Landscaping

Autumn in Sunnyvale

gingko-fall

In 2005 our neighbor planted a ginkgo biloba tree in the narrow strip between our driveways. During most of the year the tree is easily overlooked by trees that put on more of a show in springtime. But during the last weeks of November, all the leaves turn yellow and then fall off  like dropping the mic. Read More »

Flowering Plum

flowering-plum-2016

The Flowering Plum is the first tree to flower in my Sunnyvale garden (USDA zone 9). In normal years, it flowers mid-February. In 2015, it flowered February 4th. In 2016, it flowered February 5th. Also known as cherry plum or myrobalan plum, flowering plum (Prunus cerasifera) is a small to medium-sized ornamental tree native to Asia. Purple-leaved cultivars, such as ... Read More »

Plum – Weeping Santa Rosa

plumweeping

Weeping Santa Rosa Plum – semi-dwarf. The Weeping Santa Rosa fruit similar to Santa Rosa, but ripens two weeks later. The Weeping Santa Rosa has beautiful weeping habit making this a remarkable landscape specimen. Also good for espalier as height can be kept to 6-8 feet. Low chill, self-fruitful. Estimated Chilling Requirement 200-400 hours below 45°F Note: In drought years, ... Read More »

Viburnum tinus

virburnum tinus

Viburnums are one of the most versatile genus of shrubs. They have pretty foliage and growth habits. They also have pretty, and sometimes even fragrant, flowers. The fruits are appealing to birds and other wildlife. Viburnums are a genus of more than 150 evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous woody plants from the Adoxaceae family. They are native primarily to Northern temperate ... Read More »

Juniper

juniper berries

Juniper is a great plant for filling in space fast, whether as a groundcover, a screen, or vertical punctuation in a border. Its scaly foliage is feathery and graceful, a good contrast to large-leaf plants. For low-water or rock gardens, the low-growing juniper forms a naturalistic mat that often acquires richer color in the winter. Juniper thrives in a full-sun ... Read More »

Silk Tree

silk tree flowers

The mimosa or silk tree, umbrella mimosa (Albizia julibrissin), is a tough deciduous tree that grows quickly and has and a flat, umbrellalike canopy made up of ferny leaves and fluffy pink blooms that later turn into flat seed pods. I had one in my front yard but got tired with the yard maintenance of dropped flowers, dropped seed pods, ... Read More »

Italian Cypress

italian cypress trees

Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens, was popular when the Bahl patio homes were first built in the 1970s. The cypress can grow in small areas (often in the 2-foot wide trench on the zero-lot-side. The cypress is relatively slow growing. But after 40 years, the trees can be over 30 feet tall. Eventually, I removed my two cypresses because the roots ... Read More »

Sunnyvale Heritage Tree – Monkey Puzzle Tree

monkeypuzzle1

The Monkey Puzzle tree is an exotic conifer. You can see a young example at 545 S. Sunnyvale. Araucaria araucana (commonly called the monkey puzzle tree, Chilean pine, or pehuén) is an evergreen tree growing to 40 m (130 ft) tall with a 2-m (7-ft) trunk diameter. The tree is native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina. It ... Read More »

Dichondra

dichondra

Dichondra is a warm-season perennial ground cover, best adapted for cool coastal conditions. It will grow in partial shade, but does best in full sun. I grow a small patch (1×4 feet) in the courtyard on the north-facing side. Because dichondra does not tolerate heavy traffic, it is best adapted for small areas rather than large lawns or where mowing ... Read More »

Heavenly Bamboo

Nandina

Though not a true Bamboo, Nandina is equally important to Asian-inspired landscapes with its tall, thin growth of lacy green leaves on upright cane-like stems that turn red in autumn and creamy flowers followed by clusters of red berries. It makes a perfect accent in foliage-heavy gardens. Perfect plant for very narrow places, tight entries or beside gateways. Indispensable for courtyards, ... Read More »