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12 Tips on How To Use Color Effectively In The Garden

12 Tips on How To Use Color Effectively In The Garden

Color In the Gardene
Color In the Gardene

Color In the Gardene

There are several elements that make up a well thought out landscape: they include structure, shape, texture, scent, and movement. But for the majority of us home gardeners, the first element we take into consideration when designing our own personal paradise is color.

Thanks to renowned garden authors like Penelope Hobhouse, who wrote Color In Your Garden,  Rosemary Verey, author of Making of A Garden, and Christopher Lloyd’s Gardening Year, (just to name a few), I became enthralled with color in the garden when I first became a passionate gardener in the late 80s. Although I had worked with design and colors for several years in other arenas, learning how to use it effectively in the landscape was something all together different.

Below are 12 Tips About Color Design that I’ve learned over the years.

1. Color is one of the easiest ways of setting a tone and expressing your personality in the garden.

2. Before buying, hold plants up against each other at nursery, lay pots out on the ground prior to planting, do the exercise from my book, Digging Deep, called Playing with Flowers, or pick up a slew of paint swatches from a paint store and experiment with different combinations at home.

3. Know the basic principles of color design.

Primary Colors are red, yellow, and blue
Secondary Colors are created by mixing two primary colors together: orange (red and yellow), green (yellow and blue) and purple (red and blue)
Intermediate or Tertiary Colors are colors that are created by mixing a primary and a secondary color, for example, blue-green
Neutral Colors – black, white, and brown

4. Warm vs. Cool Colors

Bright colors (reds, oranges, and yellows) jump out at you and look best when used in a sunny location.

using red in the gardenPhoto above: a smattering of dark and bright colored tulips at Tennis Court Garden at Chanticleer in Wayne, Pa.

Cool colors (blues, purples, and greens) recede into the background and are most effective when used in a partially shady location or in a climate that experiences a lot of grey skies.

Pale colors, yellows, and whites reflect light and brighten shady spots.

Cool colors and pale shades create a sense of depth in the garden while bright colors make a garden look closer.

Pastels fade in bright sunlight while very warm colors sizzle and come alive.

5. Red infuses a garden with excitement and excitement. Unless creating a ‘hot’ cottage garden, use it sparingly.

contrasting colors in the gardenPhoto AboveEuphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ and red poppies in Sorin Garden, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

6. Keep in mind that, like musical notes, how colors are perceived change depending on the context in which they are used.

A color’s intensity will decrease when placed next to a complementary color but will increase when planted next to a contrasting color.

7. When designing a garden, use the same color repeatedly throughout the border to create a cohesive tapestry.

8. Use dark colors sparingly on a light background to create a powerful combination. The opposite is also true: By using a smattering of light colors on a dark background, the intensity of the design will be heightened.

Primulas in shady rock gardenPhoto Above: Primula Japonica at Chanticleer Gardens

9. Remember that your color palette changes throughout the season. Be mindful of what plants bloom at the same time to make sure that they work well together.

10. The colors of leaves can make as powerful of a statement as flower blossoms. Include them in the equation when you are deciding what to plant where.

stobilanthes, pink salvia, carexPhoto above: Strobilanthes dyerianus (Persian shield), pink salvia, and carex sp. in Sorin Garden, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

11. Don’t think of green as a boring color. You can create an outstanding composition by using silver, light, dark, deep, and chartreuse leaved plants. Keep in mind that the texture of the foliage of the plants has an effect on the design.

Cotinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit'*Photo above:  Cotinus coggygria ‘Ancot’ GOLDEN SPIRIT creates a magnificent contrast against the grass.

12. Discard what the doyennes of taste or experts advise when deciding how much and what colors to use in your garden. Follow your instincts and create a color palette that pleases your eye!

Now it’s your turn! Share a color combination that you’ve used in your garden and love.

Please note: A source for some of the information for the above article is from NYBG’S Color Theory In The Garden.

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The content for this post was sourced from www.gardeninggonewild.com

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13 Reasons Why Gardening Is Good For Your Health

13 Reasons Why Gardening Is Good For Your Health

Wildflowers at Chanticleeer

The results of a multitude of research is now showing what gardeners have intrinsically known for generations –

that gardening is good for your health.

Now more than ever, as our culture becomes more technologically obsessed and increasingly nature deprived, this information is critical to digest and embrace. The reason why? Because our country is in a national health crisis with substantial economic and social implications.

Here are some statistics that bear this out:

  • The U.S. public spends more than 90% of their time indoors, leading an extremely sedentary, disconnected, unhealthy, and unnatural lifestyle.
  • The latest statistics show that 33% of U.S. adults are obese, incurring $148 billion in medical costs annually and contributing to 18% of U.S. adult deaths.
  • Publicly available data shows U.S. healthcare costs are the highest per capita in the world—and that amount continues to increase.
  • Recent research funded by Disney shows that 65% of U.S. parents see it as a “very serious” problem that their kids are not spending more time outdoors. According to the survey, this is equal or a close second to their concerns about bullying, the quality of education, and obesity. Preschoolers spend about 12 hours a week outside, and by the age of 16, our children are spending less than 7 hours a week in nature.

Ideally, these statistics will put some fire in your belly to spend more time outdoors in nature and gardening. But those of you who may need more hard core facts to help galvanize you to get your hands in the dirt, below are

13 Reasons Why Gardening Is Good For Your Health

1. Gardening can reduce your risk of stroke (along with other activities as jogging and swimming) as reported in “Stroke: Journal of The American Heart Association”.

2. Gardening burns calories. Gardening is considered moderate to high-intensity exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can burn up to 330 calories during just one hour of light gardening and yard work — more than lifting weights for the same amount of time. The National Institute of Health goes so far as to recommend 30 to 45 minutes of gardening three to five times a week as part of a good strategy

3. Heavy gardening is not only helpful in weight maintenance but also in reducing the risk of heart disease and other life threatening diseases. Just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity a few times a week can prevent and control high blood pressure. In fact, gardening scored a place on the The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute‘s recommendation list for battling high blood pressure.

2005-05-07 12.17.20.jpg- Chanticleer spring garden

4. Gardening decreases the likelihood of osteoporosis. When you dig, plant, weed, and engage in repetitive tasks that require strength or stretching, all of the major muscle groups are getting a good work out.

5. Gardening is a stress buster. As a matter of fact, it may be an even more effective stress buster than other leisure activities. In a study in the Netherlands (as reported by CNN), two groups of students were told to either read indoors or garden for thirty minutes AFTER completing a stressful task. The group that gardened reported being in a better mood than the group that read. And they also exhibited lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

6. Being surrounded by flowers improves one’s health. In behavioral research conducted at Rutgers University by Jeanette M. Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., the results showed that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods and have an immediate impact on happiness, a long term positive effects on mood, and make for more intimate connections between individuals

7. Gardening is a way of making meaning out of our lives. Being in the garden and feeling a profound connection to the land affords us the opportunity to focus on beauty and inspires us to experience feelings of awe, gratitude, and abundance.

8. The act of gardening enables us to enter the ‘zone’, also known as an altered state of consciousness – similar to what a jogger or one who practices yoga or mediation can experience. This transcendent state is a magical and spiritual place where one experiences the best of who she/he is.

9. It is likely that gardening and flowers serve as a means for survival; or in Darwinian terms, ‘survival of the fittest’. For more than 5000 years, people have cultivated flowers. There must be a reason why this practice continues to exist. As Michael Pollan has written, “It was the flower that first ushered the idea of beauty into the world the moment, long ago, when floral attraction emerged as an evolutionary strategy.”

10. Digging in the soil has actual health and ‘mood boosting’ benefits.

2005-08-24 09.26.02-26

Larry Dossey, M.D. who wrote the new foreword for The New Revised Edition of Digging Deep and author of One Mind: How Our Individual Mind is Part of a Great Consciousness and Why It Matters writes: “The importance of gardening and “digging deep” is written into our physiology. Evidence for what’s called the “hygiene hypotheses” is abundant. Briefly, we know that children who are exposed to dirt in the formative years develop healthier, stronger immune systems when compared to children whose parents keep them squeaky clean, and they have a lower incidence of asthma, eczema and allergies later in life. Exposure to dirt in childhood promotes good health.” 1

Christopher Lowry, Ph.D., an assistant professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been injecting mice with Mycobacterium vaccae, a harmless bacteria commonly found in soil, and has found that they increase the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control cognitive function and mood — much like serotonin-boosting antidepressant drugs do.

11. Gardening Improves Relationships and Compassion. Research shows that people who spend extended lengths of time around plants tend to have better relationships with others. “This is due to measurable increases in feelings of compassion; another effect of exposure to ornamental plants. Studies have shown that people who spend more time around plants are much more likely to try and help others, and often have more advanced social relationships. People who care for nature are more likely to care for others, reaching out to their peers and forming shared bonds resulting from their common interests. Extended exposure to nature and wildlife increases people’s compassion for each other as it increases people’s compassion for the environment in which they live. In short, being around plants can help to improve relationships between people and increase their concern and empathy toward others.” 2

12. Gardening may lower the risk of dementia. Some research suggests that the physical activity associated with gardening can help lower the risk of developing dementia. Two separate studies that followed people in their 60s and 70s for up to 16 years found, respectively, that those who gardened regularly had a 36% and 47% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners, even when a range of other health factors were taken into account. The impacts of dementia can be life changing so prevention is very important.

13. Gardening strengthens your immune system. While you’re outdoors basking in the sun, you’ll also soak up plenty of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. In turn, calcium helps keep your bones strong and your immune system healthy.

Some of the material from this article has been sourced from:

1. New Revised Edition, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening

1. Ellison Chair in International Floriculture

2. The Daily Mail

3. Health.com

Please check out my recently published, New Revised Edition of Digging Deep Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which maps out how to get unstuck, awaken your innate creativity through gardening and experience a life of joy, abundance, and well-being.

To sign up for my newsletter, in order to receive inspirational and informational posts on gardening, spirituality, creativity, and well-being, click on: Fran Sorin

As always, if you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends on social media. The more the word gets out about the incredible benefits of gardening, the more positive change will happen. Sharing is a simple yet important act of generosity.

And now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear how gardening has had an impact on your health and well-being. Your thoughts are important to me so please comment!!

With love and blessings, Fran

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The content for this post was sourced from www.gardeninggonewild.com

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Tips from a Top Container Garden Designer

Tips from a Top Container Garden Designer

Melissa Teisl of Fresh Chic is the designer whose artistry I show most in my book, Succulent Container Gardens

Melissa and her mom, Susan, had a floral shop in Solana Beach, CA when I met them in ’07. Then Susan retired, and Melissa (with partner Jon Hawley) launched CW Design & Landscaping, specializing in gorgeous in-ground gardens.

But container gardens are Melissa’s first love (OK, except for Jon), so this dynamic couple—who also are in Succulents Simplified and Designing with Succulents—spun off Fresh Chic, CW’s boutique and container-garden division.

Melissa Teisl designs in Succulent Container Gardens

These photos from Succulent Container Gardens showcase Melissa’s aesthetic. She…

— Picks succulents in scale with their containers.
— Repeats plants’ colors and/or forms in her container selections.
— Uses lines and shapes of pots to lead the eye and frame the plants.
— Plants densely for a lavish look and uses topdressing to conceal the soil.
— Sets a container atop a table that becomes part of the composition.
— Expands her palette with non-succulents. A pink-striped cordyline adds drama to a tall pot; crypthanthus bromeliads create a wreath’s “bow.”
— Jazzes up gift arrangements with real bows of satin or velvet.

Learn more (from Melissa herself!) in my how-to video about hanging containers.

See Fresh Chic’s succulent designs at San Diego’s Spring Home/Garden Show, March 2-4, in the outdoor vendor area. Btw, social media really “likes” Melissa’s innovative, photogenic combos, so have your cell phone handy!

If you happen to be in Southern California, here’s a Free Pass to the Spring Home/Garden Show

Spring Home Show tickets

Come see me at the Show! I’m giving two new presentations and signing all three of my books, including the new 2nd edition of Designing with Succulents.

Fri., March 2 at noon and Sat., March 3 at 11:00, join me in the Bing Crosby exhibit hall in the presenters’ area (southwest corner). Also enjoy display gardens by top designers. The Show’s all about helping you make your home and outdoor living spaces your own private paradise.

Don’t pay admission! Come as my guest/s. You’ll still have to pay parking, but my VIP pass for two lets you waltz right in. (Print it out and bring it with you, like you would an airline boarding pass.) Hey! It’s worth $18! 

Books by Debra Lee Baldwin

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The content for this post was sourced from www.gardeninggonewild.com

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“The Less is More Garden,” Book Giveaway

“The Less is More Garden,” Book Giveaway


Update, Sat. Feb. 10: AND THE WINNER IS…Susie Johnson! I’ve notified her and “The Less is More Garden” will soon be on its way to her from publisher Timber Press.
Many, many thanks to all of you for participating! — Debra

Author/Landscape Designer Susan Morrison

I’ve long admired the wit and wisdom of Bay Area landscape designer Susan Morrison, whom I see at garden events and follow on Facebook. So when I found out she’d authored The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard (Timber Press, 2018), I knew I had to have it.

Enter to win a copy of The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard, simply by leaving a comment below. (To qualify, you must be 18 or older and have a mailing address in the US or Canada.) The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email Sat., Feb. 10. I’ll also put the winner’s name at the top of this post. Best of luck! 

If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to attend presentations by Susan Morrison and myself during the 2018 Northwest Flower and Garden Show. I’m presenting on Designing with Succulents Wed., Feb. 7 at 11:15 and Thurs., Feb. 8 at 12:30. Morrison is presenting Thurs., Feb. 8. at 2:15; Sat., Feb. 10 at 3:00, and doing “Container Wars” Sat, Feb. 11 at 11:30. 

Here’s Morrison’s “less is more philosophy” of garden design:

— Less space, more enjoyment
— Less effort, more beauty
— Less maintenance, more relaxation
— Less gardening-by-the-numbers, more YOU.

In The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard, Morrison’s practical, readable style expands on key points via case studies and illustrations anyone can relate to. The book is full of light-bulb moments. You find yourself thinking, “Why, yes, of course,” while wondering why such terrific insights on gardens, design, and outdoor enhancements hadn’t dawned on you before.

Susan Morrison owns Creative Exteriors Landscape Design, located in the East Bay near San Francisco.

Some Morrison gems

Every page and caption in the book contains kernels of wisdom that can be put to practical use. For example:

— “Just as the kitchen is the heart of the home, the patio is the center of the backyard.”

— “Avoid hard benches, undersized seating, or essentially anything that makes the backyard less comfortable to be in.”

— “A table for dining on one side and a lounge chair for relaxing on the other establish two garden destinations in a relatively small area.”

— “Create one strong or meandering curve as a counterpoint to the more rigid shapes elsewhere in the yard.”

— “Angular stone [gravel] compacts more efficiently [than rounded gravel] and therefore makes for a more stable walking surface.”

Now it’s your turn! Leave a comment and you’re automatically entered to win a copy of The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard. See you in Seattle? Say yes! 

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The content for this post was sourced from www.gardeninggonewild.com

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Spring, Succulents and Scorching Blooms

Spring, Succulents and Scorching Blooms


Here in California, a spring garden’s most vivid blooms often are those of succulent ice plants. Aloes, bulbine and numerous arid-climate companions are bright and beautiful from March through mid-May. Increasing temps tend to put the kibosh on delicate spring flowers. If you live near the coast, you’ll enjoy a longer spring, but you may not get the sun and heat that makes many flowers blaze.

Spring is the season of flowers, so get outside and enjoy them. Soon enough, come summer, those hot colors will fade and your garden will go back to being mainly shapes and textures—which of course succulents do best. What many people  don’t realize is that flowers are ephemeral—they flash and fade, and then you’re left with foliage. (I like to say that sentence in my talks. Try it. The alliteration is luscious.)

Above: A normally uninteresting corner of my garden is stunning in spring because of all the flowers. Red ones at center are Sparaxis tricolor, a bulb from South Africa. Easy-grow shrub daisies (Euryops pectinatus) echo the yellow margins of Agave americana ‘Marginata’—which though nearly engulfed, still makes a bold statement.

California poppies pop in spring. These bright orange annuals reseed every year. Behind them is Drosanthemum floribundum (rosea ice plant). Adding contrasting form is spineless opuntia. Almost incidentally, fruit on citrus trees repeat the poppies, and elevate their color to eye level.

Scilla peruviana, returns every March. It produces large, purple-blue snowflake flowers and then disappears for nine months. It was planted by the previous owner and I don’t do a thing to keep it going. But like all bulbs, it leaves behind droopy, messy foliage which you need to leave because it feeds the bulb for the next g0-round.

And as for ice plant, don’t plant just one variety. Combine several—not curbside, though, lest they cause an accident.

Related articles:

Succulent garden design essentials

How to grow succulents

Debra’s own garden 

My succulent meditation garden

YouTube video: Debra Lee Baldwin’s Succulent Garden in Spring.

Flowering Plants in My Spring Garden: Inland Southern CA, Zone 9b

Spring (peak): mid-March to early April

Annual: California poppies

Bulbs:

Babiana stricta (baboon flower)

Scilla peruviana

         Sparaxis tricolor

Succulents:

Aeonium arboreum

         Aloe maculata

         Bulbine frutescens ‘Hallmark’

Gasteria sp.

Ice Plants:

Delosperma congestum ‘Gold Nugget’

Drosanthemum floribundum

                  Drosanthemum speciosum

         Sedum ‘Firestorm’

Perennial shrubs:

Euryops pectinatus

Gazanias (African daisies)

Pelargoniums (geraniums)

Rose, climbing: ‘Altissimo’

Wisteria

 

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Designing with Cold-Climate Succulents

Designing with Cold-Climate Succulents

Becky Sell of Sedum Chicks plants cold-hardy succulents in repurposed wood-and-metal containers, hypertufa pots, wreaths and more. She grows the plants, too, where she lives in Turner, Oregon, near the Washington border.

Becky’s compositions can overwinter outdoors in northerly climates (Zones 4 to 8), providing the potting medium drains well. Cold-hardy succulents such as stonecrops and hens-and-chicks will also grow in Zones 8 and 9 if protected from heat in excess of 85 degrees and scorching sun. Some varieties, notably shrub sedums, die to the ground in any locale and come back the following spring.

In her designs, Becky often combines sedums (stonecrops), sempervivums (hens-and-chicks), and Delosperma ice plants. Of a little-known Rosularia species with soft, light green leaves, she says, “When people ask which plant is my favorite, this is definitely on the list.”

There are about 35 species in the genus Rosularia. The sempervivum-like succulents come from Europe, the Himalayas, and northern Africa.

Find more photos of succulents for Northern climates—including many of Becky’s favorites—on my website’s new Cold-Hardy Succulents page. I photographed the designs shown here during the Northwest Flower & Garden Show at the Sedum Chicks booth, which won an award for outstanding visual appeal.

Below: This bright red vertical container was a hit. At right, I darkened the photo to make plant IDs, in white letters, stand out, so you can see them better.

Below: Sempervivum ‘Jade Rose’ repeats the teal blue of a Sedum spathulifolium cultivar.

Below: In a cold-hardy wreath, Becky surrounded a large sempervivum rosette with smaller sedums, Delosperma cooperi (at lower left), and Sedum confusum (lower right).

Below: I’ve ID’d the three sedums in this wreath at right. Becky gives her plants “hair cuts” to keep them compact.

“I like its dark edges,” Becky says of Sempervivum ‘Black’, shown below in dramatic contrast with chartreuse Sedum ‘Lemon Coral’. At lower right is a succulent native to Oregon: Sedum oreganum.

Becky and husband Paul create planters from repurposed wood and metal. The bronzy succulents below are Sedum confusum, which blushes red-orange in a sunny location. When less confused, it’s bright apple green.

For wreaths and vertical gardens, Becky uses sphagnum moss to help hold plants in place. She emphasizes the importance of good drainage, which is true for all succulents, but especially those in rainy climates. Succulents from cold climates tend to have thin or small leaves and want a richer potting soil than thicker-leaved varieties from desert regions. Becky recommends Black Gold’s organic mix.

In my YouTube video, “Sedum Chicks at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show,” Becky explains how to select, cultivate and beautifully combine cold-hardy succulents.

 

Learn more about succulents for northerly climates:

On my website:

— Find tips for care and cultivation, plus resources at How to Grow Succulents in Northerly Climates

— See labeled varieties of excellent, readily available varieties on my Cold-Hardy Succulents page.

On my YouTube channel:

Growing Succulents in Northerly Climates: Part One of my presentation at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. See gorgeous new Sempervivum cultivars and inspiring, eye-catching design ideas.

Growing Succulents in Northerly Climates, Part Two of my presentation at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. More cool succulents for cold climates and how to select, grow and design with them.

Sedum Chicks at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. Pacific NW designer/grower Becky Sell explains how to select, care for and beautifully combine cold-hardy sedums, semps and other succulents.

Make a Frost-Hardy Succulent Wreath with Hens-and-Chicks. Simple steps to a stunning wreath!

In my books:

— See the Cold-Climate Succulent Gardens section of Designing with Succulents (2nd ed.).

— Find info in all my books about succulents in the genera Sedum, Sempervivum, Delosperma and more.

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Bill’s Best: A Top Designer’s Favorite Aloes

Bill’s Best: A Top Designer’s Favorite Aloes

Looking for great succulents for your garden?

Plant aloes in well-draining soil and “they’ll soon become your favorite succulents,” says Bill Schnetz, one of Southern CA’s most sought-after landscape designers. Bill uses aloes of all sizes in mild-climate residential gardens. For a natural look, he suggests mixing one or two kinds with tough, drought-tolerant ornamental grasses and flowering perennials. For a contemporary look, he recommends planting similar aloes “in rows and geometric blocks.”

Bill’s 14 Favorite Aloes

I asked Bill if he’d share which aloes he uses most often in clients’ gardens, and why. This list was compiled by Schnetz Landscape, Inc. with Rebecca Simpson.

Small aloes. These tough, toothed aloes handle adverse conditions.  Height: 8 to 18 inches.

Aloe x nobilis, Aloe aristata, and Aloe humilis all grow tight and stay low.

Aloe ‘Rooikappie’ is Bill’s favorite small aloe. It gets a little bigger than the three above and is a good fit for small and large landscapes. It’s a repeat bloomer and transplants easily.

Mid-size aloes are good for borders and large-scale massing.  Height: 18 to 36 inches.

Aloe striata has nice plump leaves and good floral color.

Aloe vera is dramatic planted en masse, and yes, the gel is useful for burns and cuts.

Aloe x spinosissima is a 2- to 3-foot sprawler great on hillsides and rocky soil.

Aloe cameronii is Bill’s favorite 2-foot aloe. Stays red all year if given full sun.

Tree aloes tend to be slow growing and may not look their best in cold winter months. Don’t plant them near foundations or under eaves—they do get big.

Aloe bainesii is a moderate grower, 15 to 30 feet tall. Leaves may turn yellow and get black spots, but with summer warmth and feeding they’ll green up.

Aloe dichotoma is slow-growing to 15 to 20 feet. It has nice gray leaves and is very drought tolerant.

Aloe ferox is slow growing to 6-10 feet with a single trunk that holds dead leaves.

Aloe ‘Hercules’ is a faster-growing hybrid with a thick, strong trunk. Give it plenty of room.

Shade-tolerant aloes useful as firebreak plants are fast-growing and spreading.

Aloe ciliaris is a sprawling succulent that will climb palm tree trunks. Take care that it doesn’t get buried in leaves and melt away. Sometimes called ‘Fire Wall’ aloe, when grown on a slope, the plants form a 3- to 4-foot mat of fire-resistant growth.

Aloe arborescens is probably the most commonly grown aloe in the world. If you have room for it, you can’t go wrong. It solves a multitude of landscape problems, and thrives everywhere—coast, low desert, foothills—from Mexico to San Francisco. Originally from South Africa, it’s also found all around the Mediterranean. This multiheaded aloe makes a good background plant and tolerates filtered shade beneath tall trees. For a dense barrier, plant 6 to 8 feet apart in a line or triangles. Height: 4 to 8 feet and spreading.


More Info

In my books: Designing with Succulents, 2nd ed., pp. 182-190; Succulents Simplified, pp. 185-197.

On my site:

My photos of aloes on this page are identified according to genus and species, and sometimes common names… [Continue reading]
My ultimate aloes are any large, sculptural species with brilliant, Popsicle-like flowers that make striking garden plants even… [Continue reading]
View my YouTube video: Spectacular Aloes in Flower

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Don’t Let the Evil Weevil Get Your Agaves!

Don’t Let the Evil Weevil Get Your Agaves!

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The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal


Finally!  Hope ! Something we can actually do about climate change.  The Green New Deal is an actual plan.  Read on.

Energy old and new – oil well pumpjack and windmill, Oklahoma

(I hope our readers at Gardening Gone Wild and gardeners everywhere will recognize this is not a political issue and turn your heads and cringe.  This is positive news, gardeners understand the Earth is not going anywhere  – it is us who need to figure out sustainability. – Saxon Holt)

When young activists stormed the Congressional office of Nancy Pelosi last week demanding an environmental plan in the wake of the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, I wondered why go after one of the most liberal members of Congress, in the most liberal city in America, in the heart of the environmental movement.

Is there a plan ? Is this just an attention seeking stunt by naive, idealistic newbies to politics ?  Actually no. There is an extraordinarily detailed bold plan: The Green New Deal.  Modeled after the New Deal that pulled us out of the Depression, this new New Deal proposes a massive restructuring of resources and is a real template that reorganizes our jobs and economy around a resilient future.

Old school politicians wake up !  Why delay ANY longer ?  What is it about climate change you do not get ? Urgent action is an understatement.   And let’s no make this a right vs left political issue, there is work to be done by everyone.

We have cooked the planet already, there is no turning back; but that is not an excuse for giving up.  Somehow or another humans will survive and there must be a new methodology to coexist in a sustainable future.  Here, in the Green New Deal, is something we can ask friends and communities to support in their own way, gardeners, farmers, ecologists, urban dwellers, and suburbanites alike where we can all see our own role; and a plan and we can pressure elected official to make a stand.

First publish by the policy wonks at Data for Progress here at the key points, each one a definable goal.  

Download A Green New Deal

TRANSFORM TO A LOW-CARBON ECONOMY

— 100% Clean and Renewable Electricity by 2035

— Zero Net Emissions from Energy by 2050

— 100% Net-Zero Building Energy Standards by 2030

— 100% Zero Emission Passenger Vehicles by 2030

— 100% Fossil-Free Transportation by 2050

FULFILL THE RIGHT TO CLEAN AIR AND CLEAN WATER

— National Clean Air Attainment

— Cut Methane Leakage 50% by 2025

— National Lead Pipe Replacement & Infrastructure Upgrades

— Guarantee Access to Affordable Drinking Water

— Protect Two Million New Miles of Waterways

RESTORE THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE

— Reforest 40 Million Acres of Public and Private Land by 2035

— Restore 5 Million Acres of Wetlands by 2040

— Expand Sustainable Farming and Soil Practices to 70% of Agricultural Land by 2050

— Cleanup Brownfields and All Hazardous Sites

STRENGTHEN URBAN SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCE

— Establish a National Fund for Urban and Rural Resilience

— Expand Public Green Space and Recreational Land and Waters

— Modernize Urban Mobility and Mass Transit

— Zero Waste by 2040

— Capture 50% of Wasted Methane by 2040

Each of these goals is real and tangible – a plan.  We need to start with  a plan.  The policy paper goes on to promote the benefits of jobs and details many specific policy issues that need to be addressed.  It has been adopted by a number of advocacy groups, especially among young progressives.

Yes, this is hugely ambitious but it is specific and provides a road map. Lets’ get started.  Get informed and ask your congressional representative to get informed. Contact Congress.  We can not wait.

An article in The Nation details the recent history of this movement.

The Sunshine Movement is activating young progressives on climate change with planned demonstrations and events.

350 Action is actively supporting political candidates for environment change in support go the Green New Deal.

The climate has changed.  Let’s stop wringing our hands.

Delta Fire aftermath; Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California

Stand up for working with the earth, not destroying it.

Redwood Trees, Sequoia sempervirens, some of the oldest trees on Earth.

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The content for this post was sourced from www.gardeninggonewild.com

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Can Landscaping Protect a Home from Wildfire?

Can Landscaping Protect a Home from Wildfire?

Dr. Camille Newton surveys her garden, the day after the Lilac Fire stopped at its perimeter.

Can landscaping protect a home from wildfire? Camille Newton, M.D., of Bonsall, CA, says yes. Dr. Newton started her six-year-old succulent garden mostly from cuttings. “It’s my go-to place after work,” she says, noting that gardening is a stress-reliever. The land’s nutrient-poor, decomposed-granite soil serves as a coarse, fast-draining substrate that she top-dresses with composted horse manure. (From another hobby: breeding Andalusians.) Irrigation is by overhead sprinklers. The land slopes, so densely-planted succulents also provide erosion control. On Dr. Newton’s frost-free, west-facing hillside grow swaths of jade (Crassula ovata), aloes, agaves, aeoniums and brilliant orange, ironically-named Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’.

A house next door burned to the ground. The only green thing left was a semi-cooked Agave vilmoriniana.

Dr. Newton, whose garden is in my book, Designing with Succulents (2nd ed.), was initially surprised that her garden “stopped the fire in its tracks,” she says, adding that houses next door and across the street burned to the ground. “You’d think succulents would burn, but they don’t.” This is likely because wildfire, which travels at around 15 MPH, doesn’t linger. Plants with thin leaves catch fire immediately and are carried aloft by strong winds, further spreading the blaze. In contrast, succulents—which by definition store moisture in thick, juicy leaves—cook and collapse. They may sizzle and char, but succulents don’t transmit flames.

When Dr. Newton and I were on TV, the segment was called “Saved by Succulents.”

In December 2017, soon after the Lilac Fire destroyed eight neighboring homes, Dr. Newton and I were interviewed on local TV news for a segment titled, “Saved by Succulents.” It’s available on my YouTube channel along with two other videos about  succulents as fire-retardant plants, including a post-wildfire tour of Dr. Newton’s own garden.
Because succulents are colorful, waterwise and low-maintenance, I hope landscape professionals in wildfire-prone, mild-climate regions consider adding firebreak installation to their services. It takes a lot of succulents to surround a house, but here’s good news: It’s possible to do so without buying plants. Numerous Southern CA succulent gardens are becoming so well established that owners have plenty of trimmings that they hate to throw away. “I’ll give cuttings to anyone who asks,” Dr. Newton says, adding with a laugh, “and hopefully they’ll take some manure, too.”

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The content for this post was sourced from www.gardeninggonewild.com

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