all year round.  But sometimes too much sun can take the fun out of enjoying your backyard.  Among the options available to back yard aficionados to create some cool patio space are Shade Sails.  Shade Sails are any type of fabric that is stretched between anchor points (either the house or steel poles) to create a taunt canopy. 
        In the Southern California region, Got Shade is the leading manufacturer and installer of high quality shade sails.  Got Shade’s sails are made from high-density polyethylene and come with a ten year warranty.  Their sails come in 16 different colors as well as several sizes and shapes.  Got Shade can custom make a shade sail solution for any size patio and thanks to their contractor’s license, they can install shade sails anywhere in California. For more information, here is their webpage; http://www.gotshadenow.com/.

Photos provided by Got Shade

Photo - Hollyhock (Alcea sp.)

These biennials are dramatic summer bloomers.
The one in this photo is a double bloom. 
I like to buy mine in six packs in the early spring
and plant them in 15 gal pots behind my
container rose garden.  Hollyhocks usually are short
lived but they will reseed and come back every summer.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photo - Butterfly Bush (Buddlea daviddii)

This fragrant plant is great for attracting both butterflies
and hummingbirds.  To increase the bloom size, trim this
perennial down to about 2 feet tall in the winter.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in El Cajon

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Photo - Wood Burning Firepit

This portable, wood-burning firepit is great for enjoying
an evening on the back patio especially as the days
grow shorter. Costco sells several different styles to choose from.

Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in La Jolla

Photo - Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia)

This California native requires no irrigation once established.
Coast Live Oaks reach can reach 40 feet in height and 60 feet in width.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo -Artificial Grass on Slope

One way to have a nice green slope in front of your home is use artificial turf.  This works best for a design with clean simple lines.  ...