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Best Plants/Trees to Create Shade or Privacy in Your Yard

Your backyard is your haven, the place you go to unwind. When you’re landscaping, finding the right combination of trees and plants that provide shade and privacy can help you create the ideal spot for relaxing after a long week. Take a look at these top choices to give you the shade you want and the privacy you deserve.

1. Spartan Junipers
These elegant trees are ideal for smaller to mid-sized backyards, since they don’t require a lot of space to grow. Plant them in a row around the edge of your yard to provide great privacy, or line them up on a hilly property as an excellent windbreak.

2. Holly
You may think of holly as a holiday decoration, but you can grow almost variety of holl…

A Guide to Native Plants and Water Conservation

Did you know that some plants can actually help you conserve water at your California home? Although the state boasts a glorious climate where a myriad of plants can thrive, the best plants for water conservation are actually native to the state. It’s not uncommon for residential gardeners to feature Mediterranean or some sub-tropical plants in their landscapes, but these plants often require more care—and more water—to maintain health. By choosing to garden with native California species, you can more easily create a captivating garden that requires less work and less water.

Native vs Non-Native Plants

Plants that are native to California are part of the region’s natural eco-syste…

Gardening Gift Guides for Mother’s Day

Gardening is a hobby that’s rewarding on so many levels. It offers exercise in an enjoyable way as part of planning, planting, and keeping the garden. It provides blossoms or edibles. It can also be a fun way of spending time with loved ones. That’s just for starters. Celebrate your mom’s productive hobby and give her one of these gardening gifts this Mother’s Day.

Flower and Vegetable Mix

Few things will be as appreciated as something that your mom wants and needs for her garden. Go the practical and thoughtful route with a high-quality flower and vegetable mix. A large portion of the mix can ensure that your mom has all the well-formulated compost mix she needs to grow her flowers o…

How to Grow and Care for Sunflowers

Few plants are easier or more gratifying to grow than sunflowers, making these vibrant, fast-growing beauties the perfect choice for anyone who wants to add a splash of color to their backyard or patio.
Small, Medium or Large – It’s Up to You
There’s a huge assortment of sunflower seeds on the market today including fast-growing dwarf varieties that reach about 18″ high and seeds that yield plants measuring over 14′ tall!

If you’re brand new to sunflower growing, consider planting a few different varieties and colors. Today’s sunflowers come in a range of colors including the classic yellow along with oranges, reds, and bi-colored.
Choosing the Perfect Location
One of the things that…

Attracting Birds, Hummingbirds and Butterflies to Your Garden

In Southern California, there is no shortage of opportunities to grow a beautiful garden. However, for those looking to create a garden designed to specifically attract butterflies and hummingbirds, along with other birds, it’s important to pick and choose flowers and plants carefully. Some actually work as a deterrent. Yet, each of these living creatures has the need to find food. By providing opportunities for them to find this in your garden, you’ll attract a wide range of wonderful birds.

Focus on Nectar and Pollen

Choosing wildflowers and other nectar and pollen-rich plants is the ideal way to bring in butterflies and birds to a garden. This includes plants such as fennel and milk…

Examining the Differences Between Different Types of Fertilizer

Many homeowners and avid gardeners understand the benefits of using fertilizer to the support the overall health of their landscape and garden. However, it’s not always clear why certain types of fertilizer may be ideal for some situations and not for others. Knowing the pros and cons of each type can help you select the ideal fertilizer for your unique setting.

For instance, should you choose a liquid or granule fertilizer? Learn more about the differences between different types of fertilizers so that you can choose the best products for your landscape and garden.

Granular Fertilizers

Dry fertilizers are typically offered in granules. Many granular products are often formulated wi…

Small Trees Are the Perfect Accent to Any Home

Having a lawn with beautiful, healthy trees enhances the aesthetics of any home. If you’re looking for a great addition to your front or backyard, planting trees may be the way to go. Think big when it comes to envisioning the yard you want. However, aim small when it comes to selecting the size of your trees. Small trees are often the best choice for Southern California residents. Consider these reasons small trees may be the perfect solution for improving the exterior of your house.

Small Trees Are Adaptable

For urban areas of Southern California like Los Angeles, small trees can fit into yards that otherwise would seem awash in concrete and brick. It can soften and beautify small ur…

Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make When Planting a Fruit Tree in Southern California

Few plants offer a sweeter return on investment than fruit trees. To ensure that your newly planted fruit trees provide the nourishment you crave in the future, you’ve got to give them the best possible start. Growing fruit trees requires considerable commitment—but most good things in life do too! When planting your Southern California backyard orchard or just a single tree, be sure to avoid these common planting and care mistakes.

Poor Planning

Poor planning is often the root of preventable problems. Before you pick out a tree and put it in the ground, take time to research carefully. Determine what types of trees are most likely to thrive in your microclimate. Moreover, carefully…

How to Assess the Health of Your Tree

It can take years or even decades for trees to reach maturity, so as a homeowner, investing some time and energy into the health of your trees simply makes sense. After all, replacing a tree that’s been lost due to disease or pest damage is both expensive and difficult to do.

How Trees Grow

One of the reasons why trees are able to grow to dizzying heights and remain vibrant for many generations is the fact that trees grow in layers, and each of these unique layers plays a specific role in the health of the tree.

The outermost two layers of a tree are known as the bark, which serves as a ‘skin’ for the tree. The outer bark is tough and firm; it works to shield the tree from pests and…

Drought Proof Trees for Your California Yard

Droughts come and go in southern California — but we live in a desert, so another one is always waiting in the wings. That doesn’t mean that you can only plant cacti and palm trees in your yard, though. Plenty of drought-proof trees can help make your yard beautiful while remaining drought-resistant and conserving water.

Take a look at these fast-growing trees that let you drought-proof your California yard.

Texas Redbud

Those pink flowers help give this drought-resistant tree its name. This hardy tree is a great choice as a street tree or a shade tree, and you can even grow it as a container tree, at least for a while. The redbud is a deciduous tree that grows rapidly, at a rate…

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