Thursday, July 21, 2011

Photo - Katydid

This big insect crawled right across my office window one morning,
stopping to pose for this photo.

Katydids are plant eating insects that love to chew up leaves
and flower buds.  The best way to control them is to blast them
with water and have a bird friendly garden.  When you blast them
with water, the birds will see the katydids take flight and chase them.

Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Flagstone with Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox)

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

Monday, July 18, 2011

Photo - Plant World Nursery

Photos by Doug Kalal

Nursery Review - Plant World

         I have traveled all over San Diego County, giving lectures, meeting with clients, contractors, vendors and exploring nurseries.  It is always fun to find a really great nursery in a really out of the way place.  Plant World Nursery is just such a place.  Plant World is located just off of the Deer Springs exit on the west side of Highway 15 in north Escondido (about 10 minutes north of the highway 15/78 interchange).
          A large nursery, Plant World has 7 acres of retail grounds and 10 acres of growing fields, so the selection is tremendous.  I especially love the California Native and Drought Tolerant sections.  Some of the junipers they carry in stock, I have not found at any other nursery in town and are in great condition.  Plant World also has a great selection of shade plants, pottery and fruit trees.
          Plant World delivers to all of San Diego County and parts of Riverside County. While you are there make sure to stop by and see their fun parrot collection.  Plant World is a beautiful nursery for the far north inland county homeowner.

Plant World
26334 Mesa Rock Rd.
Escondido, CA 92026
(760) 741-2144

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

Photo - CMU Wall with a Brick Facade

Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's house in Point Loma.

Photo - CMU Wall with a Stucco Coating

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

Photo - CMU Wall with Brick Facade Under Construction

First the block courses are laid, note the rebar running
up through the hollow parts of the block.

Drains are added to the back of the wall.

Drainage cloth is laid over a perforated pvc
pipe, which is then covered with loose gravel.
This is an important step that prevents water from
building up against the the back of the retaining wall.

A stucco coat is added to the wall,
along with a brick cap.

Brick facade pieces are mortared in place with spacers.

The spacers hold the facade pieces in place until the mortar dries.

Grout is added to inbetween the facade pieces.

The brick facade is cleaned to remove excess grout.

The garden is finished.

This wall was designed by Doug Kalal
and built by Green Gardens Landscape.

Photos taken by client at their house in Point Loma.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Photo - CMU Wall with Stone Facade

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

Garden Elements - CMU Retaining Wall

With all the slopes we have here in San Diego, a retaining wall is a great way to expand the useable landscape area in a back yard or front yard.  There are several different types of retaining walls.  One of the most common is the CMU wall, which is short for Concrete Masonry Unit.   CMU blocks come in a wide variety of sizes, the most common of which is 16” long x 8” tall x 8” deep.
Each CMU wall needs a footing of concrete with “L” shaped rebar laid in it.  After the footing is laid, the first course (row) of blocks is laid.  Depending on the height of the wall the first course is usually below the grade of the soil.  Each block is connected to the one next to it with mortar.  The most critical element after laying a proper footing for your wall is to make sure that the bottom course is perfectly level.  Each course has layer of mortar on top of it for the next course of blocks to be laid on.   After the last course is laid, concrete is added to the interior of the block to lock the block to the rebar that is running up from the footing.  The wall is then capped with some type of cap stones.
After the wall has been built, the wall can be covered with either a stucco coat or different types of facades.  On Friday I will post a series of photos for a wall I designed that had a brick fa├žade.  For more information on building specs and permits for building walls in the city of San Diego click on the link below to see all the info on RCP Block & Brick’s web page.

Photo - Fan Flower (Scaevola aemula)

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

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Photo - Bellflower (Campanula sp.)

Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Gladiolus

Photo by Doug Kalal

Patios, Pathways & Plants

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 in July

Saturday, July 9th @ 11:00am
Solana Beach Community Library
Earl Warren Middle School
157 Stevens Ave., Solana Beach

Thursday, July 21st @ 6:30pm
Cardiff-by-the-Sea Community Library
2081 Newcastle Ave, Cardiff

Saturday, July 23rd @ 12:00noon
Carmel Mountain Public Library
12095 World Trade Dr, San Diego

Photo - Outdoor Dining Room

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

Photo - Dahlia (Dahlia sp.)

Photo by Doug Kalal

5 Fantastic Plants for Purple Cut Flowers

For a flower to be considered a good cut flower, it needs to last at least 3 days in a vase.  These purple cut flowers look great when they are paired with yellow plants (see my post in June).  Search my blog for photos of these plants.

Campanula sp.
These part shade beauties are usually grown as annuals and can reach 24” x 24”.  

Dahlia sp.
In San Diego, these tubers produce a wide variety of bloom sizes that can last a week in a vase.

Gladiolus sp.
Plant this bulb in early spring for fantastic cut flowers in the summer.

Rosa hybrida ‘Neptune
Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Neptune
This large hybrid tea rose reaches 4’ in height and width.  This rose is blesses with large and very fragrant bloom.

Salvia leucantha
Mexican Bush Sage
A great, easy to grow, hummingbird plant that also looks good in a vase.

Photo - Red Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos flavidus)

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

Photo - Fourth of July Climbing Rose

Happy Fourth of July !!

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

Photo - French Lavender (Lavandula dentata)

Photo by Doug Kalal