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As the human population increases, the natural habitat for many creatures decreases. There are many simple and inexpensive ways to add beauty and interest to your yard, while providing a safe place for small animals and beneficial insects to live and raise their young. Much information on creating wildlife habitats is available on-line, in books and articles, and on television.

A Habitat is an environment that provides food, water, shelter and a place to raise young. Some of the reasons to create a wildlife habitat include supporting local wildlife year round, especially during winter months; broadening your knowledge of gardening as well as wildlife, so you can share this knowledge with others; an opportunity to view wildlife such as hummingbirds, song birds, butterflies, dragonflies and many other beautiful and interesting creatures from the privacy and comfort of your own yard; and increasing the value of your property, as well as adding beauty and interest to your yard.

You don’t need a lot of room to create a wildlife habitat, and you don’t need to do it all at once.
Often, it’s fun to add habitat environments a little bit at a time, and watch the environment evolve. Before you begin, it’s useful to decide what type of wildlife you wish to attract. Research the subject to learn what type of environment is needed for the wildlife you select. Assess your landscape, decide what you have, what you want to change, and what you need to add.

Adult butterflies need nectar producing plants. The flowers of these plants are usually flat-topped, brightly colored, with short flower tubes. Some excellent choices are yarrow, phlox, verbena, lantana, viola, coreopsis, purple coneflower, asters, buddleija (butterfly bush), milkweed, and black-eyed Susan. Plants in sunny locations generally produce more nectar than those receiving less than six-hours of sun. Butterfly larvae need host plants such as milkweed, buddleija, mallow, nettle, dill, parsley, fennel, blackberries, cabbage, blueberries, willow, privet & viburnum.

The water needs of a butterfly are fairly simple. All that is needed is a damp spot so the butterflies can land and drink from puddle water. A saucer filled with sand and water is perfect. Or try a birdbath with small gravel or decorative rock covering the bottom, filled until the water level is just below the tops of the rocks. Butterflies also need a place to bask in the sun. A smooth, dark river rock placed in the center of your water feeder works well. A small space for shelter is all butterflies need - an old log, peeling bark, an old fence pots, etc.

Hummingbirds are nectar feeders, but they also consume insects and spiders for protein.
Hummingbirds receive most of their nectar requirement from flowers. Some great flowers to attract hummingbirds are agastache, columbine, abutilon, buddleija, heuchera, salvia liatris (gay feather), monarda (bee balm), honeysuckle, trumpet creeper, red hot poker, lantana, bottlebrush and citrus, just to name a few.

If you would like to add a nectar feeder, here are a few guidelines for the health and safety of the hummingbirds:

A one-part sugar/four-parts water mixture seems to be the best. There is no need for red food coloring.
Place feeders throughout your yard, not too close to the fence, in order to protect the tiny birds from predators.
Clean feeders regularly, especially on warmer days, using warm water. If mold is present, clean with denture cleaning tablets. Soak overnight and rinse with water.
Hummingbirds burn a lot of calories, so feeders with a perch gives them a place t rest
while feeding.
Hummingbirds get most of their food from nectar, however they do enjoy an occasional shower from a mister or fountain. They also like a birdbath with pebbles and water for drinking and bathing.

Hummingbirds need a place to perch, close to their food source. Small trees and shrubs are usually sufficient. A nesting female will need cover around her perch and nest while she is away feeding. Hummingbirds use a variety of nesting materials, including leaves, lichens, spider webs, and other plant materials. They usually build their nests on horizontal branches, protected by over-hanging limbs.

Most birds are seed and insect-eaters. Placing feeders around your yard provides safe places for different species of birds, prevents over-crowding, and keeps cats and other predators guessing.

Bird baths are the easiest way to provide water. These, too, can be placed in a few different locations about your property. Change the water daily to prevent molds and mosquitoes. Avoid adding chemicals to the water. Many birds benefit from birdhouses and nesting boxes. Depending on the types of birds you have in your area, you can easily provide what they need to raise their young.

Kids enjoy making something called a “toad abode.” To make one, get a medium-size clay pot and saucer. Put the saucer on the ground and keep it filled with water. Nearby, put the pot upside-down with an edge resting on a rock. This makes room for a toad to fit through and hide inside. If you have a broken pot with a chunk missing at the rim, you have an abode with an instant doorway - no need to prop it up.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HABITATS, look up “Habitat” on your computer search engine or visit the following websites: www.nwf.org and www.hummingbirds.com.

We all have such a love for gardening - it’s healthy for the body and soul. Gardening chores help keep us physically fit. And, your heart can’t help but smile when that dormant tree pops out new blooms or those seedlings break through the ground.

There are so many things to consider when planning our gardens and landscaping. Light requirements, size and shape of any given plant, color, flowering times and so on. Another consideration that we may sometimes overlook unintentionally is what plants may be toxic to our children and pets.

Pets can sometimes be destructive. Sometimes, they’ll accidentally get into places and things they shouldn’t. When dogs are bored, they will chew on most anything. They’ll graze on grass when they have an upset tummy. Same goes for cats . . . it’s part of their natural make-up. Horses always think “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence”. We humans sometimes think that, too!

And children - well, they are naturally curious and often mischievous. Sometimes those pyracantha berries are irresistible. If a young child has experienced the joy of picking blackberries, how can they be expected to differentiate between good berries and poisonous ones?

People who love pets and gardening can have both, with a little common sense and careful use of child-safe and pet-safe plants and chemicals.

The first good sense rule is not to plant anything that’s toxic to people or animals.
Toxicity can relate to the size of the child or animal and the amount of material consumed. It’s best just to avoid that which may be harmful. On the flip side, there are many, many plants that are non-toxic that will enhance our gardens and keep our children and pets safe as well.

Another issue to consider is chemicals. Ingredients in herbicides, insecticides and soil amendments can be toxic. If a product contains toxic chemicals, package directions are required to say so. We recommend careful reading of all product labels. Some people think that going organic is safe, but that’s not always the case. For example, Cocoa Mulch, a great ground cover for your garden beds, is toxic to dogs and it’s something they find attractive.

And while adding bone meal to your soil can add beneficial nutrients to your growing areas, dogs do like bones. Generally they won’t eat enough to cause a problem unless they get into a bag of it. But problems with this product have occurred, so consider your situation carefully before deciding to use certain products in your garden. Coffee grounds, a good organic fertilizer, is not good for your pets. Most times, our pets won’t seek out these poisonous plants, but it is nice to know to be aware of them.

Many common plants, bulbs, or seeds can be dangerous if ingested or can cause external reactions. The Sunset Western Garden Book indicates if a plant is poisonous in any way.
Again, always read the information on product labels, and if you have concerns, call the company hot-lines listed on the labels.

If you suspect your child or pet may have ingested a poisonous plant, contact your pediatrician or veterinarian immediately. Or call Poison Control at the numbers below:

We will recommend you call 911 or Poison Control.
For Poison Control, call: (800) 876-4766.
For Animal Poison Control Center, call (888) 426-4435.

For more information, here are some suggested websites:

New Heights for Your Garden
Written by George Winter and Ellen Brammer
If your landscape is feeling flat and you are ready for a change, you might try giving your garden a vertical lift. The possibilities are endless - from a simple, inexpensive trellis to the all out drama of a vine covered pergola or a tree-lined alley. With some careful thought you can reflect your own sense of style to your vertical garden.
Tools for adding vertical dimension include statuary, pottery, arbors, and lattice trellises. Trees, vines, and perennials can compliment or even substitute the structural height. Wrought iron is very popular right now. There is a wide variety to choose, from the small and simple obelisk to full size gazebos.
There are many simple ways to “raise” some interest in your garden. Invert an empty pot and place another container on top, planted with low growing plants for filler, and some ground cover that trails down the sides. These plantings are very eye catching and can make a great focal point in front of a shrub that is no longer blooming. Or take the upward route with a vining Jasmine on a trellis. For some extra pizzazz, try growing white, and purple blooming clematis up the same trellis. If you already have a fence, bring the eye up with a rambling rose.
An arbor can make a shady resting point or it can add subtle direction to the location you wish to lead the eye. If the arbor is a focal point, then experiment with the upright verticals on both sides. Container gardens can be very effective in this situation because plants or entire pots can be changed with the seasons. Or, the arbor can take your eye beyond, leading you to a beautiful fountain, outdoor room, or any favored spot in your landscape.
Fountains are an exciting way to bring height to your garden and a lift to your spirits. The sound of water should come in actions such as sprays or spills. Either a quiet trickle or a dramatic splash has a way of making you feel far away from your daily responsibilities. Your local garden center should have fountains for any landscape. Wall fountains, fountainettes, or bird baths are effective in smaller gardens.
If you have an existing pond it is easy to add vertical lift with add on visual features. Raise your water garden to eye level with a bubbling pot or a piece of statuary. Bubble fountain kits are readily available at your local garden center and easy to install. Statuary broadens your choices from playful turtles, to a classic angel, or a big-bellied Buddha. If your garden space is more limited, a few water pots of different sizes and shape will also lift the eye.
No matter what you decide just remember, your garden is an expression of your artistic side and although it may be a little work, it should always be a lot of fun. Enjoy.
How to Start a New Lawn
1. Preparation is the key for starting a successful lawn. Don’t just scrape the ground, break up the compacted soil. If it is a large area use a tiller. Rototillers can be rented from your local rental center. Now is a great time to add gypsum, such as Soilbuster, which will help break up clay and improve soil drainage. Get roots off to a good start by spreading Master Nursery brand, Master Start Fertilizer, then till again, mix an amendment such as Pay Dirt at this time to ensure proper soil texture and nutrients.

2. There are many varieties of lawn seed. Decide which kind of lawn is best for your area conditions.

3. Here at Red Bluff Garden Center we have four types of bulk lawn seed. Annual Rye is a good for over seeding dormant (brown) warm-season grasses for for a green lawn all year. California Green is very hardy; it is the Old Shasta mix that the feed stores used to sell. Royal Turf has softer, finer, blades than California Green, but it won’t hold up to kids and dogs. Sun and Shade is sturdier and will take some shade.

4. Rake the soil to begin to level it out, removing any rocks and debris that you find. To avoid problems with excess water-runoff, make sure that any grading you do allows water to flow away from your house.

5. Finish leveling the soil by using a roller filled with water. Like tillers, rollers can be rented from a local rental center. Here at our nursery, we loan out seeding rollers and water filled rollers to our customers. Water the soil lightly after leveling.

6. Following the recommended seeding rate, spread 1/4 of the seed over the entire lawn area. Then repeat 3 more times, each time using 1/4 of the seed. However, each of the 4 times you distribute a load of seed, push the spreader in a different direction, to encourage even dispersal.

7. Rake lightly, so as to cover the seed with a thin layer of soil. Master Nursery brand Paydirt, a multi-purpose soil conditioner, makes a great top dressing, as it is heavy enough to keep the seed from blowing away.

8. The seeds must be watered properly, in order to germinate. Use just a fine spray, as you don't want to create a flood! The soil should be kept evenly moist, which means you must water a couple of times per day. After the grass blades, reach two to three inches tall, cut water back to once or twice a day depending on weather. If you know your schedule won't permit this, now is the time to look into automatic irrigation systems before starting a new lawn.

Recommended Lawn Care Products
Weed Control
GreenLight Crab Grass Preventer
Pre and early post-emergent crabgrass preventer. Kills other broadleaf and grassy weeds.
Master Nursery Broadleaf DSO Weed Control Spray
Broadleaf DSO Weed Control Spray contains trimec and will control over 200 broadleaf weeds including dandelions, spurge, and oxalis. It will not harm blade grass lawns and starts working overnight.
Monterey Crab & Spurge Preventer2
Pre-emergence herbicide with a 12.7% active ingredient. Controls such weeds as crabgrass, foxtails, oxalis, ryegrass and many more. Can be used on both warm season and cool season turf. After applying Crab & Spurge Preventer, watering activates activity in the soil.
Monterey Weed-Hoe
Postemergence, selective grass killer for warm and cool season turf. Contains 48.3% active ingredient, higher than most other products on the market! Controls crabgrass, goosegrass, dutgrass, Dallisgrass.
Monterey Nutgrass 'Nihilator
Controls yellow Nutgrass in turf and ornamentals. Kills the nutlet as well as the top of weed. May be used on both cool and warm season turfgrass. Non-staining, economical control of yellow Nutgrass infestation.
Turflon™ Ester
Postemergence herbicide for control of bermudagrass, kikuyugrass and broadleaf weeds in cool season grass. Contains 61.6% active ingredient. One pint covers up to 32,000 sq. ft. Controls Oxalis, Clover and other broadleaf weeds.
Weed Whacker Jet Spray
Easy to use aerosol formulation. Controls spurge, oxalis, dandelion and other broadleaf weeds. Contains a foam marker to show areas that have been sprayed. Excellent for spot treatment of problem turf areas. The easy way to control broadleaf weeds.
*Herbicide Helper (Oil Concentrate)
A spreader penetrant to be used with herbicides to make them work better and faster
Use with Grass Getter (formerly Poast®), Nutgrass 'Nihilator and other herbicides for better control
Widely used in herbicidal sprays
Available in Pint

Master Nursery Master Green™ Lawn Food
A pelleted blend lawn food with ammoniacal and urea nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium. Produces a rapid response (usually in 7 days).
Master Nursery Master Green[tm] Weed & Feed
The same fertilizer as Master Green Lawn Food. Trimec is added to control 35 broad leaf weeds. Designed for grass lawns only.
Master Nursery Formula 49
A mild, organic based, all purpose fertilizer for year round use.
Pest and Insect Control
Bayer Advanced Season Long Grub Control
Defends against grubs. Helps turf recover. Apply anytime spring through summer. Also kills molecrickets and European cranefly larvae.
Greenlight Lawn and Garden Spray
100% organic. Multi-Insect killer and repellant.
Greenlight Spinosad Lawn and Garden
Ready to spray. Controls beatles, worms, fleas, leafminers, thrips, and spidermites.
Mole and vole repellent. Controls moles, gophers, voles, skunk, and rabbits without killing.
Safer Insectcidal Soap
Controls aphids, mealy bugs, mites, and whitefly.

Bayer Advanced Fungus Control for Lawns
Cures and prevents common lawn disease, such as brown patch, dollar spot, red thread and rust. One application protects up to 2 months.
Greenlight Fung Away Systemic Lawn Fungicide Spray
For control of powdery mildew, leaf blight spots, rusts and brown patch.
Spectracide Immunox MP Fungicide. Cures and prevents all major lawn disease. Once dried, it can’t be washed off by rain.
Spectracide Immunox Multi Purpose Fungicide
Cures and prevent all major lawn disease. Once dried, it can’t be washed off by rain.
Many of the plants listed below are carried by Red Bluff Garden Center.
^ These plants are recommended as part of a Firesafe Landscape
Type of Plant
TreeBotanical NameTree
Common Name
TreeCalendula officinalis
Calendula, Pot Marigold
Eschscholzia californica
California Poppy
Sweet Pea
Lobularia maritima
Sweet Alyssum
Rose Moss
Viola odorata
Sweet Violet
Bear’s Breech
Achillea ^
Agave ^
Ajuga reptans ^
Carpet Bugle
Alcea rosea (Althaea rosea)
Lady’s Mantle
Elephant’s Ear
Aloe ciliaris ^
Aquelegia ^
Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’
Artemesia stellerana
Dusty Miller
Asparagus, Ornamental
Asparagus Fern
Hardy Aster
Bergenia ^
Bergenia, Various kinds
Canna Lily
Centranthus ruber
Chrysanthemum coccineum
Painted Daisy
Chrysanthemum maximum
Shasta Daisy
Cyperus alternifolius
Umbrella Plant
Fortnight Lily, African Iris
Echinacea purpurea
Purple Coneflower
Eupatorium purpureum
Joe Pye Weed
Euphorbia despina
Euphorbia dulcis ‘Chameleon’
Euphorbia gfiffithii
Euphorbia lathyris
Gopher Plant, Mole Plant
Euphorbia wolfenii
Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpurascens’
Bronze Fennel
Whirling Butterflies
Geranium (hardy)
Glechoma hederacea
(Nepeta hederacea)
Ground Ivy
Gypsophila paniculata
Baby’s Breath
Helleborus orientalis
Lenten Rose
Hemerocallis ^
Coral Bells, Alum Root
Hibiscus coccineus
Star of Texas
Hibiscus moscheutos
Perennial Hibiscus, Rose-Mallow
Houttuynia cordata
Iberis ^
Evergreen Candytuft
Bearded Iris
Red Hot Poker, Torch Lily
Dead Nettle
Sweet Pea
Various kinds
Statice, Sea Lavendar
Lily Turf
Lychnis chalcedonica
Maltese Cross
Four O’Clocks
(Various kinds)
Nepeta faasenii
Ponytail Palm
Oenothera beriandien ^
Evening Primrose, Sundrops
Tree Peony
Beard Tongue
Phlomis fruticosa
Jerusalem Sage
Phlox stolonifera
Creeping Phlox
Phormium tenax ^
New Zealand Flax
Platycodon grandiflorus
Balloon Flower
Self-Heal, Heal-All
Puya berteroniana
Rudbeckia hirta
Black-eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy
Various kinds
Pincushion Flower
Sedum spp. ^
Stonecrop, Various kinds
Stachys byzantina
Lamb’s Ears
Lime Thyme
Wandering Jew
Tulbaghia violacea
Society Garlic
Various kinds
Calla Lily
Ground Cover
Ground Cover
Myoporum parvifolium ^
Grass Cortaderia selloana Pampas Grass
Grass Festuca glauca Common Blue Fescue
Grass Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’ Japanese Blood Grass
Grass Pennisetum Fountain Grass
Grass Phalaris arundinacea picta Ribbon Grass
Grass Phyllostachys nigra Black Bamboo
Grass Stipa Feather Grass
Shrub Abutilon Flowering Maple
Shrub Aloe spp. ^ Aloe, various kinds
Shrub Aucuba japonica Japanese Aucuba
Shrub Berberis Chinese Barberry
Shrub (Evergreen) Brugmansia (Datura) Angel’s Trumpet
Shrub Buddleia Butterfly Bush
Shrub (Deciduous) Callicarpa Beautyberry
Shrub Callistemon purpureus ^ Weeping Bottlebrush
Shrub Camellia sansanqua
Shrub Caryopteris Bluebeard
Shrub Ceanothus Joyce Coulter ^ Wild Lilac
Shrub Chaenomeles Flowering Quince
Shrub Cotoneaster ^
Shrub Euonymus Various kinds
Shrub Fatsia japonica Japanese Aralia
Shrub (Deciduous) Forsythia
Shrub (Evergreen) Gardenia
Shrub (Evergreen) Grevellea
Shrub Hibiscus syriacus Rose of Sharon
Shrub Hydrangea Hydrangea, Lace Cap Hydrangea
Shrub Hypericum St. Johnswort
Shrub Ilex Holly (Variegated)
Shrub Juniperus Juniper (Various kinds)
Shrub Lagerstroemia Crape Myrtle
Shrub (Evergreen) Lantana montevidensis ^ Lantand
Shrub (Evergreen) Lavandula Lavendar
Shrub Leptospermum laevigatum Australian Tea Tree
Shrub Melianthus major Honey Bush
Shrub Myrtus communis
compacta variagata
Variegated Myrtlebush
Shrub Nandina Heavenly Bamboo
Shrub Nerium Oleander
Shrub (Deciduous) Paeonia Tree Peony
Shrub Philadelphus Mock Orange
Shrub Phlomis
Shrub Photinia fraseri
Shrub Pittosporum ^
Shrub Podocarpus
Shrub Punica granatum ^ Flowering Pomegranate,
Miniature Pomegranate
Shrub Pyracantha Santa Cruz ^
Shrub Rhododendron spp. Azalea
Shrub Rhus ovata Sugar Bush
Shrub (Evergreen) Ricinus communis Castor Bean
Shrub (Evergreen) Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary
Shrub Salvia mexicana Mexican Bush Sage
Shrub Santolina
Shrub Schefflera
Shrub Spiraea Various kinds
Shrub Syringa Lilac
Shrub Teucrium Bush Germander
Shrub Thuja Arborvitae
Shrub (Evergreen) Trachelospermum ^ Star Jasmine
Shrub Viburnum Snowball (various kinds)
Shrub Westringia fruticosa Coast Rosemary
Shrub (Evergreen) Yucca
Shrub Weigela
Vine (Deciduous) Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Porcelain Berry
Vine Campsis tradicans ^ Trumpet Creeper, Trumpet Vine
Vine Clematis
Vine Hedera ‘Golden Ingot’ ^ Golden Ingot Ivy
Vine (Perennial) Ipomea Perennial Morning Glory
Vine Jasminum spp. ^ Jasmine, various kinds
Vine Lonicera halliana ^ Honeysuckle
Vine (Deciduous) Parthenocissus inserta Virginia Creeper, Woodbine
Vine Passiflora Passion Vine
Vine Solanum jasminoides ^ Potato Vine
Vine (Evergreen) Trachelospermum ^ Star Jasmine
Vine (Deciduous) Wisteria ^ Wisteria, various kinds
Tree Acacia saligna Blue Leaf Acacia
Tree Acer palmatum Japanese Maple
Tree Acer platanoides ‘crimson king’ Norway Maple
Tree Albizia julibrissin Silk Tree
Tree Apricot Moorpark
Tree Arbutus unedo ^ Strawberry Tree
Tree Betula pendula delecarlica Weeping Cutleaf Birch
Tree Calocedrus decurrens Incense Cedar
Tree Cercis ^ Eastern, Western & Chinese Redbud
Tree Cherry Tartarian, Van
Tree Chionanthus retusus Chinese Fringe Tree
Tree Chitalpa tashkentensis Pink Dawn Chitalpa
Tree Cotinus Smoke Tree
Tree Dracena
Tree Erythrina crista-galli Cockspur Coral Tree
Tree Ginko Biloba Maidenhair Tree
Tree Ligustrum japonicum ^ Privet
Tree Liriodendron tulipifera Tulip Tree
Tree Malus Purple Wave Crabapple
Tree Melia azedarach ‘umbraculiformis’ Texas Umbrella (Chinaberry)
Tree Morus alba Fruitless Mulberry
Tree Palm Various kinds
Tree Peach Various kinds
Tree Persimmon
Tree Pinus Ponderosa Ponderosa Pine
Tree Punica granata ^ Pomegranate
Tree Prunus ^ Flowering Plum
Tree Quince Fruiting & Flowering Quince
Tree Robinia Ruby Lace Locust, Sunburst Locust
Tree Salix Matsudana ‘tortuosa’ Corkscrew Willow
Tree Sequoia sempervirens Redwood
Tree Trifoliate Orange Trifoliate Orange
Tree Vitex * Chaste Tree
We would like to thank Don Brand, Xeriscape lover, Redding, California for preparing this list.
Presented by Leslie Irey and Julia Mitchell
The idea that "nothing grows in Redding" is untrue! The key is to pick plants that are appropriate to our climate.
Redding is lucky to be in a "Mediterranean" climate.
  • Definition of Mediterranean climate:
- Between 31 and 40 degrees latitude north and south of the equator, on the western side of the continents. (South Africa, Australia, Mediterranean-basin, Chile, California)
- Pronounced climatic changes
- Hot dry summers, mild wet winters
  • Redding area - Zones 9 and 7
  • Pick plants appropriate to our region
- Mediterranean - from one of the regions above
- Native - indigenous to California
Reasons to Choose Natives and Mediterranean Plants
  • Low maintenance/Self-sustainability
  • Reduced water usage
  • Sense of place
  • Benefit to wildlife
  • Beauty/interest
  • Environmentally friendly
Coping Mechanisms and Survival Techniques
  • Color - Silver/grey reflects sunlight
  • Texture (leaf size) - smaller leaves reduce sun exposure and water loss
  • Water Storage - underground or other compartments
  • Hairy Surfaces - fine, insulating hairs
  • Mediterranean Themes/Styles
- Subtle foliage, vivid colors
- Expansive hardscapes, shady shelter
- Water features offering cooling relief
- Artful containers
- Spaces designed for outdoor living
  • Reduce lawn size
- Use lawn alternatives (mass grasses, ground covers, inorganic permeable surfaces)
  • Group plants by similar water needs.
  • Use drought tolerant plantings instead of high water-use plantings.
  • Locate thirstier plants near house.
Basic Plant Care Principles
  • Water: Even drought tolerant plants need at least one or two full seasons of regular watering before plants are established and able to tolerate drought.
  • Fertilizer
-No synthetic fertilizers. Compost organic matter only.
  • Soil/Drainage
- Excellent drainage is vital!
- Mounding is helpful (berms, raised beds)
  • Light Requirements
- Though drought tolerant, some plants require shade.
- Group similar sun or shade plants together.
  • Pruning: Research growth habits before pruning.
  • Mulch (organic or inorganic) to suppress weeds, retain moisture, moderate soil temperature, beautify your landscape.
Watering Wisdom
There is no one easy rule for watering your garden. It depends on many factors, including the weather; sun exposure; age, size and variety of plants; and the condition of your soil. The only way to know for sure your plants are getting enough water is to look. After you water, dig down parallel to the roots and ensure that the soil is moist. Here are some tips to keep your plants properly hydrated throughout the summer:

* Don’t leave your plants in a hot car or in the hot sun. If you are not going to be planting immediately, keep potted plants well watered in a shady area until you are ready to plant.

* It is best to water once a day, preferably in the morning, to give leaves time to dry and help prevent fungus from growing in the cool night air. If possible, water at the base of your plants. Overhead sprinkling can burn leaves and spread disease.

* Water trees less often, but deeper and longer than your lawn, shrubs and flower beds. This ensures that deep tree roots receive moisture and encourages shallow roots to travel down for hydration, instead of up into your lawn or flower beds.

* Every plant needs moderate water until it is well established. Only then should you adjust your watering depending upon individual plant requirements.

* Unglazed terra cotta containers can absorb a plant’s moisture. Roots can become bound into hard balls that resist water in any container. It is a good idea to soak your pots from four to eight hours in a tub of water if you suspect either of these situations.

* A blanket of mulch on top of the soil will reduce evaporation and conserve water.

* No matter what watering technique you use, visualize the size of the entire root ball in order to determine how much water is necessary.

Understanding Drip Irrigation
Low volume drip irrigation is great for saving water because it controls the amount of moisture emitted from each head to the base of every plant. It also saves a lot of time spent on hand watering. In order to effectively water using a drip irrigation system, it is important to know the volume of water your emitters and sprinklers release. If you have one gallon per hour head (1gph) emitters and program your stations for fifteen minutes each, you are giving your plant about a quart of water each day. Your plants will not survive a summer this way. You can increase the water volume by changing to heads that emit a greater volume, or increase the time length of your stations, or both. A two gallon emitter on a one hour station will allow two gallons of water. Again, if you have any question, dig down into the roots after you water to ensure that the soil is moist.

Check your drip irrigation system regularly to make sure your system is working consistently. Make it a habit to eyeball your plants and check the moisture content in the soil on a regular basis in case heads clog or break. Make sure all drip systems have a filter so your system does not clog.

NOTE: All of the following plants are available at Red Bluff Garden Center. Within each genus, there may be many suitable species. Our staff is happy to help you with your selection.
Trees Bulbs
Arbutus spp. Strawberry tree Alliums spp. Allium
Maytenus boaria Mayten tree Crocus spp. Crocus
Olea Europaea spp. Olive Helleborus spp. Hellebore
Schinus molle Pepper tree Iris spp. Iris
Peonia spp. Peonies
Shrubs Scilla spp. Bluebell
Callistemon spp. Bottlebrush
Cistus spp. Rockrose Groundcovers
Cotinus spp. Smokebush Armeria Joystick
Cotoneaster spp. Cotoneaster Gazania spp. Gazania
Erica spp. Heath Osteospermum African Daisy
Grevillea spp. Grevillea Myoporum spp. Myoporum
Lavandula spp. Lavender Rosmarinus spp., Creeping Rosemary
Leptospermum spp. Tea Tree Thymus Thyme
Perennials and Annuals Climbers
Achillea spp. Yarrow Clematis spp. Clematis
Artemesia spp. Artemesia Lonicera spp. Honeysuckle
Euphorbia spp. Euphorbia Rosa spp. Climbing Roses
Rosmarinus spp. Rosemary Vitus spp. Grapes
Salvia spp. Salvia (sage)
Santolina spp. Lavender cotton Grasses
Sedum spp. Sedum Helictotrichon sempervirens
Blue Oat Grass
Kniphofia spp. Red Hot Poker
Calocedrus decurrens Incense Cedar
Cercis occidentalis Western Redbud
Chilopsis linearius Desert Willow
Platanus rasemosa Western Sycamore
Populus fremontii Cottonwood
Swquoia sempervirens Coast Redwood
Arctostaphylos spp. Manzanita
Baccharis pilularis Coyote Bush
Ceanothus spp. Wild Lilac
Fremontodendron californica Flannel Bush
Rhamnus spp. Coffeeberry
Eschseholzia californica California Poppy
Romneya coulteri Matilija Poppy
Salvia clevelandii Cleveland Sage
Zauschneria spp. California fuchsia
Festuca californica California fescue
Arctostaphylos spp. Manzanita
Aristolochia californica Pipe vine

Elements of Shade Gardening
If you don’t want to be a slave to your garden this summer, a shade garden could be the answer. When the temperature rises and the sun beats down hot and heavy, there is nothing more refreshing than a cool, moist patch where Ferns thrive along with Hostas, Impatiens and Astilbe. You can improve your shade climate and cut back on your work if you understand the fundamentals of shade gardening. Though light is an important factor in shade gardening, there are other elements you should also consider before you begin.

Light Considerations
It is important to understand the different types of shade for successful plant choices.

Light shade is the brightest shade and supports the requirements of the most plants. Light shade areas are the easiest to design and work with. Light shade is the dappled shade you will find under a tree canopy and allows for 4-6 hours of sunlight, preferably with afternoon shade. Many sun-loving plants will take light shade in our area. (See Regional Considerations below).

Part shade occurs when you have a 4-6 hour interruption from direct sun. Plants that do well in light shade or part shade include Astilbe, Fox Glove, and Hydrangea.

Full shade
is a garden area that receives no direct sun. Full shade may be created by a dense, canopy of trees or by buildings, such as the north side of your house. Plants that do well in full shade include Foam Flower, Impatiens, and Japanese aucuba.

Just as soon as you get your microclimates all figured out, the exposure changes with the seasons. Full sun in summer changes to medium shade in spring and fall. Trees grow older and denser, intensifying the shade they provide. It is important to remain flexible. Plant bulbs that will bloom in spring before the trees leaf out overhead. Light summer pruning on maturing shade trees will lighten the garden beneath.

Regional Considerations
In an area as hot as Shasta County it is essential to understand that if a plant requirement calls for part shade this means it must have protection from the scorching afternoon sun. Even plants that normally take full sun in other areas of California will need protection from the afternoon sun here.

Plants growing beneath a tree in dappled shade will have to compete with the roots of the tree for water and nutrients, so your shade garden might dry out more quickly than in gardens planted in sunny locations. The shallower rooted the tree, the more competition, so adjust your watering appropriately. Organic material should not be dug into the soil at the risk of harming the tree’s surface roots. Organic material in the form of mulch that blankets the surface of your garden will help hold moisture, and will slowly break down to provide nutrients to your plants. Mulching will also discourage weeds and give your garden a natural feel, as leaves drop to mulch the earth in nature as well.

Plants that can hold their own, amongst the tree roots include Aster, Bergenia, and Redbud.

Red Bluff Garden Center carries a great line of Master Nursery brand Fertilizers that will provide your shade garden with the extra nutrients it will need. Master Nursery Camellia Azalea Gardenia Food 4-8-5 is a premium food for shade and acid loving plants. Master Nursery Rose and Flower Food for plants that need alkaline soil. Our expert nursery staff can help advise you on the best products to use in your particular situation.

Soil pH
It is a common misconception that all shade plants like acid soil. It is true that woodland plants growing under conifers thrive underneath a blanket of decomposing, acidic leaves. Forests grow in areas of high rainfall which washes away nutrients that make the soil alkaline. In the western states, where the average rainfall is less than 30 inches a year, minerals build near the roots of plants making the soil alkaline. So plants that evolved in a rainy climate generally prefer acid soil, and plants that evolved in a dry climate generally prefer neutral soil. But you do not have to trace the history of your plants and your soil to understand their soil requirements.

Red Bluff Garden Center carries Rapitest Soil Test Kits which are a quick and easy way to determine your soil type. Then check the labels, a plant dictionary, or consult our excellent staff to understand a plant’s requirement before you buy it. If you don’t want to be a slave to your garden you could choose all alkaline loving plants for neutral soils or plant acid loving plants under established conifers. As long as the plants won’t get too big you can annually adjust the soil around each plant to its pH needs and have a combination of both acid and alkaline loving plants. Red Bluff Garden Center carries EB Stone pH Adjustor Plus which will increase acidity to depth of 6 inches. Since we live in the west, it is unlikely that you would need to decrease the acidity of your soil.

Plants that do well in neutral soils include Hosta, Lamium, and Lilyturf.

Here at Red Bluff Garden Center we have a large shade area with a great variety of beautiful shade loving plants. Our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the correct plants for your shady microclimates.

Water Garden in a Tub

While most people think of an in-ground pond when they think of water gardens, it is quite easy and fun to create a beautiful water garden in a container. Containers for water gardens can be as diverse as one’s imagination - the only requirement is that the container holds water. A soup urn, wine barrel, or an old kitchen sink can make a great container. With the fast growing popularity of aquatic gardening you can now find a great selection of ceramic containers with no drainage holes, sealed inside and out, specifically designed for water gardens. These containers come in a variety of sizes and gorgeous colors that will make creating your water garden simple and exciting.

When making your decision on what kind of container to use there are some factors you should consider. A small, one gallon container will hold one special plant. A ten to twenty gallon container can support a whole ecosystem. If you would like to add fish, your container should hold at least ten gallons of water and be at least twelve inches deep. Some containers need liners, epoxy, or special sealers to fill holes, or protect against chemical reactions, such as a leaching of tannic acid. You may wish to add a spouting ornament, or a small waterfall, for the relaxing effect of running water. A small submersible pump which would move 60-90 gallons per hour (GPH) would be sufficient for this feature. Miniature underwater lights are also available for use with or without a pump.

Different water plants have different preferences for planting depth. Research the needs of the plants you are using. If your water container is deep, you may need shelves to bring the crowns of the plants to the proper level. Bricks work well, especially cinderblocks which have hollow cores that will prevent loss of water volume. You can also use overturned pots or flat rocks. You may even find floating pots at specialty nurseries.

Once you have selected and prepared your container, you should choose the site before you construct your garden. Because water weighs eight pounds per gallon, your garden will be hard to move once assembled. Do not put the container garden directly on a deck. Raise your container up on pot feet or bricks, creating space under the pot so condensation and leakage won’t ruin surfaces. Most aquatic plants need four to six hours of sun each day. Here in the North Valley, it is best to provide your garden with afternoon shade to keep the water from getting too warm and your plants from burning. You may also want to choose a spot where it will reflect a special area of your garden, such as a blooming plant, or a special piece of statuary.

The plants you choose for your tub garden will depend on its size and depth. Large, tall plants can unbalance a planting both visually and physically. Floating and submerged plants will do well in a container, while bog plants may be overly aggressive. Fifty to sixty percent of the water surface should be covered with plant material. Many local garden centers are now carrying aquatic plants and it is easier than ever to find the most popular plants, including water irises, floating hearts, giant pennywort and horsetail rush. Water lilies (Nymphaea), both hardy and tropical, are available in a wide range of color and sizes. Lotus (Nelumbo) is another popular floater, prized for its beauty, fragrance and interesting seed pods. It is important to use a soil specifically formulated for aquatic plants, like Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil™. Do not use standard potting soil mix meant for ground-loving plants. If your water supply is treated with chlorine, let it sit for one to two days before planting, as the chlorine will evaporate.

Once your water garden is planted, keep an eye on the water level and replace what has evaporated. Control algae by physically removing it or use a water clarifier made for aquatic gardens. Use timed-release fertilizer like Agriform® Tabs or Osmocote®, following the directions on the package. Most water plants are evergreen, and will survive the winter in above freezing temperatures, though they will become dormant when the cold weather hits. During the winter, keep plants cleaned up by removing dead leaves, in spring they will begin to grow again. Spring is the time to divide plants and make new plantings or share them with friends. There are many books and web-sites available about water gardening, and you can also consult your local garden center or aquatic garden specialist for more information.

The Beauty of Peonies

Peonies are hardy perennial plants which bloom in May and June.

Peonies have been cultivated in gardens since the time of Pliny the Elder, the Roman naturalist who perished in the destruction of Pompeii. Peony comes from the word meaning the god of healing. History records gardeners growing many varieties in London as long ago as 1580. In 1824, Lemoine, a French gardener of scholarly reputation, made important hybrid crosses in peonies. In the US, the single white flowered peony was exhibited by the New York Horticultural Society in 1826.

There are two basic types of peonies: herbaceous and tree peonies. Herbaceous peonies have fleshy clubs of roots, with leaves and flowers sprouting out from the crowns. Herbaceous peonies die back to the ground in the fall. They are derived from the Siberian and European forms. Tree peonies are actually shrubs which produce flowers and leaves on permanent woody branches growing up to eight feet tall.

All are extremely long-lived perennial plants of significant size with spectacular, large flowers which are great for cutting. Some are wonderfully fragrant, with a fragrance similar to old-fashioned roses. Flower colors include white, cream, yellows, coral, pinks, purple, rose, reds (some very deep) and black. Flowers are singles, semi-doubles & doubles. Support large flowers with peony rings.

Peonies have a relatively short bloom period - no one kind blooms for more than one week. To extend the blooming period, plant early, mid-season and late flowering cultivars. Peonies can withstand full sun and summer heat, though light shade will prolong the flowering period in hot areas.

Herbaceous peonies can be planted in early spring or in fall. Peonies need winter chill for good springtime bloom. Plant on a northern slope & do not mulch in winter. Peonies are able to withstand summer heat, but the flowers don’t last well in warm springtime weather.
Choose early blooming varieties, provide some afternoon shade & adequate water.

Peonies require site preparation, but will return with outstandingly beautiful flowers for a lifetime. They need deep, rich soil with good drainage - the roots will quickly rot in poorly drained soil.

Consider planting peonies in raised beds. Ideally, the site should be deeply dug (12-20 inches). Work in lots of well-rotted manure or compost & high-phosphorus fertilizer.
Allow the soil to settle before planting. Give each peony three feet of space. Peonies prefer slightly alkaline soil - pH 6.0 to 7.0. Add lime to excessively acid soil.

Peonies do best when planted in Fall for Spring bloom. Avoid planting in a border facing east, as the flower buds may be damaged by the early morning sun, if it happens to shine on them after a frosty night. Borders facing south, southwest or west are best.
Peonies have fleshy roots suggesting long sweet potatoes joined together at one end.
Soak roots in water just prior to planting, to give them a good drink. Set roots carefully as planting too deep prevents flowering. Plant with rose-colored eyes facing up, two inches deep in colder climates, one inch deep in warmer regions.

Mulch is helpful in hot regions. Be sure to allow for depth of mulch when planting.
Fertilize the plants with Master Nursery brand Multi Purpose Fertilizer (16-16-16), or any multi-purpose fertilizer, after the flowering period. Peonies are unlikely to bloom the first year, but should bloom annually after that. They can be left undisturbed for many years, and will bloom satisfactorily for 20 years or more.

There is usually no need to divide herbaceous peonies, except to increase stock. Dig the clumps in early fall and hose off any soil. Divide into sections using a sharp knife, making sure each section has three to five eyes. Plant immediately so plants have time to put down roots before freezing weather. Herbaceous peonies may take 1-2 years to establish before blooming.

For cut flowers, cut just as buds begin to open. Leave at least three leaves on each stem, preserving leaf growth to nourish the plant for the following year. Remove less than half the blossoms from any clump. Deadhead to prevent seed formation. Remove seed pods if they develop.

Peonies can develop the fungal disease botrytis, especially if weather is cool and humid.
Young buds will blacken and wither, fuzzy brown spots develop on the flowers and leaves, and the stems wilt and collapse. Botrytis can be prevented by taking the following measures:

- Provide good air circulation
- Dispose of diseased portions of plant and fallen leaves immediately
- Cut stems back to soil level in fall
- Spray with copper fungicide in spring, as new growth emerges
The American Peony Society publishes the following tips for reasons why peonies do not bloom:
  • Plants too young.
  • Planted too deep. Eyes should be no more than 2-3 inches below soil surface.
  • Large clumps planted without first being divided.
  • Buds killed by late frost or waterlogged from constant rain.
  • Buds killed by disease or attacked by thrips. Use an appropriate spray.
  • Roots diseased. Destroy plants.
  • Plants undernourished. Use a high-phosphate fertilizer such as 5-10-5.
  • Ground too dry. Water thoroughly.
  • Excessive hot weather. Late-blooming full doubles are especially susceptible.
  • Planted too close to trees and shrubs, or crowded by other plants.
  • Too much shade, making plants tall and leafy.
  • Plants undermined by gophers or moles.

    Things to Consider When Selecting Shade Trees:
  • What is the ultimate size tree you would like.
  • What are the growth specifications of the trees you are considering?
    a. Is the location near foundation, driveway, sidewalk septic leach fields, etc.?
    b. Does the tree have a shallow or deep root structure?
  • Larger, established trees (30 gal or larger) will fill out the fastest.
  • Trees with the largest leaves will give the heaviest shade.
  • Some trees, like maple, fruitless mulberry and gingko lose all their leaves at once makingclean up easier.
  • Moderately growing trees generally have deeper root systems than fast growing trees.
  • Fast Growing Trees
    Will grow to 35 - 70 feet tall:
    Acer saccharinum
    Celebration Maple
    Silver Maple
    Catalpa speciosa
    Empress Tree
    Celtis occidentalis
    Common Hackberry
    Celtis sinensis
    Chinese Hackberry
    Liquid Ambar, Sweet Gum
    Liriodendron tulipifera
    Tulip Tree
    Morus alba ‘Stribling’
    Fruitless Mulberry
    Nyssa sylvatica
    Sour Gum, Black Tupelo
    Platanus acerifolia
    Sycamore, London Plane Tree
    Robinia x ambigua
    Purple Robe Locust
    Salix babylonica
    Weeping Willow
    Cedrus deodara
    Deodar Cedar
    Sequoia sempervirens
    Thuja ‘Green Giant’
    Western Red Cedar ‘Green Giant’
    Will grow to 20 - 35 feet tall:
    Acer tataricum ginnala
    Amur Maple
    x Chitalpa tashkentensis ‘Pink Dawn’
    Chitalpa ‘Pink Dawn’
    Chilopsis linearis ‘Burgundy’
    Desert Willow ‘Burgundy’
    Chionanthus retusus
    Chinese Fringe Tree
    Fraxinus americana
    Autumn Purple Ash
    Fraxinus oxycarpa
    Raywood Ash
    Pyrus callyreana
    Flowering Pear, Aristocrat Flowering Pear
    Prunus cerasifera
    Flowering Plum
    Moderate Growing Shade Trees

    Acer buergeranum Trident Maple
    Acer x freemanii ‘Autumn Fantasy’ Autumn Fantasy Maple
    Acer x freemanii ‘Jeffers red’ Autumn Blaze Maple
    Acer rubrum ‘Autumn Flame’ Autumn Flame Maple
    Acer rubrum ‘October Glory’ October Glory Maple
    Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’ Red Sunset Maple
    Arbutus unedo Strawberry Tree
    NOTE: Most trees in the Acer family will grow to 50+ feet tall, with a shallow, aggressive root system.
    Slow Growing Shade Trees
    Gingko biloba
    Gingko, Maidenhair
    Magnolia grandiflora
    Southern Magnolia
    Magnolia x soulangeana
    Saucer Magnolia
    Cedrus atlantica
    Atlas Cedar
    Cedrus libani
    Cedar of Lebanon
    Laurus nobilis
    Sweet Bay, Grecian Laurel
    Laurus nobilis ‘Saratoga’
    Sweet Bay ‘Saratoga’
    Acer buergeranum
    Trident Maple
    Acer x freemanii
    Autumn Blaze Maple
    Acer palmatum
    Japanese Maple
    Acer platanoides
    Norway Maple
    Acer saccharinum
    Silver Maple & Cutleaf Silver
    Acer saccharum
    Sugar Maple
    Acer tataricum ginnala
    Amur Maple
    Ailanthus altissima
    Tree of Heaven
    Albizia julibrissin
    Alnus cordata
    Italian Alder
    Alnus rhombifolia
    White Alder (shallow to medium, aggressive)
    Betula pendula
    European White Birch (aggressive feeder roots)
    Catalpa speciosa
    Cinnomomum camphora
    Camphor Tree (shallow to medium - aggressive
    Eucalyptus camaldulensis
    Red Gum (aggressive)
    Eucalyptus sideroxylon
    Red Ironbark
    Fraxinus Americana
    Autumn Purple Ash
    Fraxinus latifolia
    Oregon Ash
    Fraxinus oxycarpa
    Raywood Ash
    Fraxinus velutina
    Modesto Ash (shallow & aggressive)
    Gleditsia triacanthos
    Sunburst Honey locust (relatively shallow)
    Lagerstroemia indica
    Crape Myrtle
    Ligustrum lucidum
    Glossy Privet
    Liquid Amber
    Liriodendron tulipifera
    Tulip Tree (shallow to medium)
    Magnolia stellata
    Star Magnolia (shallow to medium)
    Morus alba ‘Stribling’
    Fruitless Mulberry
    Pinus radiata
    Monterey Pine (shallow to medium)
    Pinus sabiana
    Digger, Gray or Foothill Pine
    Populus fremonti
    Fremont Cottonwood (very shallow, aggressive, short
    Populus nigra
    Lombardy Poplar
    Robinia x ambigua
    Purple Robe Locust (aggressive)
    Robinia pseudoacacia
    Black Locust
    Salix babylonica
    Weeping Willow (aggressive)
    Sapium sebiferum
    Chinese Tallow
    Tilia cordata Little-Leaf Linden
    Ulmus allata Wahoo Winged Elm (aggressive)
    Ulmus americana American Elm (aggressive)
    Ulmus parvifolia Chinese Elm
    Ulmus pumila Siberian Elm
    Zelkova serrata Sawleaf Zelkova (medium, shallow)
    Arbutus unedo
    Strawberry Tree
    Cedrus deodora
    Deodar Cedar (medium to deep)
    Celtis australis
    European Hackberry (shallow to medium)
    Celtis occidentalis
    Cornus florida
    Crataegus laevigata
    English Hawthorne
    Cupressus arizonica
    Arizona Cypress (medium to deep)
    Eucalyptus polyanthemos
    Silver Dollar (medium to deep, aggressive feeder
    Ginkgo biloba
    Maidenhair Tree
    Grevillea robusta
    Silk Oak (shallow to medium)
    Juglans hindsii
    Black Walnut (medium to deep)
    Juglans regia
    English Walnut (medium to deep)
    Koelreuteria paniculata
    Goldenrain Tree (medium to deep)
    Laurus nobilis
    Sweet Bay (medium to deep)
    Magnolia grandiflora
    Malua toringoides
    Malus zuni
    ‘Radiant’ Crabapple
    Maytenus boaria
    Mayten Tree
    Metasequoia glyptostroboides
    Dawn Redwood
    Nyssa sylvatica
    Sour Gum, Tupelo or Pepperidge
    Pinus thunbergiana
    Japanese Black Pine
    Pistachia chinesis
    Chinese Pistache (deep, moderate)
    Platanus acerifolia
    Sycamore, London Plane Tree
    Prunus cerasifera
    Flowering Plum, Purple Leaf Plum
    Prunus dulcis
    Prunus lyonii
    Catalina Cherry (medium to deep)
    Pseudotsuga menziesii
    Douglas Fir (medium to deep)
    Pyrus callyreana
    Flowering Pear
    Pyrus kawakamii
    Evergreen Pear
    Quercus palustris
    Pin Oak
    Sophora japonica
    Japanese Pagoda/Chinese Scholar
    Tilia americana
    American Linden (small to medium)
    Calocedrus decurrens
    Incense Cedar
    Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
    Port Oxford Cedar
    Carya illinoiensis
    Celtis sinensis
    Chinese Hackberry
    Cercis canadensis
    Eastern Redbud
    Cryptomeria japonica
    Japanese Cedar
    Malus sylvestris
    Domestic Apple (moderate to deep)
    Melia azedarach ‘Umbraculifera’
    Texas Umbrella
    Nyssa sylvatica
    Sour Gum, Tupelo
    Pinus canariensis
    Canary Island Pine (med to deep)
    Pinus pinea
    Italian Stone Pine (med to deep)
    Pinus ponderosa
    Ponderosa Pine (deep)
    Pinus wallichiana
    Himalayan White Pine
    Punica granatum
    Pomegranate (moderately deep)
    Quercus coccinea
    Scarlet Oak
    Quercus douglasii
    Blue Oak
    Quercus lobata
    Valley Oak
    Quercus x morehus
    Oracle Oak (aggressive)
    Quercus rubra
    Red Oak
    Quercus wislizenii
    Interior Live Oak
    Sequoia sempervirens
    Coast Redwood (10’ deep but considered shallow for size of tree - good for hedges, privacy)
    Sequoiadendron giganteum
    Interior Redwood
    Our New Pond
    During a sweltering August weekend, sixteen good-natured folks participated in Red Bluff Garden Center’ first Hands-on Pond Building Workshop. Led by Brion and Pat Sincaglia of Shadow Valley Aquatic Plant Nursery, the two-day class covered the basics of pond building, site location and shape design, setting the BioFalls, pump and skimmer, creating a waterfall, landscaping, planting and maintenance.

    Our enthusiastic “students” were anxious to begin digging in the mud, and they got their chance - by the end of Saturday, the kidney shaped pond was several feet deep, with multi-leveled ledges around the perimeter for setting plants, and the pond liner was installed. On Sunday, rocks were laid around the edges, the waterfall was created, and plants were added. There was an audible sigh of satisfaction from the crowd when the pump was turned on and water began flowing over the rocks.

    Workshop participants included: Joanne Akman; Mr. and Mrs. John Benkosky; Ted Bowen; Landon Carvalho; Doug Caskey; Helene Coffman; Tom and Esther Cox; Deb Devall; Debra De Witt; Gary and Kim Eiler; Bev Fuller; Robert Miller; Kathy Morrissey; Kerri Smith; Ron and Kathy Stillmunkes; Vicki and Pat Talladino; and Laura Walker.

    We are extremely grateful to all workshop participants for their help. The new pond is located on the north side of the building, in the water plant area of the nursery. Please take a look the next time you are here.

    More pond and water garden classes are in the works for Spring 2004. Watch our website for information or ask for details the next time you are at the nursery.
    Fire - Safe Landscaping
    During the hot, dry Redding summers, the danger of fire and the damage it can wreak become a constant threat. Intelligent planning and planting can help reduce fire hazard around one’s property.

    The plants surrounding a structure can actually have an influence in determining a building’s change of survival during a fire. A firescape or fire resistant landscape is created by selecting plants which are less likely to burn and locating them wisely. All plants will burn if there is enough heat, yet there are many plants which are suitable for reducing fire hazard.

    Fire-retardant plants are not apt to burst into flames, and should be planted near buildings. They typically have fleshy, moist leaves, and the trees and shrubs are usually deciduous. Fire-retardant plants tend to be fairly dependent for water and nutrients and demand some maintenance.

    Fire-resistant plants will slow and incoming fire because they are less likely to burn than other plants, and if they do burn, they don‘t hold the fire very long. They should be planted farther out from the structure than the fire-retardant varieties. Some fire-resistant plants actually survive and re-sprout after a fire, helping to mitigate erosion problems. As a group, fire-resistant plants require little maintenance.

    Plants with one or more of the following characteristics are better able than others to resist or even retard fire.

    Deciduous leaves
    Broad leaves
    Moist, bendable leaves
    Thick leaves
    Thin, runny sap
    Non-fragrant leaves
    Non-hairy leaves
    Silver or gray leaves (unfortunately, native, fragrant
    sages do not conform to this rule, and are highly

    Plant trees with their mature size in mind, locating them so that their foliage will not be within 10 feet of any wall. Keep existing trees pruned and trim any branches that overhang your roof.

    Annual pruning and thinning of trees and shrubs, as well as the clean up of any plant litter or debris is as important as the specific plants selected for your landscape. Locate tall shrubs the furthest from buildings. Supports for vines should be built of masonry, wrought iron, chain link or oversized lumber to minimize flammability.

    Agave - Champion of Fire Resistant Plants
    Agave (Century Plant) is favored for its fire and drought resistance. It’s fleshy blue-green strap-shaped leaves hold water and can actually help protect your home in the event of a fire. The sharply pointed leaves have hooked spines along the margins and can act as a safety guardian, discouraging intruders from crossing its path.

    A succulent plant native to dry desert regions, agave is hardy in the Redding region. It is best to plant agave in containers, so it can be brought into a protected location during the winter.

    Agave flower clusters are large but not colorful, and may not occur for 10 years or more. The flower stalk can reach 15 - 40 feet tall bearing yellowing, green flowers. After flowering, the foliage clump dies, usually leaving behind suckers that make new plants.

    Agave grows to be very large and its spines make it formidable to remove. It is important to be sure you really want a Century Plant before planting one.

    The following is a listing of recommended fire-resistant plants currently available at Red Bluff Garden Center Nursery.

    Cercis occidentalis (Western Redbud)
    Citrus spp. (Citrus)
    Populus spp. and cvs. (Poplars)
    Rhus spp. and cvs. (Sumacs)

    Aloe spp. (Aloe)
    Agave (Century Plant)
    Aquilegia (Columbine)
    Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)
    Arctostaphylos spp. (Manzanita)
    Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry)
    Callistemon citrinus (Lemon Bottlebrush)
    Cistus ladanifer (Crimson-Spot Rockrose)
    Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster)
    Escallonia spp. (Escallonia)
    Feijoa sellowiana (Pineapple Guava)
    Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen)
    Gaultheria shallon (Salal)
    Hemerocallis (Daylilies)
    Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon, California Holly)
    Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’ (Japanese Privet)
    Nerium oleander (Oleander)
    Phormium tenax (dwarf varieties) (New Zealand Flax)
    Pittosporum spp. (Pittosporum)
    Prunus caroliniana (Carolina Laurel Cherry)
    Prunus lyonii (Catalina Cherry)
    Punica granatum (Pomegranate)
    Pyracantha spp. (Firethorn)
    Rhamnus alaternus (Italian Buckthorn)
    Rhamnus californica (Coffeeberry)
    Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star Jasmine)
    Vaccinium spp. and cvs. (Blueberries and Huckleberries)
    Viburnum spp. and cvs. (Viburnum)

    Achillea spp. and cvs. (Yarrow)
    Ajuga reptans (Carpet Bugle)
    Bergenia spp. (Bergenia)
    Ceanothus griseus horizontalis (Wild Lilac Carmel Creeper)
    Cerastium tomentosum (Snow-in-Summer)
    Cotoneaster dammeri (Bearberry Cotoneaster)
    Drosanthemum floribundum (Rosea Ice Plant)
    Hedera spp. (Ivy)
    Helianthemum nummularium (Sunrose)
    Iberis sempervirens (Evergreen Candytuft)
    Lantana montevidensis (Lantana)
    Myoporum parvifolium (Myoporum)
    Oenothera beriandien (Evening Primrose, Sundrops)
    Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)
    Scaevola ‘Mauve Clusters’ (Scaevola)
    Sedum spp. (Stonecrop)
    Vinca minor spp. and cvs. (Periwinkle)

    Campsis radicans (Common Trumpet Creeper)
    Jasminum spp. (Jasmine)
    Lonicera halliana (Honeysuckle)
    Solanum jasminoides (Potato Vine)
    Wisteria spp. and cvs. (Wisteria)

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