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Drought Tolerant Vegetable Gardens

When designing drought-tolerant landscapes, my clients often request edible gardens for growing fruits, vegetables and herbs. While most edible crops need more water than the most drought tolerant plants, with the right techniques even edibles can conserve water. Water is a precious resource, and there is no better way to use it than to grow your own produce. Raised beds with drip irrigation, are very efficient in terms of space and water use. Harvesting rain water and storing it in a cistern (a large water tank) and connecting it to the drip irrigation system, is the most sustainable source of water for vegetable gardens. Another way of looking at growing your own produce at home, is that i

Winter Greens: From Garden to Kitchen

As you wait in anticipation for summer vegetables, the leafy greens and herbs that thrive all winter long in your garden beds have plenty of uses in the kitchen. You can turn your abundant winter harvest into drinks, sauces, snacks and more! Plenty of Pesto If you have more greens and herbs than you know what to do with, pesto is the perfect answer. It’s fresh, flavorful, and you can really pack loads of greens into a batch and keep them from going to waste. I like to use spinach, mint, and parsley, but really, any green that isn’t too tough or twiggy (I’d stay away from thyme, oregano and rosemary, save those for another project) works great. To make a pesto that’s super rich and creamy,

Finding Inspiration in New Mexico's Sustainable Landscapes

New Mexico has been calling my name for years, and this past fall it was singing louder than usual. As the years go by my passion for sustainable gardening and California native plants grows stronger. I’m more interested in the best practices for organic gardening than ever before. So naturally I have wanted to see what I can learn from a state that has many of the same challenges as California when it comes to water and land use. It seemed serendipitous that I was serving as President of the Greater LA district of APLD (Association of Professional Landscape Designers) the same year that the APLD International Conference was being held in Santa Fe. It was a case of manifest destiny. I booked