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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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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Landscaping design in San Diego can mean different things to different people, but the common thread is drought resistant. For good reason, we are in the midst of a serious drought and with all the other factors such as increasing regional temperatures and population growth we must do what we can to save every drop. I’m not promoting we all leave with barren landscapes, far from it. Properly landscaped areas help reduce run off, cool surround air, give wildlife a home, and clean the air among many other wonderful things we all need to survive. So today I wanted to  share with you a few San Diego appropriate plants that you can incorporate into your garden.

California Fushia with its scarlet flowers which hummingbirds adore and it ability to handle tough conditions, its a real standout.

Matilija Poppy has large white blooms with the feel of paper mache, great drainage is a must.

Deer Grass is a beautiful native grass that can handle a wide array of conditions without missing a beat.

Cleveland Sage is another native that displays great blueish purple flowers while provided a nice aroma.

Coyote Bush is a “go to” plant for the worst conditions you have to face here in San Diego.

All these plants plus many others can beautify your without putting additional strain on our environment.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design create a beautiful outdoor space that is easy on the environment, please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Here is San Diego we are blessed with a surplus of landscape maintenance companies to select from. However the overwhelming majority of the them are unprofessional and at best a “mow and blow” service. That may be fine for some people, but even the most basic landscape stills needs some level of care. When was the last time you saw an abandoned lot and said “wow look how nice that yard looks”, every yard need looking after.

With the popularity of drought tolerant landscapes people think they are “no maintenance” that is completely false. Yes the may require less maintenance then a formal cottage garden but they still need looking after by a trained individual that has a vested interest in the success of that outdoor space. So please select a maintenance company not on how cheap they are but on successful examples of other property they maintain. Then speak with the homeowners of these projects to see how much of the work they are really doing themselves, you may be surprised that they do all the fine tuning while the gardens do only the mowing and weed pulling.

As the homeowner you take great pride in your property and we both know that you spent a great deal of money to achieve a certain look, the designer too has poured their heart into the success of the space only to have a guy with a mower and blower come wreck the whole thing for $75 bucks a month. No matter how great the design all landscapes can be ruined without proper maintenance, so please pick your maintenance company with as much care as you selected your landscape designer for we are counting on it.

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

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Continuing on the theme from last week about the newly implemented water restrictions here in San Diego, this week we will discuss what to do if you find yourself with a higher then expected water bill.

The most common reason for a higher then normal water bill is pretty straight forward, you used more water. With more then half of a typical residents water being used on their landscape other areas despite being a much smaller percentage can add up. Think back and see if you can remember what might have caused that, did you have guest staying at your place, did your child move home for the summer, these will cause a rise in usage. The second most common is a leak, even if they are small when left unattended they can be costly. Often they are in the irrigation system and the best way to find out is to search for an abnormally wet spot as well as visually inspect each head on each zone for a broken or missing part. If you are looking for a leak not associated with your irrigation system the best way to do that is to turn off the water to your home and all water using appliances. Read the meter and then again 15 min later, if the dial has not moved you don’t have a leak. If the dial moved then start inspection faucets, and toilets if you don’t find anything the leak is in a underground pipe and you will need to call a plumber. The third and least likely reason behind a increased water bill is reader error. While this is unlikely its possible, visual read your meter yourself and compare the findings to what they billed you for.

Like I have mentioned before, I highly recommend transforming your landscape from water thirsty plants to more climate appropriate plants schemes, but I believe we should all do whatever we can to limit water usage in all aspects of our lives and being aware of ones overall water usage and how to detect a leak is a great way to be water smart.

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

New San Diego permanent and Level 1 water restrictions went into place on July 1st, and they have many people asking “what changed”. Well if you follow this blog and our environmentally conscience then the answer is not much.

Some of the items are pretty simple and you probably have been doing for years. Such as dont water between 10:00am and 6:oo pm, dont use a hose to wash down sidewalks, fountains need a recirculating pump, dont water when its raining, and my favorite limiting the use of fire hydrants to fire fighting.

We all need to be aware of the drought and limit our use of water wherever we can. I personally feel that we should take it upon ourselves to not only follow the new regulations but take it another step further and be a example in our community on how to really curb our dependance on water. Great ways to do so are removing lawns and thirsty plants, installing a smart irrigation system, run dishwasher and other water using appliances only when full, use gray water where possible, capture what rainfall we do get and many other things that can save water and hopefully get others to do the same.

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If you would like Cleator Landscape Design to help with creating a beautiful low water use outdoor space for you, please contact us at 619.917.3644

Here in San Diego and throughout much of California we are able to grow a wide range of  beautiful trees for our outdoor spaces, but if your looking for a native standout you may find yourself stumped. One great family of native trees are the Oaks, in our area some that do especially well are the Coastal Live Oak, Interior Live Oak, Black Oak, Canyon Live Oak and the Scrub Oak.  If you are looking to grow your own iconic California tree I recommend planting your acorns right after the first rain of the season (typically in November) in a site with great drainage. Place the acorn on its side in a hole about as wide and deep as your hand, cover with about an inch of soil. Due to the fact that most critters like to harvest acorns its best to protect them with a small diameter metal screen for the first few years. Let the rain help with the watering chores however its best to give them a few drinks during the summer for the first few years to help them along. In time you will have your own iconic tree to be enjoyed by future generations.

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

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Its now mid June and its time to tend your gardens. Most of your plants that are actively growing will benefit from a balanced fertilizer. However don’t feed or even give much water to any Mediterranean or native plants, they have evolved to handle our dry summers. But your lawn, any roses, annuals, perennials will all enjoy a nice boost.  Its also a great time to manage giant white fly, remove infected leaves and blast remain leaves with a strong blast of water to dislodge remain insects. You can also plant summers annuals  such as Gaillardia or Ratibida columnifera. Adding 2-4 inches of mulch will also help to maintain soil temp and conserve water as summer temperatures continue to rise. If you are growing tomatoes, be sure to pick off hornworms and irrigate every 5-7 days. Adding a nice layer of organic mulch around their base will also help. That’s a quick to-do list for June gardeners here is San Diego.

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

Here in San Diego we are all very aware of the danger wildfires can pose on our dry chaparral woodlands. With many of us living along the rims and in the valleys of San Diego’s many canyon need to be well prepared and do what we can to reduce the risk of wildfires. One great place to start is in the landscape, with proper defensible space management and plant selection any homeowner can create a strong first line of defense in protection your home.

Keeping trees away from structures, planting only low fuel plants, clearing out gutters, keep plants limbs up of the ground and maintaining proper spacing are all ways one can help to mitigate the risk of wildfires.  Proper plant selection is also very important, seek out plants with low oil and high water content.  Many natives and succulents fit will into this category, plus they are often easy to maintain and beautiful.

By following simple guidelines and selecting plants based on their fire rating you can help reduce the risk that wildfires in your neighborhood.

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