Updated: Feb 22
As Californians, we are lucky to live in such a nice, warm climate. But sometimes, the winter days hit us harder than usual, and we need a little something to spice up our life – or yard!
With California’s Mediterranean climate we are lucky to be able to still have beautiful flowers all year round. Here are a few that can add more liveliness and color around your home.
Yellow and elegant, winter jasmine is known in Chinese as “The flower that welcomes Spring”. A lively addition to your yard, winter jasmine can thrive in cold and hot temperatures making it the perfect perennial. Winter jasmine does best with regular watering, especially during those hot SoCal summers and a bit of trimming from time to time.
Seen all over Southern California, these flowers come in a multitude of colors and their beautiful form will surely add personality to your yard or garden. Hydrangeas are a lovely flower because of their easy care. This flower has two main requirements: morning sun and afternoon shade and a well-draining soil.
Pansies are a delicate, low-maintenance flower that can add so much calm to the surroundings of your domicile. These dainty flowers enjoy the same amount of sunshine as the hydrangea and do well in Southern California winters because of the sunshine.
Pansies should be planted about a foot apart from each other. They are relatively low maintenance and can provide more character to your home.
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There are a few reason why the time of year matters when trimming trees. In most cases, the winter months from November to March is the best time for trees because that is when the tree enters dormancy. This is the tree's resting period. Trimming trees too early can disrupt the tree from entering the dormancy period by promoting new growth.
Deciduous trees lose their leaves and waiting until all their leaves fall is a good indicator it's entering it's dormant period. Trees need every bit of nutrients from their leaves before dropping them. Trimming before new growth begins is helpful in making trees grow abundantly well in spring.
Pruning in late winter is beneficial in colder climates because it helps trees' wounds be exposed to the elements for a minimum amount of time before new growth begins. It also is easier to see the branches and make cuts without leaves, as well as branches being lighter when they fall on other landscape.
Another reason is that there is less likely an insect or fungus infestation during the winter months. Avoid trimming after new growth begins because this is also when birds are nesting and producing young.
Depending on when fruit and flowering trees produce, they should be trimmed after their production ends, which helps promote more production in the future. Flower trees benefit from deadheading old blossoms. A fruit tree with a good canopy that lets light filter through will produce better than a tree with dense branches.
Always trim a tree any time of the year if there is a danger of a branch falling. Also, a good rule of thumb is to not cut more than 30% of a tree at one time. Cut branches that rub together or that grow against the main trunk. New trees should not be pruned for the first year.
There are exceptions to the winter trimming rule. Here in Southern California, some subtropical trees can be trimmed all year around!
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Updated: May 3, 2022
There simply isn't enough water to meet the demands of our state, leading to a water shortage emergency declared by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Tuesday, April 26th, 2022. In response, it is implementing a program that will restrict outdoor watering to one day a week in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.
The latest data collected has shown that Californians have actually been using more water instead of less, over the last two years, despite worsening drought conditions. In addition, according to Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, January, February and March which are usually our wettest months, were the driest on record.
Affecting about 6 million people in Southern California, the latest measures will begin June 1st, 2022. The hope is that this will reduce water usage by 20-30%. If this is not effective enough, outdoor watering might be eliminated completely by September 1st, according to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Here are some informative ways to help conserve water in your garden:
Here are some articles that can help make a difference in your water usage:
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