Who Needs a Website When You Can Have a Blog?

I try not to blog about blogging too much, but this is so cool I just had to share it. (and by the way, Seth Godin wrote about this years ago and HarperStudio recently asked this question, so I am by no means the first person to think of this) Let's say you're a small garden center. Or a landscape designer.  Or a non-profit.  Or an author,  an artist, or a consultant.  You need a presence on the web, but you...

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Hummingbird Plants

Along the West Coast, unusually cold winter temperatures damaged hummingbird favorites like bougainvillea and Mexican bush sage. Now is the time to replant and welcome hummingbirds back into your garden. Consider drought-tolerant natives such as California fushcia, monkey flower, and lupine.  Aloes thrive in both desert and seaside areas and attract hummingbirds with their bright orange blooms. Cottage gardeners...

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Prairie Gardens

As California gardeners enter the drought season, alternatives to traditional lawns start to seem more attractive than ever. Consider giving a strip of your lawn over to prairie and meadow flowers; you may well find yourself letting it take over the entire lawn over the years. Start with drought-tolerant natives like California poppy and yarrow. Add Western columbine in filtered shade, where hummingbirds will flock to...

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Fall Bird Gardening

Let things go this fall and the birds will thank you. Put your rake away and allow leaves to gather where sparrows and brown towhees can scratch among them for insects. Let your cosmos and sunflower go to seed. Resist the temptation to prune salvia—the flowers provide a welcome food source for hummingbirds in the fall, and you can keep a natural shape by selectively pruning over the winter months. Fall is an ideal...

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Brush Piles

If you have plenty of space and you’d like to let a part of your yard go wild, consider a living brush pile made of juniper or another evergreen. A brush pile offers shelter and cover for small birds and mammals, and will be most welcome if placed near a wooded area or around the edge of a field or meadow.  While most brush piles are nothing more than criss-crossed layers of branches, stumps, and even discarded Christmas...

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Natives and Non-Natives

The birds in my neighborhood take happily to natives and non-natives alike. A naturalist visited my house once and cringed at the sight of two dozen double-breasted cormorants perched in the eucalyptus trees across the street. The trees are the worst kind of non-native: toxic, invasive, highly flammable, but as long as the cormorants call them home, the trees will remain. Same goes for the blackberry bramble up and down my...

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