Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Home Landscaping, California Region by Roger Holms and Lance Walheim (Creative Homeowner Publications ISBN 1-58011-046-0)
This is a handy book to have on hand if you plan to do any re-landscaping projects. I personally love to see drawings of landscape designs. They inspire me to make a few changes, even if it's only to a small corner in the back yard that is visible from the house. This book may even give you the confidence to tackle a really big project like the front entrance. It contains designs for various common garden areas and uses plants that are compatible with our climate. There is a plant encyclopedia in the back of the book with photos so you can decide if a particular plant is right for you. There are building tips for larger projects such as trellises. Besides all this useful information, coauthor Lance Walheim is not only the spokesperson for Bayer Advanced and brother of an astronaut, he is also a very good friend of mine!
Favorite or New Plant
I first came across gaura in Sebastopol where it was planted as a border along an apple orchard. It was magnificent! Once smitten, I decided to plant it where ever I could. Gaura lindheimeri is a perennial plant native to Texas (don't hold that against it...) and Louisiana. It grows to about 36 inches in height and has a lose growth habit that gives the impression of clouds of whirling butterflies. The flowers come in white, pink and dark pink. It is a long lived plant that does not require division. The bloom lasts from early spring to late fall. Once the bloom is complete, trim the plants the same way you would trim lavender. Gaura is a fantastic landscape plant that puts up with a variety of soils and very little water. Full sun is recommended, but not necessarily required.