Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photo - Floribuda Rose 'Tuscan Sun'

Here is beautiful rose on a compact bush.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Photo - Water Fountain on a DG pad

Decomposed granite pads (DG) are great for fountain bases
because you can hide the electrical cord in the DG.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Carslbad

Monday, March 26, 2012

Photo - Marjorie Channon Pittosporum (Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Marjorie Channon')

This wonderful shrub works for both coastal sun and inland shade.
Marjorie Channon Pittosporum is a tough, drought tolerant shub
that reach 8 to 10 feet in height and 4 to 6 feet in width.
I love to use it as a fence eater.
Photos by Doug Kalal

Photo - Ceramic Pot at Costco

Photos by Doug Kalal

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Photo - Baby Hummingbirds

4 weeks ago I told you about the hummingbird
that made a nest in one of my roses that I had not yet
prunned.  2 weeks ago the egg hatched and I saw
little lump of fur in the nest. Last week a huge storm
roared into San Diego with tremendous rain and hail. 
My wife, oldest son and I rigged a canopy over the nest
to protect the newborn babies.  Today I finally
saw mommy leave the nest long enough to take a photo
and low and behold she had twins!  Some how the
other egg must have hidden when I looked in the nest.


They still have their eyes closed and mommy rushes
back and forth to feed them.  Here is the photo
of the nest and mommy from a few weeks ago.


Photos by Doug Kalal

Photo - Water Fountain at Costco


This fountain comes with a LED light in the middle
that creates a cool effect at night.
Photos by Doug Kalal

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Photo - Converting an Arbor Post into a Table


Here is something I have done a few times. The client will have a
couple of posts from an arbor or upstairs balcony that are either rotting
away or just unattractive and they want to spruce them up.  First,
 if needed,  replace the part of the post that is rotting away. 
Connect the new wood to the old wood from above
with a metal bracket.  Wrap the lower post with either thin
CMU blocks or backer board.  Then cover that with
either a stucco finish (upper photo) or a stone facade (lower photo). 
Top the pillar with either tile or stone and now
you have a perfect place to put drinks at your next party. 

Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at client's gardens in Carlsbad and Rancho Penasquitos

Monday, March 19, 2012

500 Posts!

This is my 500th post here on the 2 Minute Gardener.  In just 14 months, this blog has had over 80,000 page views.  Thank you to all my readers around the world!

This week you will find me at the Alpine Library giving my free lecture on "Patios, Pathways and Plants".

Thursday, March 22nd @ 6:30pm
Alpine Library
2130 Arnold Way, Alpine
(619) 445-4221

Photo - Palm Trees at Costco

Here are some of the palm trees available at Costco this month.
Photos by Doug Kalal

Photo - Ivy Geranium (Pelargonium peltatum)

Here is another tough plant that almost grows like a ground cover.
Ivy Geraniums are frost senstive but the are also prolific bloomers.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus sp.)

One of the toughest plants used in San Diego. 
This Summer blooming perennial is also a good cut flower.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Garden Elements - Preen (pre-emergent herbicide)

Preen is a pre-emergent herbicide that stops all weed seeds from germinating.  It will not kill any existing plants (including weeds that have already sprung up).  So it is safe to use around roses, shrubs, perennials and trees.  Preen should not be used around fruit trees or vegetable gardens, since the herbicide can slowly work its way into the plant.  Preen is a good long term method for controlling weeds. It is available at Costco in the month of March as well as nurseries and home improvement store all year.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Potting Soil and Miracle-Gro at Costco




Photos by Doug Kalal

Photo - Propane Firepit set at Costco

Photo by Doug Kalal

Garden Resource - Costco

Yes, the store that brings you cases of 891 cookies and 56 chicken drumsticks actually is a garden resource at this time of the year.  During the month of March, Costco has a wonderful bulk landscape material selection.  The 2 products that Costco carries right now that you should run and buy are weed block and Preen.
          Commercial grade weed block (see photo) is an important material that is laid on bare soil to control weeds.  You then cut holes in the fabric, dig a hole and plant the plant.  Weed block can only be used on flat areas.  The gray weed block that Costco has right now, sells for about $41 for an 880 sq ft roll.  That is about half the price of Home Depot.
          The second product at Costco that you should buy is Preen.  Preen is a pre-emergent herbicide that stops all weed seeds from germinating.  It will not kill any existing plants (including weeds that have already sprung up).  So it is safe to use around roses, shrubs, perennials and trees.  Preen should not be used around fruit trees or vegetable gardens, since the herbicide can slowly work its way into the plant.  Preen is a good long term method for controlling weeds.
          In addition to those items, Costco has carries useful things like soil, bulb and plants.  So run to Costco and save some money on landscape items before March ends.




 
Photos by Doug Kalal

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Photo - Purple Crest Aeonium (Aeonium arboreum 'Schwarzkopf'

Here is a beautiful succulent for contrasting against
lighter color plants or walls.  This Aeonium also
produces a massive football size flower each Spring.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Photo - Lemonade Berry (Rhus integrifolia)

This native is growing in the canyon behind my home.
Lemonade Berry bush reaches 10 feet tall and 10 feet wide
and require no summer irrigation once established.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Friday, March 16, 2012

Photo - Stamped Concrete with Mexican Tile Trim

The contractor for this job, Nature Designs Landscaping,
did a great job using stamped concrete to give the illusion
of tile stairs.  The face of each step is trimmed in actual tile
 to complete the look.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Rancho Bernardo

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Photo - Bougainvillea 'San Diego Red'

This variety of Bougainvillea grows everywhere in San Diego.
This shrub is great for year round color as long as you plant
it in a sunny location.  'San Diego Red' can reach 12-15 feet wide
and loves to sprawl over a fence as seen in this photo.
Bougainvilleas are drought tolerant but they are also frost sensitive.
A sustained chill of under 30 degrees will kill the top of the plant,
but not the whole plant.  Bougainvilleas are also thorny, so use carefully.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

10 Terrific Small Trees for San Diego

Here are 10 terrific small trees for all the small yards that we have here in San Diego.  To see the full tree list, click on the "Regular Trees" tab to the right.
Angel Trumpet Tree
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/10/photo-angel-trumpet-tree-brugmansia-sp.html
Bailey's Acacia
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/02/photo-baileys-acacia-acacia-baileyana.html
Bronze Loquat
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/03/photo-bronze-loquat-tree-eriobotyra.html
Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica 'Tuscarora')
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/05/photo-crape-myrtle-tuscarora.html
Evergreen Pear Tree
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/01/photo-evergreen-pear-pyrus-kawakamii.html
Forest Pansy Redbud
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/10/photo-forset-pansy-redbud-cercis.html
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/05/photo-forest-pansy-eastern-redbud.html
Pink Trumpet Tree
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/04/photo-pink-trumpet-tree-tabebuia.html
Purple Leaf Plum Tree
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/05/photo-purple-leaf-plum-tree-prunus.html
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/01/photo-purple-leaf-plum-tree-prunus.html
Strawberry Tree 'Marina'
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/05/photo-strawberry-tree-flower-arbutus.html
Sweetshade Tree
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/02/photo-sweetshade-tree-hymensporum.html
   

Photo - Bronze Loquat Tree (Eriobotyra deflexa)

This is a small evergreen tree (about 20 feet tall x 20 feet wide)
that is good for hardscape areas.  This tree is a slow grower
that will take up to 10 years to reach its full size.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Monday, March 12, 2012

Photo - Floss Flower (Ageratum houstonianum)

Floss Flowers are wonderful annuals that start blooming
in late March here in San Diego and will last until October.
There are also great mini cut flowers for small arrangements.
Floss Flowers come in various shades of blues, pinks and purples.
The plant will reach 12 inches tall x 18 inches wide.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Photo - Retaining Wall with Eldorado Stone Facade

This retaining wall was built with 8" CMU blocks
that were then covered with a Stone Facade.  The stone
was manufactured by Eldorado, here is their webpage;
I designed the wall and it was built by Nature Designs
Landscaping, here is their webpage;
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Encinitas


Friday, March 9, 2012

Meet Doug Kalal in person at a free lecture series in March

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;

Thursday, March 15th @ 6:30pm
Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library
2081 Newcastle Ave, Cardiff
(760) 753-4027

Thursday, March 22nd @ 6:30pm
Alpine Library
2130 Arnold Way, Alpine
(619) 445-4221

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Photo - California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Here is our state flower, the California Poppy.
This wonderful annual pops up every March all over the state,
sets seeds by the end of April and then dies when the first
heat of May arrives.  California Poppies will
grow in almost any soil, they just need some sun
and a little Winter rain.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Rancho Bernardo

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

10 Terrific Shade Plants for San Diego

Here are 10 wonderful plants to brighten up a shady part of a garden.  Some of these plants do best in part shade, some in full shade and I have marked them as such.  To see the full list, click on the "Shade Plants" page on the right side of the screen.

Brunnera
Part shade on the coast, full shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/03/photo-brunnera-brunnera-macrophylla.html
Coprosma 'Marble Queen'
Full sun on the coast, part shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/10/photo-marble-queen-coprosma-coprosma.html
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/01/photo-marble-queen-coprosma-coprosma.html
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/08/photo-marble-queen-coprosma-coprosma.html
Coral Bells
Part shade on the coast, full shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/03/photo-coral-bells-heuchera-sp-marmalade.html
Forest Pansy Redbud
Full sun on the coast, part shade inland http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/10/photo-forset-pansy-redbud-cercis.html
Golden Aucuba
Part shade on the coast, full shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/11/photo-golden-aucuba-aucuba-japonica.html
Golden Dragon Clivia
Part shade on the coast, full shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/03/photo-golden-dragon-clivia-clivia.html
Hydrangea
Part shade on the coast, full shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/03/photo-hydrangea.html
Japanese Camellias
Part shade on the coast, full shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/05/photo-camellia-japonia-alba-plena.html
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/12/photo-camellia-cherries-jubilee.html
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/04/photo-camellia-reticulata-harold-paige.html
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/04/photo-camellia-japonica-kumagai-nagayo.html

http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/02/photo-camellia-japonica-nuccios-gem.html
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/11/photo-camellia-japonica-r-l-wheeler.html
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/04/photo-camellia-japonica-shalas-baby.html

Marjorie Channon Pittosporum
Full sun on the coast, part shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/06/photo-marjorie-channon-pittosporum.html
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/12/photo-marjorie-channon-pittosporum.html
Peruvian Lily
Full sun on the coast, part shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/03/photo-peruvian-lily-alstroemeria-sp.html
Spotted Nettle
Part shade on the coast, full shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2012/03/photo-spotted-nettle-lamium-maculatum.html
Variegated Flax Lily
Part shade on the coast, full shade inland
http://2minutegardener.blogspot.com/2011/05/photo-variegated-flax-lily-dianella.html

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Photo - Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are great cut flowers in the Summer.
They do best with lots of indirect sunlight.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Pacific Beach

Monday, March 5, 2012

Photo - Spotted Nettle (Lamium maculatum)


Here is another perennial for shade gardens in San Diego.
Spotted Nettle is a compact plant (2' tall x 2' wide) with
variegated foliage and unusual flowers in the Spring.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Pacific Beach

Photo - Coral Bells (Heuchera sp. 'Marmalade Skies')


This gorgeous foliage and dainty flowers are perfect for
growing under mature trees.  Heucheras are also
great for container gardens.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Pacific Beach

Photo - Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla)

Here is a nice shade plant for San Diego.  Brunnera
has small blue flowers in the Spring and spreads to about
2 feet wide and 2 feet tall.  Use Sluggo snail killer to control
the snails - they like this plant.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Pacific Beach