Monday, July 16, 2018


There are thousands upon thousands of plants.  Both native and non native.   With so many options, how do you choose your favorite.   Even for me, I struggle with plant selection.  Especially when I am designing for a client.  Often I have to restrain myself from picking too many plants.  I apply the theory that less is more.  While its nice to have lots of plants in the garden and have lots of color, it is also nice to not have an over crowded garden.  A minimalistic pallet might make the garden look bigger.

Having said this, I thought I would share with you my 3 favorite California native plants.  These are not set in stone.  Other designers might disagree with me but I have my reasons as to why I love these three.

The first favorite is Dudleya.  There are many varieties and what's more, this plant can survive indoors.  This plant will tolerate sun or shade and will survive on minimal water.

The second favorite plant is Salvia clevelandii (Cleveland Sage).  I love this plant because not only is it refreshingly fragrant, but it is also a great plant for screening.  You can also use it to add some statement to your garden.  It gets 6' tall and wide with purple flowers.  Blooms in the spring/summer and prefers mostly sun.  The coolest part is that you can not only bring in some branches to add scent to your home but, you can also dry the leaves and use them in the dryer. 

My third favorite plant is Satureja douglasii (Yerba Buena).  This plant is a low growing shade tolerant groundcover that has white flowers in the spring.  The leaves which taste like spearmint, are edible and I cook with them the same way you would traditional mint.  Unlike mint however, this is not invasive.

Now I am curious for those of you that garden with California natives, what are your 3 favorites?

Friday, July 13, 2018


As you may have noticed, the last time I uploaded a video was 3 weeks ago.  I am not ditching YouTube but I am re-strategizing my channel to not only create more content but better value content.  In the meantime I wanted to share this video of a raised galvanized garden bed.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2018


I recently got to go revisit a back yard in Yorba Linda that I had designed that was installed in 2016.  It has been over a year since the project got put in and things are looking great.  Most everything is thriving.  A few plants met their maker and were replaced but overall I am really pleased with how this garden turned out.  The homeowners are retired and the husband casually putters in the garden from time to time. 

In this garden I designed functional decomposed granite paths that also pull double duty as a faux dry stream bed.  These paths are surrounded by lots of mostly California native plants and some existing plants.  There are also some decorative features and a flagstone seating area. 

Overall I am really pleased with how this garden turned out and has matured.  I will do a video update soon.