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Crabapple

Crabapple. Crabapples trees are typically 4–12 m (13–39 ft) tall at maturity, with a dense, twiggy crown. The leaves are 3–10 cm (1.2–3.9 in) long, alternate, simple, with a serrated margin. The flowers are borne in corymbs, and have five petals, which may be white, pink or red, and are perfect, with usually red stamens that produce copious pollen, and a …

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Night Phlox – Midnight Candy

Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis, “Midnight Candy”) fills the evening air with a sweet fragrance that will give you joy from May to November. The flowers open towards the evening and remain open until early in the morning. As the light intensity increases, they slowly start to close and are completely closed from midday until evening. I purchased my plant from …

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A Yellow Bumble Bee (Not)

Visiting my Sunnyvale garden are a variety of bees: Honey bees, small Mason bees, and big fat Bumble bees (that turn out to be Carpenter bees). Then, this fine early March day, I spot an enormous yellow bumble bee in the air around one of our apricot trees. It hovers near the blossoms,  but meanders in three dimensions, never once …

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Burbank Plum Blossoms

Two of our four plum varieties have blossomed by early March 2015. On our 4-N-1 grafted plum tree, the Santa Rosa variety started mid-February with its thinly spaced blossoms. This week the Burbank variety bloomed with dense sets of flowers. Burbank plum trees were developed by noted plant breeder Luther Burbank in 1883. Prized for its heavy crops of reddish-purple fruit, …

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Society Garlic

Society garlic is an attractive ornamental plant from South Africa whose leaves have a garlicky odor. It belongs to the lily family — as do onions and garlic — but to a different genus, entirely restricted to Africa, which includes about 24 species. The genus name Tulbaghia honors Ryk Tulbagh, an 18th-century Dutch governor of the Cape of Good Hope; …

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California Poppies

California Poppy is a pretty native wildflower. It is very drought-tolerant and is excellent for xeriscapes. When the plant stops looking pretty, pull it up/break-it-off. The poppy seeds disperse widely so you will be surprised by the next year’s plants. I always have it in my Sunnyvale garden.

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Drought Tolerant Gardening

There are many great perennials and California-native plants that can beautify your yard for little water The whole Salvia genus Star jasmine Lantana Ceanthos

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Climb the Walls

Take advantage of your exterior walls. Walls are good for vines, berries, and trees that can be espaliered. I grow a pomegranate tree espaliered against a sidewall 12 feet wide. My Marion berry canes are also grown against the wall.  

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Sun and Water

A major challenge for gardening in a Bahl Patio home is sunlight. Your south-facing walls may get 14 hours of sunlight during the summer. Your north-facing walls may only get 6 hours. The narrow sideyard walls may only get a few hours of direct sunlight. Use your south facing walls for plants and crops that crave sunlight: such as tomatoes …

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Growing in Containers

When you don’t have much ground soil, use containers.   A minimum container size is a gallon. The largest containers can grow a 10 foot tree. Smaller pots can easily be moved for better aethestics, better sunlight. Key issues for containers are water, drainage, and nutrients. 16×7 = 6 gallons 14×12 = 8 gallons

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