blog

Our favorite plants, our latest projects, updates and more! 

Summer in the meadow garden...

Here is a quick peek at one of our stunning meadow gardens in Topanga Canyon that is thriving. A mix of Agastache Scintillation, Leonotis leonura, Muhlenbergia rigens, and much more. 

Best Professional Landscape 2017 Winner : Private Dry Garden in LA

We are happy to announce that we have won first place in the Gardenista 2017 Design Awards in the Professional Landscape Category! We love this project and are very proud to have it recognized by Gardenista. We were among five other projects and voting took place over a few weeks time. The voters chose us and we could not be more thankful!

This Contemporary City Retreat is located in Hollywood. We used all drought tolerant materials and combined a textured sea of black San Quintin river stones, graphic concrete, Corten steel,  and wide array of colorful succulents and mature olive trees into an inspired retreat in the heart of the city. We worked in collaboration with JACOBSCHANG Architecture with photography by Michael Wells. A short Q&A about the project can be found at https://www.gardenista.com/posts/best-professional-landscape-2017-campion-walker-and-jacobschangs-private-dry-garden-in-la/

You can also see more photos in the projects section of our site.

HedgeHouse-GardenistaWinner2017blog.jpg

Water Wise Manzanitas

We love Manzanitas!! They are not only extremely beautiful but they are highly drought-tolerant. With picturesque bark and attractive flowers and berries they make themselves an ideal addition to any southern California garden.

Manzanitas come in many sizes and growth patterns which make them useful as ornamental plants in gardens.  One of our favorites is emerald carpet, a low-growing shrub 10 to 16 inches tall that spreads to 3-6 feet wide. It is very compact and dense with small glossy deep green leaves (it’s leaf color is brilliant all year) that nearly hide the attractive cinnamon red stems with exfoliating bark. Small white flowers appear in mid-winter through spring and are followed by red fruit - flowering is somewhat sparse on this cultivar but its attractive form and foliage makes up for this. It is a great ground cover between a lawn and more drought tolerant plants or as a non-walkable lawn substitute. Beauty and brains... what more could you ask for!

No to Pesticides and Yes to beneficial bugs!

We believe in keeping things natural, which means finding alternative methods to replace the use of toxic pesticides. One of the best alternatives is using insects to control other insects, just as Mother Nature intended. The Praying Mantis is a beneficial bug, its boundless appetite for insects has made it an extremely valuable component of any pest control regimen in an organic garden.

The praying mantis hunts around the clock, moving through vegetation in search of a wide range of insects that includes flies, crickets, caterpillars, grasshoppers and moths. It traps these easily with its long barbed legs that move too quickly to be seen with the naked eye.

Praying Mantises usually measure from 2 to 4 inches long and can be bright green, brown or yellowish. Its triangular head, equipped with two large eyes and three smaller ones, is joined to the rest of its body by a long neck that rotates 180 degrees, enabling it to scan its environment on all sides. It can camouflage itself by blending into the color of the surrounding foliage. It lays its eggs, hundreds at a time, in a hard gray case attached to bark, wood or another plant. It often waits near flowers to capture other types of insects that feed on pollen and nectar, or it stalks its pray by moving slowly toward it.

They generally live year-round in the warmer parts of the country, and are most often seen in temperate locations during the warmest summer months. They live in areas of dense vegetation, such as fields and gardens, where they can feed and breed while hiding from larger predators such as birds and bats. The young emerge in the spring, spend the summer maturing and die when temperatures drop. Praying mantises generally don't stay in one place very long and will migrate to wherever the food is most plentiful.

If you lucky you might find a praying mantis egg case in your garden or the surrounding area, and if you are not you can purchase one from a beneficial-insect dealer. 

Beneficial bugs are very important in maintaining the balance you your garden… the Mantis is truly a great addition.

A beautiful Mantis Nymph in one of our gardens.

A beautiful Mantis Nymph in one of our gardens.