Welcome to our July edition. I think it is safe to say that summer has arrived, and it seems to be making up for lost time. At the time of this writing (June 20th) we are in the low 90′s, and the high 90′s are forecasted for the coming week. So before starting, let me make some suggestions with pertaining to watering our landscapes. Most of us understand lawns. We can see if we are not watering sufficiently, the lawn becomes a dull gray green and then turns brown without added water. So the best tip and the easiest is to make sure that the sprinklers are clearing the lawn by two inches. This will provide even water distribution. Many dull or/brown spot is for lack of adequate sprinkler clearance. Other reasons could be a nozzle malfunction (has debris, turned wrong or wrong size) or third, you simply have poor coverage in that area and need to add another sprinkler.
Now plants on the other hand are a different story. They are not as easy to tell when they are stressing, but they do give signs. Their interior leaves yellow, they lose color, the tips wilt, and/or poor to erratic growth, are some of these signs. Watering times for plants, assuming each plant has two emitters with proper gallon age, and that is a BIG ASSUMPTION because most yards do not, would be a half hour (1/2hr.) of watering five to six days a week, depending upon whether the yard is full sun or divided between sun and shade. If your drip system is not set up as described, or you have not done the suggestions for the lawn then that would be your first task and the best investment in caring for your landscape. If you need help, call. Now for the article.
Many years ago when I started Executive Care (in 1989) I was on a maintenance consultation in Granite Bay, and the client was talking to me about the steepness of his back yard and the challenge it was to achieve what he now enjoyed. He made a particular comment that grabbed my attention, he said (a direct quote) ” that a negative had been turned into a positive” and truly it was a yard that I enjoyed being in. From then till now, his words have stayed with me as I have viewed several hundred yards in my career. Those words remain right in the fore front of my mind.
So our landscape this month is no different, taking a negative and making it a positive. In fact this area of the yard has become our clients favorite place to “hang out”. It is a great place to have morning coffee, or evening dinners. It is unique in that it is a shade landscape with a slope – most slopes are full sun or somewhat filtered. By no means a large area, it necessitated careful selection of the plants and the right sizing of the design features. We did not want to overwhelm the area or make it too busy, and we wanted it balanced for years to come. As Mr.Meaugee told karate kid- “balance Daniel, balance”. Those are good words for this yard, and a principle design challenge when working with smaller spaces.
The theme is for this yard is Northern Cal shade, with some Asian accents – a nice combination considering the shade and the surrounding mature landscape. Prior to landscaping this area it was the trampoline/gang up on Dad area. However with the kids now young adults, the area has not been used for some time. It also is right next to a major walking/viewing area, and had become an eye sore for our clients. We completed the landscape in February, so the landscape still has a lot of maturing to do. Next month you will see a current picture of the landscape and can compare the growth. I am very pleased with the results, and more importantly the clients are, so it has become truly a negative turned into a positive. Next month we will get into the design challenges that I noted. Until next month – Good Gardening.