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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:40 PM

Need some help with flowers suited to southern California.

My daughter and I are going to San Diego with my great granddaughter in a couple of weeks to visit with my granddaughter, who is stationed there in the Navy. She has recently moved to a little house with flower beds and flower boxes and she wants us to help her fix them up with something that will be low maintenance. Does anyone have any suggestions? All of my gardening has been done in zone 7.

This will be quite a visit. There will be 4 generations of us to celebrate Mother's Day this year.

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Reply Need some help with flowers suited to southern California. (Original post)
Arkansas Granny Apr 2012 OP
Tsiyu Apr 2012 #1
Arkansas Granny Apr 2012 #2
Tsiyu Apr 2012 #3
Curmudgeoness Apr 2012 #4
Arkansas Granny Apr 2012 #5
TygrBright May 2012 #6
shanti May 2012 #7
XemaSab May 2012 #8
Arkansas Granny May 2012 #9
XemaSab May 2012 #10
grasswire May 2012 #11
Arkansas Granny May 2012 #12
bayareaboy May 2012 #13
Arkansas Granny May 2012 #14
XemaSab May 2012 #15
Arkansas Granny May 2012 #16
beac May 2012 #17
yardwork Jun 2012 #21
kurtzapril4 Jun 2012 #18
Arkansas Granny Jun 2012 #19
ManyShadesOf Jun 2012 #20

Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:45 PM

1. I did that recently for my mom



and a bunch of deer ate everything, lol.

So I went back with geraniums and marigolds; one of my sons will help plant them.

Sweet of you to help her, and what a fine Mother's Day you will have

I would think most anything would grow there, since the climate is mild. There are a lot of new plants on the market, like African daisies (osteospermum is great) that are low maintenance. But California has a lot of restricted plants because they can become invasive.

Part of your visit might include a trip to a local nursery, which will sell plants that should thrive there.

Here are some nurseries in San Diego to get you started.

have fun!

http://www.cityfarmersnursery.com/

http://www.digitalseed.com/sandiego/gardener/suppliers_general_list.html



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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 08:37 AM

2. I found out last night that there is a garden center within walking distance from her house.

I'm sure they can give us some good advice and ideas on what would work well for her. It should be a lot of fun playing around with new plants.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 12:25 PM

3. Wonderful



Let us know what you choose for her flowerbeds.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 06:52 PM

4. If it were me,

I would take a look at the neighborhood, the general area around her house, and see what appears to be doing well. And I find that the people who have nice gardens always enjoy talking to people about their plants. You will probably see the kinds of plants that she would like in her own yard.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:05 PM

5. Good idea. We could probably get some info on how much maintenance and watering they need, also.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 12:21 AM

6. Just about anything that does well in a Mediterranean climate

A local garden center can probably advise.

helpfully,
Bright

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 07:42 PM

7. asking the neighbors is a great idea

as there are lots of little microclimates in california, north and south. have fun!

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Wed May 2, 2012, 01:45 AM

8. Go with something that doesn't take a lot of water

It's really arid there compared with most areas of the country.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #8)

Wed May 2, 2012, 08:32 AM

9. That's what I'm thinking. It really needs to be low maintenance.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #9)

Wed May 2, 2012, 12:28 PM

10. How much of a space is there?

And what are the height limits?

Like are you looking for trees or something that's only about a foot high?

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2012, 06:49 PM

11. hibiscus is particularly gorgeous in San Diego

...and if you want ONE PLANT that will be fragrant and flourish, it's a gardenia. There is nothing more stunning than the gardenias in SoCal gardens. Put it near a path or a window so the fragrance is on the air.

SoCal is a great place to garden. I recall that mums, lavender, zinnias, marigolds, daisies, and just about everything else went crazy soon after planting. I grew plants from seeds and from starts too.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #11)

Sun May 6, 2012, 10:01 PM

12. That would be gorgeous. We won't know until we get there just how much room

we have to work with. It should be fun starting from scratch.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2012, 11:01 AM

13. In California, this is what a lot of folks do ...


Get a copy of the Sunset Western Garden Book, go used and you can have them for 5 to 10$. also they have smaller books on all sorts of specialized gardening. But the Garden Book will have all kinds of aspects of California gardening.

look around the neighborhood for plants you like.

Make a few trips to local nurseries, please no Wall-Marts as they really don't care if the plant will do well where you put it.

You will like the San Diego Area. You often have to do some work with the soil, but most things grow there well.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 05:51 PM

14. Update. Just got back yesterday from the trip and had a wonderful time.

The area that we fixed up for my granddaughter consisted of a small flagstone "courtyard", roughly 20 X 30 ft., surrounded by flower beds that had been neglected for some time. She had found several really nice ceramic pots and planters in various sizes hidden under the deck that she had cleaned up that we were able to use. She had already used some of those to plant some herbs in a sunny corner of the deck. She also had a couple of cherry tomato plants and a few strawberry plants growing in one of the flower beds.

After pulling all the weeds (a full days labor), we found several plants and shrubs that had been practically hidden. We also found a beautiful ceramic birdbath complete with pedestal that had been taken apart and almost buried in the dirt under the weeds. She has a large jasmine which perfumes the yard, several large geraniums, calla lilies, ferns, camellias and a few other bushes that I didn't recognize. Someone has obviously loved and cared for this yard in the past.

We made a couple of trips to the garden center and came back with a Meyer lemon tree to plant in a huge, cobalt blue ceramic pot she had found, a fuchsia to hang on the deck, some striking foliage plants that we put into white ceramic pots that we placed here and there in the flower beds. We also got an assortment of annuals to fill in any empty spaces and to put in window boxes and hanging planters. We also put some sweet peas on a trellis we found hidden behind some bushes. We bought some trays of Scotch moss that we planted in clumps between the flagstones which will really look great after it fills in the gaps.

We didn't do much to the front of the house. There are several large roses which bloomed gorgeously this spring, some hibiscus and some other plants that I didn't know, but it had been better maintained than the area around the deck. We did plant some foxglove, snapdragons and daisies to fill in some blank spots and give it an old fashioned garden look.

All in all, we got a lot of dirt under our fingernails and some achy backs and knees, but the transformation was almost unbelievable! She's thrilled with the way it looks and we are quite pleased with our efforts.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #14)

Sun May 20, 2012, 11:56 PM

15. Very cool!

No pictures, I take it?

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #15)

Mon May 21, 2012, 08:42 AM

16. My daughter took pictures and will email them to me when she gets them uploaded.

I'll try to post some later.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #16)

Tue May 22, 2012, 11:42 AM

17. Yes yes, pictures please!!

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 10, 2012, 03:04 PM

21. What a wonderful story! I love to hear about old gardens being brought back to life.

Looking forward to seeing the photos.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 11:30 PM

18. Native plants

are always your best bet...after all, they evolved in that environment!

This is a native plant nursery in San Diego:

http://www.laspilitas.com

The California Native Plant Society:

http://www.cnps.org/

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Response to kurtzapril4 (Reply #18)

Sat Jun 2, 2012, 12:28 PM

19. I'm back from my trip, but that's a great idea. I'm sending those links to my granddaughter

so she can get some ideas for filling in any blank spaces that we didn't get to. They should thrive with minimal care and do well for a first time gardener.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #19)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 07:19 PM

20. great suggestion

 

on native plants. link shows CNPS local chapters. They will be glad to help. http://www.cnps.org/cnps/chapters/list.php#sandiego

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