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Garden Guru: Ornamental garden tips

During this time of year when frost blankets our mornings and the daylight doesn’t last quite as long as we’d like, there may not seem to be a lot to do in the ornamental garden. Nothing could be further from the truth. I often receive questions from concerned gardeners inquiring what measures need to be […]

No Comment / January 11, 2017 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: The oldest tree in the world

Some trees in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in California are older than the pyramids of Egypt. A number of factors keep these natural wonders live for thousands of years. Photo by Terry Halvorson

As a native Californian and nature enthusiast I have had a lifetime to explore California’s wild and scenic places. I was fortunate to grow up with parents who were teachers. On teachers’ salaries, we had the summers but not much money for our large family to go on extravagant vacations. This was fine with me […]

Comments Off / December 14, 2016 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Gurus: Sweet and succulent, not your everyday cake

With the egress of our former Garden Guru, Brent Dennis, I thought an appropriate segue into Terry’s and my succession would be to focus this article on a gardening topic that Brent and I both have our heart-strings in. An item that is a monument of Brent’s impact during his time at El Dorado Hills — Community […]

Comments Off / November 09, 2016 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: Guru migrates south

The employees of the El Dorado Hills Community Services District attended a farewell luncheon in early September for departing general manager Brent Dennis, who pulled up roots and heading to the city of Anaheim to take on his new role as its  director of Community Services. While chatting with Brent about our shared passion for trees it […]

Comments Off / October 12, 2016 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: Gold medal winning

Planting a memorial tree is a great way to commemorate a special event or pay tribute to a loved one. Courtesy photo

While the world and lover of international sport is focused upon Rio and the 2016 Olympic Games, I am choosing to pay tribute to my favorite “gold medal” caliber tree. This champion of arboriculture is actually more symbolic than botanic. The summer months have seen the generous gestures of many individuals, work groups, neighbors and families […]

Comments Off / August 10, 2016 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: Hi, hydrangea

Talk about an amazing range of showy colors. Say hello to summer’s spectacular pastels presented by hydrangeas. If you are not familiar with the interesting chemistry involved between the soil’s pH and the ultimate show of hydrangea color, it’s all about the range of acid to alkaline. The colors of some hydrangea blooms can change […]

Comments Off / June 22, 2016 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: Ice, ice baby

Ice Plant grows well in many harsh conditions and the colorful blooms add beauty to any landscape. Photo by Brent Dennis

Last year one of my “bucket list” trips found me in South Africa with the fortune of experiencing an amazing botanical garden in Cape Town. I witnessed and learned firsthand the indigenous homeland of a plant I have seen extensively along the highways and beaches of California. The ice plant is native to South Africa […]

Comments Off / May 25, 2016 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »



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