Marigolds aka tagetes or calendula come in annual or perennial varieties. The only way to know the difference is to use the latin name

What Everyone Needs to Know About Marigolds

Marigolds

The common name Marigold refers to a variety of different plants; Tagetes and Calendua are both called Marigolds. But it gets confusing. The North American native marigold (Tagetes) is known as African Marigold, French Marigold and Aztec Marigold. The European native (Calendula) goes by the name of Pot Marigold, Common Marigold, English Marigold and Scottish Marigold. There is a perennial known as “Mexican Marigold”(Tagetes lemmonii) that is currently popular in California low-water gardens. Yikes! My head is spinning! Want to sort it all out? Read on my friends, read on.

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Lotus in bloom at Ganna Walska's Lotusland in Montecito CA perfect garden getaway Santa Barbara style

Garden Getaway Santa Barbara Style

We live in one of the most beautiful regions on earth, Santa Barbara. If you love garden design and architecture, Santa Barbara and Montecito are the ultimate playground. Come with us as we visit some of our special spots; places we go for inspiration or just to breathe. It’s a Garden Getaway Santa Barbara Style.

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Meandering pathways made for easy access to all areas including across the creek, where we made various sitting areas and created a “walk through the woods”. We left the meadow to nature, changing as it does with the seasons, from lush green of winter and spring to the golden of summer.

Garden Transformations-The Earth is Our Canvas

We specialize in garden transformations.  My husband, Chris Cullen, is a pretty creative guy and I suppose I am too. We use the earth as our canvas to create living works of art. I thought it would be fun to add Chris’ voice to the blog and give his view on what we actually do as designers and landscapers. We transform “yards” into gardens and if you want to know how we do this, read on.

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American Flag palomino horses in Independence Day parade Santa Barbara

George Washington, Independence & Gardening

Happy Independence Day!

I like to begin this day listening to the Annual Reading of the Declaration of Independence on NPR’s Morning Edition. Getting back to the basics of how and why our country came to be is inspiring and refreshing (especially if you spend any time listening to the current news).

The founders of our country were an incredible group of men who literally risked their lives to form the only country on Earth founded on freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom for all races and religions and freedom from oppression.

While Thomas Jefferson is a well known gardener and extraordinary statesman, George Washington was all that and an extraordinary man as well. Did you know that George Washington was the only Founding Father to free his slaves.? He was also credited with introducing the mule to America. However, one of George Washington’s most important contributions was how he treated prisoners during the Revolutionary War.

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permaculture, faux creekbed, drought, montecito, garden design ideas, drought tolerant landscaping, water rationing, staying within water allocation, montecito landscape, montecito, santa barbara, el nino

How To Stay Within Your Water Allocation

The big question on everyone’s mind seems to be how to stay within your water allocation. Here in Montecito, there is mandatory water rationing and it can be expensive if you go over your allocation. The reality is sinking in that El Nino 2016 may not give us the drought relief we had hoped for. Despite the fact that Northern California has seen significant rainfall, we are a long way from recovery. And now with this heat wave, there is no rain in sight. Here’s the step by step on how to stay within your water allocation.

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Sunset Western Garden Book, First Edition, Gardening Essentials, montecito landscape, montecito, organic gardening, landscape design ideas, garden reference, santa barbara

Essential Gardening Books

Which are your essential gardening books? We all need good garden reference books, no matter our experience as gardeners and if you are like me you have lots of them; for reference, landscape design ideas or when searching for solutions to specific problems. However, if you are moving to a remote location, desert island or planning a lunar colony, or if you just want to become a better gardener, there are two essential gardening books everyone should have. I couldn’t live without these two. Let me know if you agree. 

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Chris Cullen, montecito landscape, landscape designers, montecito, santa barbara, landscape contractors, montecito landscape, california live oak, mexican sage, salvia, drought tolerant gardens, drought tolerant designs, landscape design ideas

Memoir of a Montecito Gardener

In celebration of my 46th year in business I decided to dedicate a series of columns to my clients, you could say this is a memoir of Montecito from years past. Focusing on a particular period of time and particular patrons I hope that you, the reader, will gain insight into the Montecito of my youth and some of the “characters” inhabiting my recollections. I may have learned the basics of landscaping in college, but my clients, especially the early ones, helped me find my way. Though many of them are no longer with us, they all remain fondly ensconced in my memory and their teachings are still being employed in my gardens today.

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