Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Photo - Saturn Peach Tree Flower

Here in San Diego, my Saturn peach tree is just finishing up flowering.
My apricot is just begining with my plum tree to follow.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Water Feature on a Slope

One way to improve the sound of a water feature
is to include wide, flat rocks that have a square edge.
When the water passes over the edge it can fall with greater
momentum and thus more sound.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Encinitas

Monday, February 27, 2012

Photo - Hummingbird in its nest

This little hummingbird built a nest in one of my rose bushes this week.
Before the bird flew into the nest, I was able to see a tiny
egg that was the size of jellybean in the bottom of the nest.
Good luck Mom!
Photo by Doug Kalal

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

10 Terrific Flowering Shrubs for San Diego

Here are my favorite flowering shrubs.  Click on the links to see pictures of each plant.  All of these photos were taken in San Diego County. For the full list of all my favorite shrubs, go to the "Shrubs" page on the upper right of this blog.

Dwarf Bottlebrush
Fraser's Photinia
Japanese Camellia 'Alba Plena'

Japanese Camellia 'Cherries Jubilee'

Japanese Camellia 'Nuccio's Gem'
Orchid Rockrose
Sun Camellia 'Kanjiro'
Tree Mallow
Variegated Hebe

Photo - Camellia japonica 'Nuccio's Gem'

This classic winter beauty produces stunning white flowers
from November through March.  Japanese Camellias
are long lived shrubs that will slowly reach 8 to 10 feet in height
and 6 to 8 feet in width.  They can also be prunned to grow flat against a wall.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Camellia 'Cherries Jubilee' (Camellia japonica 'Cherries Jubilee')

This flowering shrub is also a nice container plant.
Choose a large pot (at least 15 gallons) and fill with
camellia potting mix for the best results.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Photo - Ball Park Grass

Here is a new sod lawn available from A-G Sod Farms.
Ball Park grass is a blend of Hybrid Bermuda, Kentucky Bluegrass
and Perennial Ryegrass.  The 3 blends give Ball Park grass a great
combination of drought tolerance and deep green color. 
The fine blade texture can actually fool the eye and give the
illusion of artificial turf.  Ball Park grass can be ordered online from
A-G Sod Farms, here is the web page;

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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Photo - Bar Harbor Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis 'Bar Harbor')

This low growing juniper is drought tolerant and great for slopes,
reaching 6 to 8 feet wide and about 2 feet all.  The foliage has a nice blue green color.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Photo - Paver Patio with Mulitple Colors

I designed this patio intially using one color of Stone Top
Tumbled pavers.  The client had a idea to combine
2 different colors and this patio was the wonderful result.
I think that it turned out great.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Carlsbad.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

10 Terrific Drought Tolerant Perennials for San Diego

These showy, flowering perennials can brighten up any garden while still being thrifty with the water. Click on these links to see photos of my favorite drought tolerant perennials. All of these photos were taken in San Diego County unless otherwise noted.  For the full list of all my favorite drought tolerant plants, go to the "Drought Tolerant Plants" page on the upper right of this blog.

Autumn Sage

California Fuchsia
Cleveland Sage
Goodwin Creek Lavender

Lion's Tail
Kangaroo Paw
Mexican Bush Sage
Monkey Flower

Russian Sage

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

10 Terrific Drought Tolerant Trees for San Diego

Click on these links to see 10 of my favorite drought tolerant tree photos from this blog. All of these photos were taken in San Diego County.  
African Sumac

Bailey's Acacia
California Fan Palm
Coast Live Oak
Crape Myrtle
Date Palm
Italian Cypress
Mexican Blue Hesper Palm
Strawberry Tree 'Marina'
Sweetshade Tree

Photo - Sweetshade Tree (Hymensporum flavum)

This drought tolerant tree has fragrant flowers in the Spring.
The Sweetshade tree is good for narrow platning area
such as sidewalk strips and close to the house.
This evergreen tree will slowly grow to 30 feet tall and 30 feet
wide if planted in ideal conditions (not what you see in the picture).
In tighter planting areas, the tree will be closer to 20 feet x 20 feet.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - African Sumac (Rhus lancea)

This drought tolerant tree can reach 20 feet tall and 30 feet wide.
African Sumac trees are evergreen and prefer to grow as a multi trunk tree.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at the Rancho San Diego Public Library.

Photo - Paver Pathway

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

Monday, February 13, 2012

Photo - Bailey's Acacia (Acacia baileyana)

Here is a wonderful drought tolerant tree from Australia.
Bailey's Acacia is a slow growing tree that will eventually
reach 20 feet tall and 30 feet wide with spring time flowers.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Stepping Stones in Gorilla Hair Mulch

By using Gorilla Hair mulch, the stepping stones
are held in place which makes for a nice stable pathway.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Carlsbad

Photo - Gorilla Hair Mulch

This fibrous wood mulch makes a very dense layer
that is great for controlling weeds and keeping the soil
cool and moist - ideal conditions for plant root development.
Gorilla Hair mulch is expensive at about twice the cost of
recycled wood chips from Miramar Nursery, but is looks great.
Here is a website for info on buying it in San Diego;
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Carlsbad

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Photo - Paver Patio with Ballpark Sod Lawn

This patio was made with Stone Top Tumbled Pavers
and then a new sod lawn was added.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Carlsbad

Photo - Landscape Timber Stairs

These stairs were made from pressure treated lumber
and filled with stabilized decomposed grante.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Carlsbad

Photo - Country Manor Seating Wall

This seating wall was designed to fill 2 needs.  First,
it provides a boundary for the patio at the edge of a slope.
Second, it provides extra seating for the patio area.
FX lighting built into the wall adds night time
ambiance to the patio.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Carlsbad

Friday, February 10, 2012

Photo - Acacia redolens

This tough, drough tolerant plant is great for slopes. 
Acacia redolens a large, low growing shrub that can reach
8 feet in diamter and 4 feet in height. 
Yellow flowers cover this plant in the Spring.
Acacia redolens can be flamable so do not use this plant
 in a fire zone.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Photo - Century Plant (Agave americana)

This stately succulent can reach 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide.
It only flowers once, at the end of it's life (15-20 years).
By then there are ususally dozens of pups at the base ready
to take the mother plant's place after it dies.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in La Mesa

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Photo - Outdoor Tile on Concrete

Another way to spruce up old concrete is add outdoor tile
on top.  Make sure to install a slip screen inbetween the tile
and the concrete.  The purpose of a slip screen is to prevent the
tile from cracking should the concrete crack in the future.
A great place for outdoor tile is Arizona Tile, here is their web page;
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Concrete Coating with Paver Edging

This patio had concrete with some minor cracks, so I designed
a renovation that called for the cracks to be jackhammered out
and pavers added to fill in the new expansion joints. 
A concrete coating was then added to give
the concrete a fresh look.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Rancho Penasquitos

Monday, February 6, 2012

Photo - Flagstone with Dymondia

This flagstone patio has Dymondia, a wonderful drought
tolerant ground cover, growing inbetween the stone pieces.
  Dymondia does best in full sun and flowers in the Spring.
This was my 2010 San Diego County Fair Garden.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Solving Common Landscape Problems

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
Mira Mesa Library, 8405 New Salem St, San Diego on Tuesday, February 7th @ 6:00pm.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Photo - Flagstone with Pebbles

Pebbles that are compacted into place also make a niece
compliment to the color and texture of flagstone.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Encinitas

Photo - Flagstone with Creeping Thyme

Another way to use flagstone for a pathway is to plant
Creeping Thyme inbetween the pieces.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Kensington

Photo - Flagstone set on Concrete

For a more stable surface, flagstone can be set on concrete
and then mortared in place.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Flagstone set in Decomposed Granite

Setting flagstone in decomposed granite allows for a
permeable surface that reduces rain runoff.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in La Mesa