Thursday, May 31, 2012

Photo - Monarch Stone Patio

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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Photo - Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii)

This wonderful California native is also a drought-tolerant,
hummingbird-friendly and fragrant plant suitable for slopes.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Photo - Red Dahlias

Dahlias are wonderful summer blooming cut flowers.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Friday, May 25, 2012

Photo - Recycled Concrete Patio Construction

First, start with a pile of concrete from an old patio or sidewalk

Then draw an area for the new patio.  Next begin layingout the pieces
to look like flagstone, leaving approximately 2 inches in between
each piece.  After you have laid out each piece, take the time to left the
pieces so that you have a nice stable and flat patio.

Next stain the concrete.  Concrete stains are available at Home Depot
and Lowes.  After the stain has dried, add soil and a small
ground cover like Dymondia or Creeping Thyme to fill in the areas.

It's finished!

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Photo - Powis Castle Artemisia (Artemisia sp. 'Powis Castle)

Soft gray foliage is the best feature of this drought
tolerant perennial.  Powis Castle Artemisia is also great for
coastal gardens.  This plant reaches 2 to 3 feet tall x 5 to 7 feet wide.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Monday, May 21, 2012

Photo - Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

Boston Ivy is a great vine for attaching to and covering a wall.
Boston Ivy is deciduous and prefers some afternoon shade here in San Diego.
Photos by Doug Kalal

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Photo - Epiphyllum

Epiphyllums are wonderful low maintenance succulents that
flower in May and June.  For more info on Epi's (as they are
known in the gardening world), here is the webpage of the
San Diego Epiphyllum Society.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Monday, May 14, 2012

Photo - Light Yellow Dahlia

Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Stone Top Pavers

Here is a wonderful hardscape material that has a
great variety of color and texture.  For more info
on Stone Top Pavers, here is the RCP Block & Brick webpage;
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Pacific Beach

Friday, May 11, 2012

Photo - Floribunda Rose 'Rainbow Sorbet'

Here is another colorful and disease resistant rose.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at the Balboa Park Rose Garden

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Photo - Grandiflora Rose 'Gold Medal'

This big and bold rose can reach 6 feet tall
by the end of summer and be covered with very large
golden blooms.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at the Balboa Park Rose Garden

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Photo - Floribunda Rose 'Pumpkin Patch'

Here is a disease resistant rose with a fun color.
Photo by Doug Kalal taken at the Balboa Park Rose Garden.

Gardening Tip - How to Grow Roses in Containers

San Diego soil tends to be poor for growing roses.  Either the soil is too heavy and drains poorly (a typical clay soil).  Or the soil might be too sandy or have too much decomposed granite to hold the nutrients necessary for growing great roses.  If you want to grow roses and you have poor soil, you have 3 choices for fixing the problem. 
      You can overhaul the soil and give it the good drainage and nutrients needed for roses.  In March I talked about how to fix poor soil so check on those posts for tips on soil.  Your second choice would be to build a raised bed with retaining wall materials.  A raised bed that is at least 12 inches tall will allow you to plant the roses in good quality soil that you bring in.
      The third choice is to use containers for the roses.  Plastic pots like the ones seen in the photos are great for putting together a rose garden in tricky areas like patios or gardens with rock hard soil.  Another advantage to container rose gardening is that you don’t have to bend down so far to prune the rose.  All of my roses are in containers and I win over a hundred ribbons, along with a few trophies a year from my collection.
      For hybrid tea and grandiflora roses I recommend a 21” diameter plastic pot.  A 15” diameter pot will work for the smaller floribunda and miniature roses.  The ones in the photos were purchased at Home Depot.  Never use a ceramic pot unless it has a glazed interior.  The porous surface of ceramic pots will suck water away from the roots.  Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole in the bottom and never put the pot in a saucer that will keep the bottom of the pot constantly wet.  Roses, like humans, like dry feet.
      Use a good potting soil like Super Soil (sold at Home Depot) for the planting mix.  Since roses in containers need more water and nutrients than roses planted in the ground, use a slow release rose food like Ada Perry’s Magic Formula to give the rose a steady diet of good food, see my post in February about feeding roses.  Also, make sure to have a nice wood chip mulch to keep the soil moist.
      One of the advantages of roses in container is that all the water stays close to the rose and does not run off (but it will run out the bottom of the pot).  If you live in the inland areas (east of Highway 805) of San Diego like I do, then soak your container roses 3 times a week in the summer.  I put enough water on my rose to fill the container about 1 inch.  Less water is needed in the coastal regions and during the cooler months.  Always water in the morning so that the rose foliage can dry out by evening.  This will help prevent diseases like rust and powdery mildew.
      Once you have watered your rose, don’t try to move the container without a hand truck.  A 21” diameter pot with wet soil can weigh over a hundred pounds.  It is always best to move the pots around when they are dry.
      One of my favorite aspects to a container rose garden is the fact that I can move the roses around throughout the year depending on what is blooming. This allows for a garden that is always interesting to look at and a little easier to maintain.
Container roses after pruning.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Container Rose Garden

Roses can be great container plants if the pot is made out
of plastic and is large enough. 
Read the above article for more info.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Photo - Miniature Rose 'Irresistable'

This delightful compact rose has perfect form for the vase and
show table.  'Irresistible' is one of the highest ratest miniature roses
of all time and was created right here in San Diego. 
Now 'Irresistible' is available through Heirloom Roses;
Photo by Doug Kalal

Monday, May 7, 2012

Photo - Hybrid Tea Rose 'Secret'

The pink on this rose varies with the weather.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in Lakeside

Gardening Tip - Feeding Roses

Roses can be pigs.  They just love to be fed.  To get a prize winning pig, you need to feed it the good stuff.  Roses are the same.  To get great roses, you need great food.  The best rose food available in San Diego is Ada Perry’s Magic Formula.  This food is only available at Walter Andersen Nurseries in Point Loma and Poway.  Ada Perry’s Magic Formula is made up of blood meal, gypsum, epsom salts, bone meal and other micronutrients.  In others words, it is a terrific stew for making your roses happy. One twenty pound bag will feed about 30 roses.  Each rose gets 2 cups in January and 2 cups in July and always water your roses thoroughly before feeding.

Photo - Floribunda Rose 'Tuscan Sun'

This is a wonderful multicolor floribunda.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Do You Love Roses?

Then you will want to come to the 2012 San Diego Rose Show on Mother's Day weekend and see over a thousand of your favorite rose blooms. Also on hand will be consulting rosarians to answer your questions about growing great roses.  The show will be held May 12-13 at the Scottish Rite Center, 1895 Camino Del Rio South in Mission Valley. It will be open from noon to 5pm on Saturday the 12th and 9am to 4pm on Sunday the 13th. Tickets are are just $5 each, with children under 18 free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or at .

Photo - Hybrid Tea Rose 'St. Patrick'

If you are looking for a big yellow rose, St. Patrick is a great choice.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in El Cajon

Photo - Floribunda Rose 'Scentimental'

This AARS winner is disease resistant and has a nice fragrance.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at a client's garden in El Cajon.

Photo - Hybrid Tea Rose 'Pope John Paul II'

This is a brilliant white hybrid tea rose that is very easy to grow.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at the Balboa Park rose garden

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Photo - Floribunda Rose 'Julia Child'

Here is a wonderful disease resistant and easy to grow yellow rose.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at the Balboa Park Rose Garden

Photo - Floribunda Rose 'George Burns'

Loads of color on this little rose.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at the Balboa Park Rose Garden

Photo - Hybrid Tea Rose 'Veteran's Honor'

The classic big red rose.
Photo by Doug Kalal

Photo - Hybrid Tea Rose 'Perfect Moment'

Perfect Moment is a big colorful hybrid tea rose.
Photo by Doug Kalal, taken at the Balboa Park Rose Garden