Monday, October 31, 2011

Photo - Topsy Turvey Echeveria

Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at Miramar Wholesale Nursery

Friday, October 28, 2011

Photo - Hummingbird and Pineapple Sage (Salvia Elegans)

Hummingbirds love the long tubular flowers of Salvias.
This one gives off a pineapple scent from the foliage, thus the name.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in La Jolla

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photo - Goodwin Creek Grey Lavender (Lavandula sp. 'Goodwin Creek')

This aromatic lavender is drought tolerant and great
for floral arrangements.  This plant reaches 4' wide x 3' tall.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in La Mesa.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Photo - Fuertes' Red Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis fuertesi)

This giant bird was chasing some of the doves that like to
hang out in my backyard when he landed on my fence.
When he took off I was amazed at his 3 foot wingspan. 
These type of hawks are very common in San Diego and
love to hunt rats, rabbits and other small prey.
A great resource for identifying birds and insects is
the San Diego Natural History Museum's webpage,
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Tropical Backyard Stream

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

Photo - Forest Pansy Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy')

This is one my favorite small trees.  This is an
Eastern Redbud, a close cousin of the California native,
Western Redbud.  This tree has pink flowers in the spring,
followed by purple foliage around Mother's Day.  Over the
next 5 months, the foliage will slowly turn color from purple
to green and finally to yellow or orange in October.
In San Diego, the Forest Pansy Redbud gets about 15 feet
tall and 15 feet wide.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Photo - Southwestern Flagstone Patio

This flagstone patio uses pebbles that are compacted
tightly inbetween each piece of stone to create a
very stable surface.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Encinitas

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Photo - Angel Trumpet Tree (Brugmansia sp. 'Angel Pink')

This small tree's blooms give off a heavenly aroma,
especially in the summer. However, beware that
the leaves and flowers from this tree are poisonous.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Kensington.

Serra Gardens is Having a Sale!

Serra Gardens, a wonderful succulent nursery in Fallbrook, is having a sale. The nursery is open weekdays by appointment, and Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon.  Serra Gardens is located at 897 Quail Hill Road,  entrance off Santa Margarita Drive, 1/4 mile north of East Mission.  Here is the link for the webpage and inventory.
http://www.serragardens.com/pdf/availabilityList.pdf

Friday, October 21, 2011

Photo - Brick Stepping Stone Pathway with Creeping Thyme

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

Photo - Taupata Gold Coprosma (Coprosma repens 'Taupata Gold')

Here is another terrific copromsa that looks
great up against the house.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Kensington.

Photo - Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri)

This tough little native of Texas is both heat and drought tolerant.
Gaura is also a good contatiner plant.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Photo - Modern Stepping Stone Pathway

These concrete stepping stones were laid in
Mexican beach pebble pathway, mixed with
Mexican Feather Grass.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Tierrasanta

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Photo - Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii)

This native of Texas is a great hummingbird and drought
tolerant plant.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Tierrasanta.

Photo - Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

This tropical perennial is a good cut lower and more drought
tolerant than most tropical plants.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Encinitas

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Photo - Outdoor Entertaining by Candlelight

This charming patio looks great both during the day and
at night with a wood burning fire pit.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in La Jolla

Monday, October 17, 2011

Photo - Sunburst Coprosma (at Village Nurseries)

This is one of the many great Coprosmas sold at Village Nurseries.

Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Evening Glow Coprosma (at Village Nurseries)

This is one of the many great Coprosmas sold at Village Nurseries.

Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Rainbow Surprise Coprosma (at Village Nurseries)

This is one of the many great Coprosmas sold at Village Nurseries.

Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Village Nurseries

Photo by Doug Kalal

Nursery Review - Village Nursery

        One of my favorite aspects of doing the lecture series is to give homeowner inside tips that professional landscape contractors know about.  One of the great nurseries in San Diego that contractors love to use is Village Nurseries.  Located on Highway 56 and Carmel Valley (go south at the exit and follow the signs), Village Nurseries prides itself on selling high quality plants at affordable prices. The San Diego Village Nursery has 3 acres of retail grounds plus another 700 acres of growing grounds spread throughout the state.  Because of this massive network of fields, Village can get anything on their very extensive inventory delivered to the San Diego location (or your house) within days of the order. 
       The 3 plants that I love to shop for there are the Phormiums (lots of great 1 gallon selections), Coprosmas (great foliage) and California Fuschias.  Go visit Jennifer on the weekends and she will help you find the perfect plant for your landscape needs.

Village Nurseries
4343 Carmel Valley Rd
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 481-8907

Photo - Custom BBQ & Firepit Seating Area

I designed this custom BBQ and firepit area
for clients who love to entertain outdoors.
Nature Designs Landscaping did a great job
building it.  Here is their webpage;
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Rancho Bernardo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Photo - Blue Point Juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Blue Point')

This dwarf Juniper is ideal for small gardens.
The Blue Point Juniper reaches 8 feet in height
and 3 feet in width.  This drought tolerant shrub
is also a low maintenance plant and even
makes a nice living Christmas Tree.

Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in El Cajon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Photo - Skipper Moth on Lantana

Lantana is a great plant for attracting butterflies in the garden.
Lantanas are also a good drought tolerant and rabbit resistant plant.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Marble Queen Coprosma (Coprosma repens 'Marble Queen')

This shiny shrub is great up against a house or
under a tree.  Marble Queen Coprosma reaches 4' in
height and width.  Village Nurseries has a great
 selection of different varieties of coprosmas. 
Here is their webpage showing all the coprosmas they have.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Tierrasanta

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Photo - Hybrid Tea Rose 'Veteran's Honor'

Veteran's Honor is a classic big, red, hybrid tea rose.
Sometimes prone to mildew, Veteran's Honor is still
a great rose for the vase or the rose show.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Photo - Orchid Rockrose (Cistus x purpureus)

This drought tolerant shrub is covered with large
blossoms in the spring. Orchid Rockrose reaches
5' in height & width.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are terrific cut slowers.  They need acidic soil
to keep their blue color, otherwise they will turn pink.
But pink hydrangeas are still wonderful plants for a cutting garden.
Here is a great web page on growing hydrageas.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Pacific Beach

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Photo - Retaining Wall with Eldorado Stone Facade

This retaining wall was covered with El Dorado Stone. 
Nature Designs Landscaping did a great job building
this project that I designed.  Here is the link
to Eldorado Stone;
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Encinitas

Photo - Mexican Palo Verde Tree (Parkinsonia aculeata)

This native of the deserts of Arizona is a very drought
tolerant tree, great for succulent gardens.
Here is a great link for more info;
Photo by Doug Kalal


Monday, October 10, 2011

Photo - California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii)

This beautiful oak tree grows in the mountains to the northeast
of San Diego.  This one was photographed at Heise County
Park just outside of Julian.  This park is a wonderful place
for hiking and camping.  Here is the web page:

Photo by Doug Kalal

Looking for Free Landscape Advice?

Want to improve your landscape but are not sure where to begin? “Patios, Pathways & Plants for Fixing Your Landscape” will give you great solutions for creating a dazzling outdoor environment at your home. This free presentation will cover a wide variety of topics such as the different types of materials to use for patios, plants for hummingbirds, what to do if you have shade areas or slopes, what drought tolerant plants are best for you. With dozens of plants and material examples to see, you’ll be inspired to transform your yard into a beautiful landscape!

This lecture series will be coming to the following locations this Month;

Tuesday, October 11th @ 6:00pm
Tierrasanta Library
4965 La Cuenta Dr, San Diego
(858) 573-1384

Wednesday, October 12th @ 11:00am
Point Loma Garden Club
Portuguese Hall
2818 Avenida de Portugal, San Diego

Thursday, October 20th @ 6:00pm
La Mesa Library
8074 Allison Ave, La Mesa
(619) 469-2151

Photo - Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)

Photo by Doug Kalal

Plant Review - Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)

 This wonderful salvia produces large vibrant purple blossoms from March through November.  At great addition to any hummingbird garden, Mexican Bush Sage loves full sun but will also grow in part shade as long as it gets about 6 hours of sun per day.  Reaching 4 feet tall and wide, these plants provide wonderful cut flowers.  This plant
actually prefers a slightly alkaline soil, which is why it grows well in all parts of San Diego County.
          Mexican Bush Sages are very easy and forgiving plants to grow.  Although they do best in well draining soil, if you have a heavy clay soil, don’t worry.  Just add a small handful of gypsum to the bottom of the planting hole and mix with the soil.  After planting your Mexican Bush Sage add a Best Pak to the side of the hole before backfilling the soil.  Best Paks are slow release fertilizer packets used by landscape contractors to help establish a new garden.  Best Paks are sold at Miramar Wholesale Nursery and Hydroscape.  
          After planting, here is a brief timeline for maintaining your Mexican Bush Sage;
January – Add 2 handfuls of GroPower Plus fertilizer around the base of the plant.  This will get the plant ready to start producing the new growth needed for a great flower show in March
March – Add 5 BestPaks around the base of each plant.  You do not need to break up the packets, just bury under your mulch. The other great feature of this plant is how easy it is to dig and divide.  This is great way to make more Mexican Bush Sages. This month is the best time to do this, once the plant has begun to sprout its new growth.
July – Now that the Spring blossoms have faded, cut your Mexican Bush Sages in half.  This will encourage your plant to produce another round of spectacular blooms for the Fall.  Also add 2 handfuls of GroPower Plus fertilizer around the base of the plant. 
September – Add 5 BestPaks around the base of each plant. 
December – The Fall blooms have faded, so now is the time to prune the Mexican Bush Sage all the down to the ground.  In January new growth will begin to sprout from the base.
        

Photo - Autumn Joy Sedum (Sedum telephium 'Autumn Joy')

This sedum has rather boring foliage, but terrific flowers in the spring.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Tierrasanta

Nursery Review - Miramar Wholesale Nursery

Some nurseries are like Nordstrom: elegant, beautifully laid out with a high quality product (and prices to match).  Miramar Wholesale Nursery is a lot like Costco: massive, with great prices and very good service.
            Located at the exit of Governor Dr. and highway 805, Miramar Wholesale is a whopping 200 acres in size (larger than the entire Qualcomm Stadium parking lot).  Geared for the landscaper, Miramar is also open to the public.  This nursery is set up so that you can drive through the entire property.   
Like Costco, Miramar can be overwhelming to the first time shopper.  The plants are laid out in sections, also known as blocks.  Each block usually focuses on a single type of plant and size such as 15 gallon trees.    First time shoppers should go to the sales office and pick up a map and a product availability list.  This will tell you, for example, where to find French Lavender (block 7C for 1 gallon, block 16C for 5 gallon sizes).  Some of the plants are labeled, but if you are going to pull the plants yourself, you should know what each plant looks like.  However, if you are not sure, just ask.  The staff at the sales office is very helpful. 
Another option is to phone ahead and have the staff pull everything you need.  Rocco D’Eugenio is very helpful when it comes to guiding the public through a pick up order. Rocco can also have everything delivered to your home.  No more trying to jam a 10 foot tall tree into your mini-van.
            In addition to plants, Miramar also sells a wide range of landscape products such as plant food and bulk mulch (which also can be delivered).  Best Paks are a slow release plant food used for both new plants and established gardens and Miramar is the only nursery in San Diego that sells them.  A great little landscape contractor secret, Best Paks are mentioned frequently in this blog.
            So if you are a do-it-yourself gardener looking to save a lot of money on plants and other landscape materials at a one stop location, then Miramar Wholesale Nurseries is the place to go.

Miramar Wholesale Nurseries
5400 Governor Dr
.
San Diego, CA 92122
858-552-0592


Miramar Wholesale Nursery is Having a Sale!

Miramar Nursery, located off of highway 805 and Governor Drive, is having a sale.  They are closing down their Riverside nursery, so Miramar is having a clearance sale.  Here is the link for the info;
http://www.miramarsale.com/

Photo - Paver Patio with County Manor Seating Wall

Stone Top Tumbled Pavers were used to create this patio.
Matching Country Manor Keystone blocks form a
seating wall that also serves as a handy shelf for potted plants.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Tierrasanta

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Photo - Fake Redwood Tree (Sequoia fakeianus)

This charming specimen is actually a cell phone tower.
For some reason this tower was erected in Lancaster, California,
which is in the high desert to the northeast of Los Angeles.
There is not a redwood tree within 500 miles of this town,
so this fake one really stands out.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Blue Sky Echeveria

This succulent has beautiful foliage and blooms in the early fall.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Water Fountain with Fern Leaf Lavender


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

Photo - California Fuschia (Epilobium canum)

This terrific California native blooms in the fall, making
this plant a great companion to spring blooming perennials.
Walter Andersen Nursery, Village Nursery and Las Pilitas are 3
great nurseries that are selling this plant right now.  Here are
their web pages;


Photo by Doug Kalal