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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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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Rose pruning, Dan Bifano, Montecito, Santa Barbara

Rose Pruning Tips From Oprah’s Garden

Oprah’s Rose Garden is legendary. When she moved to Montecito a few years back, she elicited the help of Dan Bifano, one of the worlds most sought after master rosarians. To give a clue as to the volume of his talent and skill, he not only designed and installed the rose garden for Oprah Winfrey but for Barbara Streisand as well. Dan was also involved in the creation and selection of the namesake roses for Oprah (The Legends rose) and Ms. Streisand (Barbara Streisand Rose). Not long ago, I spent some time chatting with Dan about rose-pruning, here are his top 4 pruning tips.

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Santa Barbara, San Ysidro Creek, first rain, drought, montecito, drought tolerant landscaping, landscape design ideas, garden tips for southern california

Rain At Last! Has El Nino Finally Arrived?

Rain, at last! Finally, for the first time in years, we are having a real rain storm and it’s time for a celebration. As of noon Tuesday, we have received an inch and a half of rain since it started last night. Does this mean that El Nino is here? Keep your fingers crossed that this is only the beginning…Find out how to prepare your garden for El Nino.

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montecito landscape, california live oak, oak woodland, montecito, santa barbara, oprah winfrey, el bosque rd, san ysidro road

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from everyone at Montecito Landscape. It’s been quite a year and I can’t believe 2015 is already at an end. The holidays are a good time for both you and your garden to get a bit of a rest. Okay, maybe you won’t be getting much of a rest, with all the shopping, cooking and partying, but your garden should.

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