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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 […]

No Comment / May 25, 2016 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: Prime time for primulas

Primula plants bloom mostly during the spring with flowers often radiating from sturdy stems. Photo by Brent Dennis

Writing this monthly article on Groundhog Day reminded me that true spring is not really that far away for all of us in the El Dorado Hills area. As I make my way around the community I have enjoyed many of the cooler weather flowering plantings in Town Center and other gardenesque public areas. With […]

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

Garden Guru: A winter wonder … camellia

Camellias should be moist at all times, but caution should be taken against their being wet at all times. Too much water, too often, will cut off the air the roots must have. Photo by Brent Dennis

What can make the New Year any happier? Certainly the colorful show of winter blooming shrubs within our landscapes and gardens brings delight to our eyes. A particular favorite of mine happens to be the camellia. I have always found it to be botanically intriguing that many of the varieties of camellia rely on a […]

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

Garden Guru: May your Thanksgiving be succulent

These drought-tolerant succulents are sculptural in nature and prolific in their sprouting of offshoots of “chicks” from the mother “hen” plant. Courtesy photo

The month of November brings with it the spirit of thankfulness and reflection.  With Thanksgiving just a couple weeks away, I have reflected back over the past year and found myself very thankful for the recent rainfall. Enduring four years of drought conditions has put enormous stress upon our gardens and landscapes. While I can’t say the drought […]

Comments Off / November 08, 2015 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: A rose by any other name

Rose of Sharon adds a colorful pop to any background. Photo by Brent Dennis

One of the better performing, deciduous flowering shrubs in the El Dorado Hills heat is the Rose of Sharon. Preferring full sun settings, this profuse flowering hibiscus botanically known as Hibiscus syriacus can be featured as a specimen or planted in mass to serve as an effective privacy hedge during most of the year when […]

Comments Off / October 11, 2015 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: Creeping Fig

Garden structures and plantings that are properly planned and planted can create striking beauty and unique features within any landscape. A recent development in El Dorado Hills Community Park was the reconstruction of a quarter-century-old and structurally declining wooden arbor on the west side of the park’s pavilion. Once the new arbor was in place, […]

Comments Off / September 05, 2015 | Posted in Commentary | Read More »

Garden Guru: Manzanita … man, it’s one neat plant!

I can only trust that avid readers of this monthly gardening column are not getting tired of my intentional focus upon drought tolerant plants. But once again I want to promote the consideration of a true Northern California botanical champion, namely the manzanita. Manzanita is a common name for many species of the genus Arctostaphylos. […]

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



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