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April Newsletter

This is a great time to be outside enjoying the pleasant weather, aromas, flowers, and Southern California life. We also may want to think about planting California Friendly plants (many have very lush, controllable growth with beautiful flowers) that use less water. We have listed some in our water-wise section but we carry many more at our nursery.

I recently went on an early morning spring hike at my favorite local hiking area (Chantry Flats). The crisp air, the birds coming back, the new spring growth; I focused on how beautiful the reflections of trees, hills and rocks were off the larger bodies of water. So much of nature can be reflected in our landscapes. Whether it is a natural landscape or even the way we can use our pools to add the magnificent, tranquil and artistic effect of reflecting structures on the water.

Mark Meahl (President Garden View Inc.)
Reflections on Water

Most Garden View pools are not just designed to be functional places to cool off, play, relax or exercise. They also provide a very important part of a beautiful environment. Bodies of water and water features are relaxing, soothing and to some very soulful. After all, water is the essence of life. To most of us the pleasure of being at a beach, lake or other large body of water is not something that we can explain; we just know deep inside that it makes us feel good.

Taking advantage of reflections is just one of the ways we create and tap the subliminal power of being next to water.

April + May Gardening Tips

THIN FRUITS:  Thinning fruits now, while they are the size of an olive or grape gives you fewer but larger fruits at harvest time, thinned limbs are also less likely to break under an overload of fruit. Thin nectarines, peaches, and Japanese plum about 4 to 6 inches apart. European plums don't need to be thinned.

CUPHEA: (left)
If it was cold this winter your Cuphea plants might have lost some or much of their leaves. Garden View crews feed Cuphea with a high nitrogen fertilizer and they usually recover quickly.

ABUTILON: (right)
Abutilon takes pruning well. Tip prune young plants, to spur new growth and get a fuller shape. If yours starts to become tall and gangly, snipping it back to a leaf joint will encourage it to send out new branches. Abutilon can also be pruned back hard in the spring, if you want to control its size.

Abutilon is a heavy feeder. Keep up the fertilizer for maximum bloom.

Red bird of paradise (left) should be pruned in late winter or early spring. Mexican bird of paradise and yellow bird of paradise can also be pruned at that time but should be pruned more sparingly (if at all).

The best time to prune Wisteria (right) is after they finish flowering. New growth begins the foundation for next year's blooms. This plant can take over an arbor or crush a house if it is not pruned. On any vine it is very important not to cut the main stock or everything after that point dies and you have a large mass of dead plant. By pruning regularly and heavily you can more easily identify the main stock and you can trim the lateral or side branches without damaging the main stock.

Bigleaf type hydrangea (left) set their flower buds at the ends of the upright or lateral branches, during late summer to early fall. Pruning bigleaf hydrangea in the spring or even late fall, after the buds have been set, will remove the flower buds and any chance of getting flowers that season.

Bigleaf hydrangea should be pruned as soon as the flowers have faded. You should begin to see new growth coming in from the base of the plant. To keep the plant vigorous, selectively prune out the dead and weaker stems, both old and new. Don't prune out all the old wood, since this is what will keep flowering as the new growth matures.

Lantana (right) responds to heavy pruning well. Take the opportunity to prune your lantana down by as much as to within 6-12 inches of ground level. Leaves will re-emerge in spring. Lantana isn't harmed at all by such a drastic pruning, and the result will be more compact lantana shrubs. Another benefit of pruning hard now is that the plants have time to grow and you will avoid pruning off much of the flowers.

Though it is naturally a multi-stemmed shrub, Rose of Sharon can be trained to have a single trunk, looking more like a tree. It can also be trained as an espalier or shaped into a hedge.

Prune as needed to maintain the shape desired. In winter or early spring, last season's growth should be pruned away, which will help produce bigger blooms.

Camellias (right) like being fertilized in spring with a slower acting balanced fertilizer. There is still time to prune camellias before they set bud. Remember to remove dead flowers from the plant and the ground to reduce damp weather fungus diseases.

PITTISPORUM TOBIRA (Left) Don't Prune Now:
Try not to prune this plant now, though the flowers are apparent but relatively inconspicuous they enrich the garden with a beautiful aroma. There are several types of Pittisporum tobira. Some are variegated. This is a very dependable low maintenance plant.

STAR JASMINE - Trachelospermum (right) Don't Prune Now:
This very versatile, popular plant is just starting to flower. Garden View crews prune this plant only when absolutely necessary at this time of year so that you can enjoy the beautiful flowers and wonderful scent. Star Jasmine can be used and trained as a ground cover, shrub or vine.

To prevent self sowing and prolong bloom break off blossoms individually. Do not cut flower stems because they last more than a year. When they have clearly stopped producing blooms cut stem back to lower leaf joint. (This plant can survive on very minimal water)

EURYOPS: (right)
This low water use plant blooms almost all year round. Because it is blooming most of the year gardeners are reluctant of pruning it and it can become lanky and unattractive. Garden View gardeners prune the plant several times a year, the flowers are usually not all cut off and the blooms return with increased vigor.

After this beautiful, low maintenance, low water use plant has finished blooming it is a good time to do minimal pruning. Once this plant reaches its mature size it is slow growing and probably only needs to be cut once a year with a little inside out pruning to let light inside the plant and to keep its natural form.

MAGNOLIA STELLATA, and other early spring flowering trees (right):
The best time to prune most flowering trees is soon after they finish blooming. Don't sheer or top the trees. Selectively prune the crisscrossing branches and prune to shape.

PALO VERDE (left) Cercidium and mesquite:
Limit pruning of desert legume trees such as Palo Verde and mesquite. Just remove dead or very small limbs as necessary. Heavy pruning, to stimulate new growth which will be stressed by oncoming heat should wait until later in the summer.

COLEUS: (right)
This shade loving perennial is usually treated as an annual. The blue flowered spikes are attractive but they spoil the plants shape and are best pruned out in bud. The pinching also encourages more vigorous leafy compact growth. 





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Water-Wise Tips
Protect our resources and your water bill


As we plant in spring many of us are or should be considering using California Friendly plants. Most native plants should be planted in Fall or Winter. Some more durable California natives can be planted year round successfully. There are many California friendly plants from the Mediterranean climates, Australia, and other parts of the world that are attractive and use very minimal water.

Most of our landscapes have many of these reliable plants in them already. We can have beautiful well controlled and blooming landscapes with minimal water by just using these plants in their own hydro-zones.

Some of these plants are:
Corral Bells, Dietes, Euryops, Lantana, Rhaphiolepis, Artemisia, Calliandra, Cistus, Coprosma, Cotoneaster, Dodeaea, Feijoa, Juipers, Lavandula, Lavatera, Leonotis, Leptosperumum Leucadendron, Leucophyllum, Mahonia, Myrtus, Nandina, Nerium Oleander, Osmanthus Plumbago, Pyracantha, Rosemary, Salvia, Santolina, Teucrium, Achillea, Agapanthus, Agave Armeria, Cporepsos, Echium, Erigeron, Eriogonum, Euphorbia, Gaura, Iris, Limonium (Statice), Mimulus, Pennisetum, Phormium (Flax), Stachys (Lambs Ear), Stipa , Verbena, and many more.

Garden View Nursery has most plants labeled with descriptive signs throughout the 12 acre plot. The signs include, along with other information, how much water the plants need and will tolerate. We have also put a special tag on the signs to make it easy to identify.

In the Dirt
with Julie Meahl (Garden View Nursery)

Julie MeahlThe Southern California Edison Construction is coming to a close. Garden View Nursery should be back in full swing Saturday April 14th, 2012. It's about time! We are looking forward to spreading out our entire inventory for our customers' full view... And our inventory is looking great!  


Who said two heads are better than one? Well it is true. This year Garden View Nursery has 36" tall tree roses grafted with two different color roses making one head. These unique tree roses will make your head turn.


Two Colors such as:

-Dark Pink + Yellow

-Orange + Red

-Gold + Red

-Red + Lavender

-Pink + Peach


Besides the "twofers" we have the traditional 36" tall tree roses and a beautiful selection of icebergs and rose bushes. It is time to spring on in so we can reconnect.


Now you're in the dirt!

Thank you Mother Nature!

(Julie Meahl is the Retail Manager and Vice President of Garden View, Inc.)

Landscape Maintenance Blog
For those of you who have not had a chance to meet me yet my name is Danielle Roman. I am new to Garden View and I am enjoying my new position as Landscape Maintenance Director. I bring many years of experience in the landscape, construction and Nursery business to Garden View.

If you are wondering where Blake Meahl is, he is on a hiatus traveling the world with his rock and roll band. He will be back and we will be working together to constantly improve Garden View operations and service and to build the companies landscape maintenance business.

While he is away I will be handling the day to day operations along with Esteban Luviano (Landscape maintenance supervisor). If you have any questions, concerns, or problems please feel free to contact me.

One of the first issues I had to deal with was one of our Homeowner Association board members was questioning us on why we were not cleaning up and raking all the leaves out from under all the shrubs.

I had to agree that along walkways and highly visible areas these spots should be very clean. But in many areas contrary to what many people believe should be raked and blown clean probably shouldn't. From a horticultural and practical standpoint it is often better to leave a reasonable amount of natural plant litter under the shrubs if it is not aesthetically distracting or messy.

Just like in the forest, this is nature's free mulch; it saves water by naturally mulching the plants and as the natural plant debris breaks down it adds nutrients to the soil and plants. It also reduces blowing (which all gardeners get complaints about). It is often almost impossible to do a good job of raking under the shrubs, through branches, roots and vining ground cover. So the gardeners need to blow and blow pretty hard to get the leaves out and to a place where they can rake them up. Picking priorities and the right spots to let nature take its course (regarding natural mulching) and where the gardener needs to keep the grounds clean and crisp is part of the decisions gardeners and their customers need to be clear on.


(Danielle Roman is the Landscape Maintenance Director for Garden View.) 

Welcome Spring!
If you have any suggestions on articles you would like to see in our newsletter or suggestions for improvement please let us know.
-Tyler Meahl (Technical Manager and Special Projects Coordinator for Garden View Inc.)
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