Coreopsis for the Garden

If you’re like me it’s fun to be out in the garden planting, tending and watching the garden grow. I love to add a new plant to a container or perennial bed. Planning, choosing and finally bringing home a new addition are all part of the fun and there are so many low water use colorful perennials to choose from.

Members of the sunflower family, coreopsis attract butterflies and bees and bloom all summer. In addition to the favorite Early Sunrise, try the dark-centered Tequila Sunrise with variegated cream and yellow foliage. Their foliage has touches of pinkish red in spring and deeper red in fall. Then there are types with finely divided leaves like Moonbeam and new varieties such as Mango Punch. Rusty orange flower with hints of yellow cover these low growing perennials. The color is rich and blends with many color schemes. Or try coreopsis with coral pink flowers on yellow green lacy foliage. Add one of these deer resistant perennials to your garden and make the butterflies and bees happy, too.





Drought Tolerant Olives

Summer has finally arrived. Took a while- a long while this year- but now we can enjoy nice weather and our beautiful gardens. The extra rainfall has allowed many trees, shrubs and perennials to grow lush and full like never before. As summer heats up think about adding drought tolerant plants especially in areas that are hard to water.

Plant an olive tree. They take the heat and are drought tolerant once established. Olives are easy to care for. They require little pruning and have few serious pests. Their grayish foliage and graceful, billowing appearance are a welcome accent to an all-green garden. The attractive gnarled branching pattern is also quite distinctive and they can live for 500 years.

For ornamental purposes or next to paving, choose a fruitless variety like are old favorites. Olives can be traced originally to southern Turkey in about 3150 BCE. The spread of the olive tree to the Mediterranean areas of Italy, France, Spain and Portugal probably coincided with the trade of wine, date palms and figs. They were introduced to California mission gardens in the 1700’s for the oil their fruit produces. Many of the missions still have the original olive trees. Underplanted with drought tolerant perennials like sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, yarrow, lamb’s ears, mimulus, Santa Barbara daisy or agastache they can be a focal point in any garden.