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Clematis

A clematis vine climbing up a trellis or spilling flowers over a fence is great for making a curtain of color. Most clematis varieties thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 11 (which is just fine for our Sunnyvale garden (zone 8a)). Proper soil preparation, ongoing maintenance, pest prevention and pruning properly provide the keys to …

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Shiso

Shiso (Perilla frutescens) is a staple in both sushi rolls and ornamental gardens. An annual warm-season herb, it flourishes in part shade or sun, with the level of sunlight intriguingly affecting the colors of its leaves. Perilla in sunny garden beds tends to bear burgundy leaves, while those in part shade develop light green foliage. In Sunnyvale, set seeds or …

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Orange Taqueria Sauce

Taquerias in NorCal often have 2 sauces in squeeze bottles: Red Sauce and Orange Sauce. Both sauces often use the same 2 dried chili pods: Guajillo and Arbol. The Chile de árbol is a small and potent Mexican chili pepper also known as bird’s beak chili. These chilis are about 5 to 7.5 cm long, and 0.65 to 1 cm …

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Scarlet Nantes Carrots

Carrots originated over 5,000 years ago in present day Afghanistan. Eventually, carrots were divided into 2 categories: atrorubens and sativus. Atrobuens arose from the east and had yellow to purple roots while sativus carrots had orange, yellow, and sometimes white roots. There are 4 major types of carrots: Danvers, Nantes, Imperator, and Chantenay. This article focuses on Nantes carrots. What …

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Armeria maritima ‘Ballerina Lilic’

New for 2019 in our Sunnyvale garden: Armeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’, commonly called thrift or sea pink, is a compact, low-growing plant which forms a dense, mounded tuft of stiff, linear, grass-like, dark green leaves (to 4″ tall). Tufts will spread slowly to 8-12″ wide. Tiny, purple flowers bloom in mid spring in globular clusters (3/4-1″ wide) atop slender, naked stalks …

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Sedum clavatum

Sedum clavatum is an attractive succulent in the Pachysedum group that grows with stout creeping stems terminating in 4 inch wide rosettes of glaucus blue-green succulent leaves and has a compact inflorescence of many pink bell-shaped flowers in mid to late spring (April – May in Sunnyvale) to early summer that take a pink hue with age. The stems lose …

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Mexican Oregano

Mexican Oregano’s taste is more citrusy than Mediterrean oregano, which has mint notes; with subtle hints of lime that really enhance the flavor of chiles and paprikas. It is frequently called for in chili powders, chili con carne, and various spicy/hot dishes, especially the traditional Mexican and Central American moles and rojos. Mexican Oregano is also outstanding in flavoring beans, …

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April in Our Sunnyvale Garden – 2019

Spring has totally sprung! Cold-season vegetables: Snow peas planted in January had lots of pods in March and April. Kale was large enough to harvest and make kale chips. Carrots and beets are still growing. Tomatoes: We cut back this year and only started 48 tomato seedlings in February. I transplanted them to half-gallon pots in March. and transplanted them …

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March in Our Sunnyvale Garden – 2019

Our Sunnyvale garden in March 2019 was filled with flowers.Spring blossoms on the plum, apricot, and orange trees. Spring bulbs like Crocus, Freesias, Grape-Hyacinth, Hyacinth, Tulips, Dutch Iris, and Spanish Bluebell. Spring vegetables like snowpeas and kale. Excellent cool-season annuals with Violas and Pansies. Rainy-season perennials like Cyclamen, India Hawthorne, Lewisia, Verbinium, Geranium, Rosemary and Lavender. Lots of foliage on …

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Dutch Iris

In our Sunnyvale garden, over the years, we have planted Dutch iris in many locations, both in the ground and in containers. The flowers are spectacular and another sign that spring has arrived. The bulbs naturalize so you can reliably anticipate them every spring. The Dutch iris bulb is about 4 inches in diameter and the plant can reach a …

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