Landscaping

Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena has a citrusy fragrance and a pretty light green foliage. The leaves can be used in a variety of cooking: including limoncello. I grow it in a foot-square patch under a fruit tree It’s an herb with a strong lemon flavor.. Lemon verbena’s flavor is also rounded out by the lack of acidity that comes with lemons, and …

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Salvia leucanthus – Mexican bush sage

Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) is a beautiful, hardy plant for Alta California. This downy, bushy, evergreen subshrub produces white or purple flowers clasped by soft purple calyces from late summer to frost. It grows 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide, and is great for the border. Salvias are some of the showiest plants for containers, annual borders, and …

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Gingko Biloba

Ginkgo is practically pest-free, resistant to storm damage, and casts light to moderate shade. Young trees are often very open but they fill in to form a denser canopy. It makes a durable street tree where there is enough overhead space to accommodate the large size. The City of Sunnyvale has planted them in the median along Sunnyvale-Saratoga Road. The …

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Plumbago

Plumbago can be grown as a bush or a climber-vine. You don’t need much room – I was able to plant it in a 3-inch trench next to a wall. Every winter I cut it back to two feet high. Every year it needs several prunings to keep it from overtopping the 8-foot walls in my Sunnyvale garden. The generic name, …

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Gaura – Pink Butterfly Bush

Gaura is a pretty summer-blooming plant for your Sunnyvale garden. As the flowers bob in the wind, they remind you of butterflies. Gaura is commonly grown as an ornamental plant. It is used in either garden beds or pots for accent colour and a delicate texture. It grows best in full sun and can survive lengthy periods of drought.There are many …

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Texas Sage

texas sage

Our Sunnyvale garden has many drought-tolerant plants such as succulents, lavenders, and salvias. Texas Sage ‘Green Cloud’ is a recent purchase from Yamagami Nursery in West San Jose. Texas Sage (Leucophyllum fruitescens) has many common names, including Texas ranger, Texas rain sage, barometer bush, cenizo, silverleaf, and ash-leaf. The plant is not a sage (Salvia ssp.) but it is native …

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Ornamental Kale

Ornamental kale plants can make a wonderful red, pink, purple, or white show in the cool season garden, with very minimal care. Because the winter of 2018/2019 in Sunnyvale was unusually cool and wet, the ornamental kale we planted in November did great. Only now, in early March, is it flowering. Ornamental kale plants (Brassica oleracea) and their cousin, the …

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Red Fountain Grass

Red Fountain Grass dazzles with 10-inch bottlebrush plumes emerging burgundy-red in mid-to-late summer. Plumes shift a golden hue in fall and remain in place throughout winter. Flowing, ribbon-like grass blades adds texture and motion. ‘Red Head’ stands apart as one of the earliest-flowering fountain grasses. An excellent cut flower, fresh or dried. Plant in full sun and water sparingly to …

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Autumn in Sunnyvale

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.

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Flowering Plum

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 …

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