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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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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Spring gardening, california, northern california garden, tulips, napa, wine country, landscape design, spring, flower garden, beautiful garden

Spring Gardening

dahlia, spring gardening, cutting gardens, flower gardens, montecito, organic gardening, edible gardens, landscape design, garden design, santa barbara, flowers

Fuchsia Dahlia perfect addition to a cutting garden

I love Spring Gardening. I love spring. The birds, green hills and the smell of pittosporum throughout Montecito. And, of course spring gardening. I’m not one of those gardeners who likes everything matching, neat and clean. My garden is like an old shirt, lived in and comfortable. What is your favorite part of spring gardening? I always plant a veggie garden and a cutting garden and can’t wait for the first harvest, the bouquets of flowers and the fun. Join me.

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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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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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