Here in San Diego we are facing another heat wave only a month after we received more rain then ever recorded in the month of July. Things are all mixed up and if the scientist are correct we are in for even more changes.  They are saying that a strong El Nino continues to build in the Pacific and its looking like Southern California will be slammed with  heavier then normal winter rains. However that in no way means that we are in the clear and the drought is a thing of the past. We would need years of above average rain to offset the deficit so one strong winter is unlikely going to fix the problem, also as we know weather is never guaranteed. Here are a few scenarios that could leave us even higher and drier.

Big El Nino storms hit Southern California but miss Northern California where we store a large percentage of your states water supply in reservoirs.

The storms that due arrive are too warm and fail to increase our snowpack.  Snowpacks provided 1/3 of our states water and that water is released more slowly as it melts which is better for us and the environment.

The “blob” as its been called is a huge mass of warm high pressure air that has been sitting off the west coast for years (causing our current drought) and redirecting storms away from us could block El Nino sending them east and away from us.

Despite the highly likelihood of heavier then normal rains forecaster for this winter we cant, go back to our old ways of tropical plants and large lush lawns. Southern California is a desert with a ever-growing population all trying to get their share of a dwindling water supply. We need to understand that weather patterns are changing and we need to use whatever water supply we have in a more responsible way no matter what this winter holds for us.

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If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design create a drought tolerant landscape for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

 

As we entry into August here is San Diego now is a good time to take care of your mid summer landscape chores. One big chore this time of year is to check for leaks along your drip irrigation lines before your plants dry out completely and die. I also recommend that you prune all sucker growth off your deciduous fruit trees as well as giving your roses a light summer pruning to help them get ready for the coming fall weather. If you compost now would be the time to water your compost pile a bit, the dampness helps the beneficial bacterial do the dirty work, you should also be turning the pile every week or so to help speed up the process. If you still have some lawn now is the time to dethatch  if the thatch is thicker then half an inch. I recommend using a dethatching mower or dethacthing rake followed by reseeding the area and add a organic fertilizer. These tips should help get you through the coming month.

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If you are interested in having Cleator Landscape Design create a beautiful low maintenance outdoor space for your home please contact us at 619.917.3644

Here in San Diego our landscapes are (or should be) an extension of our homes. With increasing temperatures and prolonged drought getting outside and finding some shade to relax is as important as ever, for we need to take stock in just how amazing nature is so we can make the strides to protect it. One great way to increase your use of your outdoor space is through outdoor seating, this vital component to outdoor living can come in many forms. A simple Adirondack chair under a Chinese Elm tree can make a simple yet strong statement, as can built in seats around a water or fire feature. No mater your style or budget everyone should incorporate some place to sit outside and enjoy nature.  Here is a collection of outdoor seating that will get you excited for your own.

If you are interested in Cleator Landscape Design creating a beautiful outdoor space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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11 trillion gallons of water is what California needs to offset the current drought. That would take 3 years of higher then normal rainfall to offset our depleted reserves and with only about 1 year of water currently in storage its clear that we need to eliminate lawns and water thirsty plants now as in today, right now. The state has imposed numerous restrictions including limiting the number of days you can irrigate to two days and you cant water for two days after rain events. Its clear that we are in serious peril, with snow packs are all but gone, lakes and reservoir shrinking and ground water being depleted from 1200′ wells.  Its going to be a nightmare when taps run dry in the coming years and we face a massive water crisis. That’s the bad news, so what can we do now in San Diego to help reduce the pressure we put on our limited water? Well  when it comes to the landscape for starters no more lawns at all, none. Second is to plant low water use plants, use mulch as needed to help conserve soil moisture and install a water efficient irrigation system with a weather and rain sensor as well as capture as much rainfall as possible. If that all seems to difficult we could always reroute the entire daily output of the Amazon river basin into the state of California and let it run non stop for nearly two days to make up all the water we are missing.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design create a low water use landscape for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

Amazon river discharge seen from space

Amazon river discharge seen from space

 

 

Water features are a great way to tie a landscape together, but how best to do that during a drought like the one we are experiencing here in San Diego. Water features (fire elements as well) are great at bringing people into a outdoor space and helping to get them to stay and linger a while, they don’t need to be elaborate but they do need to be water conscience. Gone are the days of wild abandon when it comes to water features (think Niagara Falls in your backyard) now we want to use water sparingly. A simple recirculating basin, pump and timer connected to water tight urn or natural stone basin can do the trick. Placing such an element in the sight line from indoors or the entrance into the outdoor space along with nearby seating can help entice further exploration. Be sure to match the size and style of water feature to your home and landscape. Not only will you benefit from the addition of a water feature to your outdoor space but so will local birds.

If you are interested in having Cleator Landscape Design create a personalized outdoor space for your home, please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Here in San Diego we are all aware of just how expensive home are and with such a premium we need to utilize every square inch to its maximum. So no mater the size of your yard you can transform that space from a under utilized cracked concrete slab for example into an extension of your home with some creative idea.  Some quick points to remember are to envision how you want to use the space and how that would pair with your homes style. Then think about what areas you might need to open up or screen off. When it comes to plant and material selection take extra care for they need to be well thought out for each one will have a greater impact then it would in a larger landscape. Don’t forget to look to design accents that will help bring it all together with the home and help draw you into your new outdoor space. These pointers along with a handful of other(we cant give it all away) will help you in creating a small outdoor space that will live larger then it really is.

If you are interested in have Cleator Landscape Design create a outdoor living space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Sometime less is more, and one way to achieve a calming feeling to your landscape is to restrain from using every color under the sun. One such technique is the monochromatic approach, were only one color or one shade of color is used. The most widely available color in landscape design obviously is green, but with all the shades of green from light greens, to gray green, blue and yellow greens and dark greens you can easily create a beautiful outdoor space that provides a relaxing mood to all the entry.

If you are interested in having Cleator Landscape Design design a custom outdoor space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Here in San Diego as across the world bees are in decline. I know I have spoken about this before, but I found a great little product that you can use to help give these vital pollinators a helping hand. Beside avoiding pesticides in your garden and planting bee friendly plants, you can help out by installing a bee house. Now these great looking homes are constructed out of scrap wood making them even more eco friendly and should be installed on the southwest side of your home with a little protection from the elements. With the ability to visit close to 20 blooms in a minute bees can quickly help get your garden back in shape and blooming like never before, all the while your helping out your garden allies.

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If your looking for to redesign your outdoor space please contact Cleator Landscape Design at 619.917.3644

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I know it doesn’t feel much like winter at the moment despite what the calendar reads, but its still nice to know that even during our brutal San Diego winters our gardens don’t need to be a bore. Winter interest can come in many forms but the one that suits us best here in our Mediterranean climate is color. Aloes are a surefire way to do just that, yes other kinds of succulents and herbaceous plants will bloom this time of year but consistent showoffs are the aloes. From the common Aloe arborescens to the larger Aloe Goliath to the much smaller Aloe maculata, aloes bring a burst of reds, oranges and yellows to your landscape when many plants aren’t at their best. Along with the benefit of color you will also be providing a real treat to our local hummingbirds which love the intense blooms of these superb drought tolerant plants. So when it comes to designing a true xeriscape year around garden, don’t fail to included a few aloes for the will surely brighten the bleakest of San Diego winters days.

If you are interested in creating a drought tolerant outdoor space, please feel free to contact Cleator Landscape Design at 619.917.3644

Aloe winter bloom

Sorry for the extended delay in adding post to this blog, I hope to once again become more active on this site and bring you the latest on Outdoor Living in San Diego.

I just wanted to check back in and comment on the current drought and how we here at Cleator Landscape Design are trying to spread the word on some simple changes that can be made to help ease the pressure residential landscape place on our dwindling water supply.  Last night I spoke to a local woman’s group on some new and exciting plants that works well under drought stress as well as which plants to avoid. It was a overall success and hopeful the lecture will encourage them to not only make those changes to their own landscapes but spread the word on how to landscape under drought conditions. 

If you are interested in reducing your water bill please feel free to contact us at 619.917.3644

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Here in San Diego summer has come to a close, but that in no way means you cant still get out and enjoy all the garden has to offer.

September is still a beautiful month here(we really dont have any bad ones anyways) but its also a great time to do a little yard work. I highly recommend pruning your Pennisteum now so they will have had time to rebound by winter when most gardens could benefit from the movement they provide. Feeding roses one last time along with your established trees and shrubs is another great idea. You can also start buying and planting bulbs such as Daffodil to set early. These are just a few ideas on how to keep your outdoor space humming right along as we traverse out of summer here in San Diego.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a beautiful outdoor space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Landscape design is an extension of our homes, and that couldn’t be more true then in San Diego.

The style of your home should set the style for the landscape, for either to reach its potential they must work in harmony. If you live in a Spanish revival home your landscape should work to compliment the rustic beauty it possess. Modern architecture with its clean lines should have a landscape that reflects its “controlled restraint”. While a loose open beach bungalow looks most at home in a carefree landscape of grasses and the sweet smell of summer.

Now with that said there are no hard and fast rules, but look around at successful landscapes in magazines and online and you will often see a strong correlation between the style of the home and its landscape.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a landscape that is inline with the architecture of your home, please contact us at 619.917.3644

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