Author: edmin

I’m So Happy With You – Sunflowers

Companion Planting Sunflowers With Corn And Cucumbers

One in an occasional series on Companion Planting.

Did you know that plants can have friends in the garden?

Planting certain plants together can benefit the growth and development of the plants, deter pests, and even improve the flavor of the edible parts of the plants.

Companion Planting With Easy To Grow Sunflowers

Today’s planting companion is the happy sunflower (Helianthus). There are actually 70 different species of sunflowers, and all except 3 grow in North America. From the fuzzy ‘teddy bear’ sunflower to the ‘Russian mammoth’, there is a sunflower to suit every garden.

Sunflowers are easy to grow too. Plant seeds 10-30″ apart depending on the variety in rich soil to a depth of 3/4″. Planting should take place in the spring after the last frost. Plant in full sun and water well. Soil should be kept moist.

Plant With Cucumbers & Corn For Increased Yield & Insect Control

Sunflowers get along great with cucumbers and corn. Corn and cucumber yield can be increased with sunflowers as companions. Sunflowers repel cucumber beetles and aphids, and they attract beneficial insects like bees and praying mantises.

Have you planted sunflowers?

Let me know

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Easy Steps to Grow Your Vegetable Garden – FREE Webinar

 

Hi Garden Friends!

Have you always wanted to grow a vegetable garden, but don’t know where to start? How cool would it be to step outside and gather home grown produce to use in youe next home cooked meal!-

I am super excited to announce that I am holding a FREE webinar to help you get started on your vegetable garden this year. I hope you can join me live on Thursday, March 24th at 11:00am Pac. You’ll learn easy actionable steps on what you need how to get your edible garden in the ground.

 

Join me live, and you’ll also be eligible for some great garden bonuses (cause I like to give fun stuff to my friends)!

 

It’s easy to enroll. Just click the link here: http://app.webinarjam.net/register/25280/b79195e60b

 

I look forward to seeing you next week (oh, and feel free to share the link with your friends)!

 

Xo,

Angela

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Four Tips for Choosing the Best Gardening Tool (and a Free Bonus!)

Choose the best tool for the jobChoosing The Best Tool For The Job

I’ve collected a lot of garden tools over the years. Some I have purchased. Some my dad left to me when he passed away. Some have even been given to me as gifts. I do find myself using the same tools over and over again. There are a lot of choices available, and if you are a beginning gardener, the choices can seem overwhelming. Exactly how many types of pruners do I need?

I am going to give you 4 tips on how to choose the best and most useful tools, save you some money, plus give you a free bonus, so you know exactly what to get to make gardening easy and fun.

The Right Tool for the Job: Standing in front of the garden tools display at a nursery or big box store can be confusing and overwhelming. There are numerous varieties of shovels, rakes, and hoes. Before you buy any tools, take stock of what tools you might

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What Happened to Winter? February in the Garden

I love to wander around my yard and see the small things: the arrival of bees (or aphids), the changing of leaves, the first spring flowers. I’m not sure what happened to the El Nino and all the rain and cold weather we were supposed to get this winter in Los Angeles. A ridge of high pressure has kept the needed rain mostly to the north. It’s beautiful here, but too warm already. I was in Connecticut last week with my Client Attraction Business School peeps, and it was 24 degrees. I came home, and it’s been in the low 80s.

So I have been wandering around…Some observations: The Hardenbergia is blooming and full of bees (yay!). I have too much rosemary in my yard although I do love the blue flowers against the dark green leaves. My mini daffodils bloomed while I was away and are now past their peak, but the double Narcissus are in full bloom and the mix of their fragrance combined with my neighbor’s overloaded tangerine tree is intoxicating (someone needs to make a perfume). Plants and trees are feeling for spring: daisies, hellebores, the peach tree in my back yard are all

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Colorful Shade – Ways to Bring Color to a Shade Garden

Green is a color. In fact, when you look at just about any garden, I bet you can pick out several shades of green. As I am sure you know, gardens can practically explode with colors other than green, but for some reason there is the misconception that a shade or part shade garden means green and only green. I love designing and planting shade gardens. There is a quiet energy about them, and finding ways to add color to them through plants and other garden elements makes them all the more attractive.

Here are some easy ways to bring color to a shade garden:

Plants

Plants can bring color to a shade or part shade garden through their leaves, flowers, or bark. Japanese maple trees (Acer  palmatumvarieties) do really well in filtered light. Many varieties have red, orange, and even variegated leaves. For example, the Sango-Kaku or coral bark Japanese maple puts on a show with leaves that transition from yellow to orange to red AND has bark that is a vibrant red, which looks great especially in the winter.

Other favorite plants with colorful leaves that I regularly use in shady spaces include Heuchera and Solenostemon. Heuchera is

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Help Me! Help My Garden! #3 Bugs and Berries

Today we tackle aphids, and planting strawberries and blueberries.

Bugs on my roses!  Q: My roses are starting to bud, and I can’t wait to see them bloom, but now the buds are covered with tiny bugs. What are they, and how to I get rid of them?

A: I am afraid your roses have aphids on them. The tender buds are these insects’ favorite treats, and if left untreated, they will suck the life out of the buds. These soft bodied insects are usually pale green or brown and will suck the sap from almost any plant. There are several non-chemical/less toxic methods to controlling them.

A good blast with a hose will easily knock them off the plants. Do this in the early morning so the leaves will have time to dry. You will need to repeat this often. Lady bugs LOVE to eat aphids. Most nursery centers sell little containers of lady bugs. Sprinkle them on the affected plants at dusk (so they don’t fly away), and let them enjoy the buffet. Be warned though, the containers hold hundreds of lady bugs, so if you have a small yard, share some with a neighbor. Insecticidal soap spray.

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Help Me, Help My Garden! Oh, Deer!

How cute are these guys? Not so cute if they are in your garden munching away on your Hydrangea…

Deer Proof Plants Q: I love seeing deer in my neighborhood, but they are a menace to my garden! Are there plants that deer won’t eat?

A: Yes, they’re cute, but deer are not particularly picky when it comes to what they like to eat. They can also jump over fences. While you won’t be able to deer proof your garden completely, there are plants that deer tend to pass over on the buffet. Here are some plants that I like, and you can also ask a local nursery professional if these plants aren’t available in your area.

Shrubs: Cape Mallow (Anisodontea), Bamboo, Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia), Bottlebrush (Callistemon), Lavender, Oleander (Nerium Oleander), Rosemary, Jade Plant

Vines: Bougainvillea, Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium Sempervirens), Jasmine, Potato vine (Solanum laxum)

Perennials/ Annuals: Yarrow (Achillea), Agave, Columbine (Aquilegia), Aster, Artemesia, Dahlias, Freesia, Hellebore, Peony, Gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta), Calla lily, Narcissus, Impatiens, Basil, Thyme

Deer can jump up to eight feet high, so erecting fencing that is at least that high around vegetable gardens, fruit gardens,  and rose gardens will also help deter these lovelies.

 

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Help Me, Help My Garden!

I have always been a huge admirer and fan of advice columnists like Dear Abby, Ask Amy, Dear Prudie. When I was still in Human Resources, I was thrilled when my boss asked my to write workplace advice column called ‘Dear Gabby’. I admit, I’m a helper, and I love giving advice when it is solicited. I know you have garden questions because I get dozens of them emailed to me every month, so I am starting a garden ‘advice’ column as part of the Eden Condensed blog. I hope you’ll learn something, get some advice, and feel more confident about your gardening skills by following along. And send me questions!! You can comment here with questions or fill out my message form.

Here are today’s garden issues:

Wilting Hydrangea  Q. I just planted a big leaf hydrangea in a shady area of my garden and it’s not doing well. It’s wilting and the leaves are starting to fall off. What did I do wrong?

A. The prefix ‘hydra’ means water, and hydrangeas need a lot of water. They have fleshy roots, and if they don’t get consistently moist soil, they will wilt very quickly, especially when they

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My Garden Goals

Happy New Year, garden friends! I don’t really do New Year’s Eve as I can barely stay awake past 10:00PM, but I do love champagne. I also hate new year’s resolutions. What I love about this time of the year is the sense of new beginnings, new and actionable goals, and the knowledge that what we plant and nurture now will sprout and grow and provide us with the sustenance we need throughout the year.

As I write this, it is 55 degrees and blustery in Los Angeles, so it feels like winter. Yes, I know it’s 20 below where you live and snowing. I used to live in Syracuse, NY, so I remember what real winter is. I am thinking about my garden. It suffered a bit of neglect in 2014, but we did put in a dedicated chicken yard, and we removed the 2 dead trees from the front yard, and the roses did really well in spite of the drought. I am also writing down my garden goals for 2015:

1. Plant more perennials along my front fence. I really don’t have time to keep planting annuals every couple of months, and now that the two trees

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Garden Lifestyle – Color

I had the great opportunity to work with the very talented designer Caitlin McCarthy of Caitlin & Caitlin on a patio garden in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Silver Lake is a very hilly neighborhood, so many of the homes are terraced into the hillsides. If you spend any time outdoors, your daily exercise is built in simply by hiking up and down stairs. This job entailed designing and installing container gardens on upper and lower patios as well as planting a privacy hedge and refreshing the plants in the front yard. Working on this project got me thinking about how important color is when creating a garden lifestyle for my clients. In addition to the plants chosen, outdoor furniture, area rugs, planters, and accessories all provide opportunity to add color into an outdoor living space.

The house and patios are painted a lovely shade of dark grey. Grey is one of my favorite neutrals with which to work. On the upper dining patio, Caitlin had placed a strong, concrete colored table over a sky blue area rug. The chairs are  forest green with white cushions. For the planters, I chose contemporary white self watering planters

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Check out my new book!

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Testimonials

"Angela took our weed infested mess of a front yard and turned it into a beautiful xeriscaped, Palm Springs style desert landscape. We couldn't be more delighted with the gorgeous results. She listened to our ideas for the space, was responsive to our questions, and made the experience hassle-free. She and her two man team worked wonders. Thank you! Highly recommended."
Vivien and Matt
North Hills
My wife and I hired Angela to bring our little patio to life. From the moment Angela came over, we knew we were going to hire her. She was easy to speak with, knew her stuff, and when she put a bid together, it was affordable and beautiful.
Adam and Jennifer
Burbank
Angela is such a gem! We have utilized her several times and have always had our expectations exceeded every time.
Sharon
Los Angeles
Angela is amazing. Her extensive knowledge and eye for design as well as her flexibility in combining her expertise and our vision, gave us an end result we couldn’t be happier with.
Laura
Sherman Oaks
(Angela) listened to every minute detail of my vision for our front yard cottage garden, and like magic, (she) created a dream come true in our front yard.
Mary and Will
Culver City