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Garden guru: Make April a tree-mendous month

A new cedar tree stands tall in El Dorado Hills Community Park. Photo by Brent Dennis

For those of you who have gotten to know me, you already are aware that one of my favorite holidays happens to be in the month of April. This month every year since its inception back in the 1870s holds the celebration of Arbor Day. J. Morton Sterling, as a pioneer settling into Nebraska, sparked […]

No Comment / April 05, 2015 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: Aren’t we a pear?

Bradford Callery pear

A true sign of spring is always the proliferation of the white fluffy cloud-like explosion of blossoms in landscapes, parks and parking lots! The Callery pear tree helps herald in warmer weather after standing dormant for a few months each year. Botanically known as Pyrus calleryana, the most common variety in our area tends to […]

Comments Off / March 03, 2015 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: A snowy illusion

Being a “transplant” from the colder, frosty hinterland of winter land of the Midwest, my eyes are often fooled by the apparent appearance of snow upon the foliage of trees and shrubs in the landscape. Maybe this is why I have an inherent love for variegated plant material? Botanically speaking, variegated foliage possesses a soft to striking […]

Comments Off / January 06, 2015 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden guru: Put holly in your holiday

This time of year, front door wreaths, fireplace mantle swags, dining room table centerpieces and candlestick skirting all seem to have something very traditional and horticulturally elegant in common. Namely sprigs or boughs of holly! American holly is known botanically as Ilex apaca. This classic broadleaf evergreen native of the United States is popular in gardens […]

Comments Off / December 07, 2014 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden guru: Scarlet star of the season

Liquidambar styraciflua

Fantastic fall color abounds during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. The beauty of the landscapes around us in El Dorado Hills is certainly something to be thankful for this time of year. Stellar specimens of the deciduous type have to include the American sweet gum trees. Botanically known as Liquidambar styraciflua, the sweet gum […]

Comments Off / November 09, 2014 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: The great white ghost

Sycamores like this one in the EDHCSD parking lot can become immense, growing to more than 100 feet in height and spreading to a 70 foot canopy diameter. Photo courtesy of Brent Dennis

Growing up as a kid in northwest Ohio, my Grandpa Dennis used to take me for walks in the woods to teach me my trees. One of the more majestic trees that he nicknamed “The Great White Ghost of the Forest” was the American Sycamore. Known botanically as Platanus occidentalis, this massive, fast-growing, over-story shade […]

Comments Off / October 09, 2014 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden guru: Adorable loropetalum

One of my favorite shrubs that perform well as a specimen or mass planting has a strikingly beautiful form and flower. The Chinese loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense) is more commonly known as the “Chinese fringe flower.” Chinese loropetalum is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that has a spreading habit and may reach a height of 12 feet with a […]

Comments Off / August 10, 2014 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

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