Landscaping and Gardening Services in Pismo Beach and SLO County
264 Irish Way, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
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22 Jul 2016

Golden Yarrow

Golden Yarrow-200Golden yarrow is a shrub native to the California coastline and the Sierra Nevada foothills. It’s drought tolerant but requires monthly watering to ensure abundant blooms and preserve foliage. It’s a perfect companion to Texas paintbrush.

Golden Yarrow and Texas Paintbrush

Texas paintbrush has brilliant red blooms. The combination of golden yarrow and scarlet Texas paintbrush is a real standout among wild grasses and succulents. Golden yarrow and Texas paintbrush should be planted together for a practical reason: Texas paintbrush needs to feed off the roots of sturdy shrubs like golden yarrow. Both plants grow to about the same height and have complementary blooming seasons. Texas paintbrush blooms in spring. Golden yarrow blooms from early spring through late fall.

Both like a similar soil PH and frequently grow together in the wild. Their watering schedules are similar. Golden yarrow needs watering once a month during the summer, and Texas paintbrush needs twice monthly watering. We’re available for all your irrigation needs, and we’ll ensure that each plant receives just the right amount of water, with no waste.

A Hardy Family Tree

Although it’s a shrub, golden yarrow is a member of the aster family and related to the woolly sunflower. They’re resilient wildflowers that propagate by seed. Even if golden yarrow sheds leaves or has fewer blooms during an intense drought, you can count on it surviving and enhancing your garden year after year.

A Versatile Small Shrub

Golden yarrow grows to slightly over 18 inches. Each stem has a pretty cluster of bright flowers, as many as 30 per stem. The stems are slender but bear the weight of the flowers and have grayish-green, small spiky leaves. When the shrub isn’t flowering, the pale stems and leaves contrast beautifully with darker wild grasses.

In the wild, golden yarrow shrubs grow in irregular clusters. When planning to use golden yarrow in your yard or garden, we recommend it for lining your walkway or accenting your rock garden. The sunny yellow flowers look spectacular against the background of a large boulder.

A Must for the Butterfly Garden

Because golden yarrow has such a long blooming season, it’s perfect for your butterfly garden. It provides food for pollinators at the beginning of the season and the end. Plant it with Texas paintbrush, and you’ll have both butterflies and hummingbirds in your garden.

Soil and Sun

Golden yarrow grows well in most types of soil, including yards with some clay. Although it requires water during the summer, it likes dry soil. We can help you select a place in your yard or garden that has good drainage and a little shade. Unlike many drought tolerant California plants, golden yarrow needs a respite from the sun during the day. It should be planted near trees, taller shrubs or in an area where your house will give it some shade.

If you think golden yarrow would look great by your Pismo Beach patio or if you’d like to learn more about using it in butterfly gardens, get in touch with us today.

Things to Remember:

  • Golden yarrow has a long flowering season
  • It needs twice monthly watering
  • It should have partial shade

If you need help with your garden or landscaping, contact Evergreen Landscaping today at (805) 773-5395.

28 Jun 2016

Texas Paintbrush

Texas Paintbrush-300Texas paintbrush blooms in spring and reseeds itself in autumn. The scarlet parts of the bloom aren’t petals or leaves. They’re called “bracts,” and they hide the actual flower, which is green and contains the seeds.The flower is often described as looking like a tiny pouch. Texas paintbrush tolerates drought well but will require a little water.

An Interesting Beauty

Texas paintbrush will bring brilliant color to your drought resistant garden. People are usually surprised to discover that Texas paintbrush is a parasitic plant. Like mistletoe growing on an oak tree, Texas paintbrush requires a host plant. When growing wild, it often partners with sagebrush or golden yarrow. In your yard, it needs to be placed close to sturdy perennials or wild grasses so that its roots can burrow into their roots to feed off the other plants.

There is controversy as to whether the Texas paintbrush is native to California, Texas or both. Many wildflowers and herbs fall into the category of plants with “paintbrush” in their name. What’s certain is that this stunning herb with its red bracts is found growing wild on the prairies of Texas and in both our California deserts and coastal areas. When you plant Texas paintbrush in your garden, you get beauty and a conversation starter.

Soil Requirements

Like most drought resistant plants, Texas paintbrush likes soil with good drainage. A sandy yard is ideal for Texas paintbrush. Texas paintbrush also does best in soil that’s on the acidic side. We can add nutrients to your soil that will increase acidity and make a friendlier growing environment for Texas paintbrush. Texas paintbrush is a good choice for rocky soil and sloping areas.

If you need help with your garden or landscaping, contact Evergreen Landscaping today at (805) 773-5395.

15 Jun 2016

Gardening Terms You Should Know and Understand

On the surface, gardening and planting seems fairly easy. You put seeds or plants in the ground and wait… but there is a lot more to it than that. And that’s where a professional landscaper, such as those at Evergreen Landscaping, can help you. There are several gardening terms you should know that your landscaper will use. Understanding these gardening terms will help you when you’re planning your garden.

Gardening Terms

  • Annual – an annual is a plant that completes its entire life cycle in one year. It grows, reproduces and dies all in one year.
  • Biennial – this plant lives two years. It grows the first year and reproduces and dies in the second.
  • Compost – this is organic material in various states of decomposition. Gardeners create a compost pile from lawn clippings, leaves, and organic waste material from their homes.
  • Dead-Head – Dead-heading a plant means removing the flowers once they have wilted after blooming. This is done by pinching off the flower below the petals. It can help further growth and also prevent the plant from self-seeding.
  • Direct Sow – this means that seeds can be directly planted into the soil or garden where you want the plant to grow. There is no need to start the plants inside first, for instance.
  • Germination – this is the stage where the seed starts to change. It will start to sprout and your plant will begin its growth. It is helpful to know how many days it will take a certain seed to germinate.
  • Hardiness Zone – this is a term you will hear your landscaper use a lot. The hardiness zone is a geographically-defined zone that will determine what plants will grow well in your area. Your zone is assigned a number from 1-11. You want to use plants that are hardy for your zone for best results.
  • Hardy Perennial – Perennials are plants that live for more than two years. A hardy perennial will usually have a lower zone limit to which it is hardy, and that means it will withstand the weather in that zone year-round without having to be brought inside.
  • Mulch – Mulch takes various forms. It can be well-rotten manure, compost, gravel, or other material that is used to retain moisture in your garden, hold back weed growth and/or improve soil composition. This is usually spread in a thick layer either over seeds or around plants. In areas prone to frost and freezes, it can be used to keep tender plants from experiencing those harsh weather conditions.
  • Pistil – the pistil is the female reproductive portion of the flower of a plant. It is the seed-bearing part of the flower.
  • Pollination – this is the transfer of pollen between plants. Pollination is needed for fruits and vegetables to grow. This can be accomplished via wind, pollinating insects, animals or humans.
  • Rhizome – this is a horizontal stem that grows along the ground or underground. New plants can sprout up along these rhizomes, allowing one specific plant to take over an entire garden bed or area. Many ground cover plants spread via rhizomes.
  • Stamen – this is the male reproductive portion of the flower. It contains the pollen.
  • Pruning – If you are unfamiliar with pruning trees, shrubs and plants, it is best to either have a professional landscaper handle the pruning for you, or at the very least let them explain how to prune each of your trees and shrubs. Pruning is more than just cutting haphazardly. It is a careful and deliberate cutting of certain branches or parts of branches to increase tree health and for aesthetic appeal.

Gardening and landscaping do not have to be a mystery. But it is definitely best to start out with a professional landscaper who can help you to understand these gardening terms, and the many other terms regarding gardening and landscaping.

At Evergreen Landscaping we help you do just that. We’ll get the exact look and feel you want for your property while using the perfect plants for the central coast area.

Contact us today or call 805-773-5395.

01 Jun 2016

Cardinal Catchfly

Cardinal CatchflyAre you longing for a brilliant pop of color for your drought resistant Pismo Beach garden? Cardinal catchfly, a native to our area, is a welcome alternative to succulents and wild grasses. Cardinal catchfly, also called Indian pink, Mexican pink and Mexican campion, is a saffron-colored flowering herb. Each stem bears multiple blooms.The blooms have long stamens that are fully revealed as the flower unfolds. Cardinal catchfly needs a bit of extra care compared to some other drought tolerant plants, but it also has some special qualities you’re sure to love.

Perennial Beauty

Cardinal catchfly will return every year to brighten your garden. The plant starts growing from a central taproot, and then drops its seeds at the end of the growing season, starting new plants. After a few years, your garden will be a riot of blossoms from May through August. The new blossoms are true orange and slightly resemble trumpet flowers. If you want cut flowers for a dramatic centerpiece, wait until the petals are fully opened and the stamens are showing.

The stems of cardinal catchfly can reach heights of two and a half feet, but usually top out at two feet or slightly less. This makes it an ideal flower to plant in front of tall grasses or along garden fences. It looks beautiful mingled with flowers of similar or slightly taller height. Cardinal catchfly complements red lava rock and red mulch. It also adds color to your rock garden.

Special Planting Needs

Unlike many drought resistant California plants, cardinal catchfly does best with a little shade. It’s often found growing near pine trees in the wild. You can still have cardinal catchfly in your sunny garden. We can tell you the best place in your yard to plant cardinal catchfly. It typically needs water only twice a month.

We recommend planting cardinal catchfly with plants that can help support the heavily flowered, delicate stems. You can also use a trellis to support the plants and to add an attractive landscaping element to your garden.

Cardinal catchfly is the perfect drought tolerant flower for a sloping yard with lots of gravel in the soil. It also grows well in sandy yards. The most important thing is that your soil has good drainage.

Worth the Care

Cardinal catchfly is more than just a drought tolerant beauty. It’s a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies. If you love the idea of sitting on your patio watching hummingbirds dart back and forth, plant cardinal catchfly. Cardinal catchfly is also an important element of a bird and butterfly garden. It’s the perfect plant if you’re trying to attract pollinators. More pollinators in your garden mean more beautiful flowers.


Things to Remember
• Cardinal catchfly is a short to medium flower
• Cardinal catchfly requires support due to weak stems
• It needs twice monthly watering and good drainage


Because cardinal catchfly requires some special care, it’s important to work with a landscaper if you’re considering adding it to your yard. Please contact us if you’re interested in cardinal catchfly and other pollinator friendly, drought resistant plants. We’ll help you design your garden, and then we’ll do all the maintenance.

31 May 2016

Important Landscaping Terms That Everyone Should Know

landscaping termsUnderstanding basic landscaping terms is important so that there is no miscommunication between you and your landscaper. Understanding landscaping language also helps when you’re reading landscaping articles or planning your lawn before you contact us. We’ve selected some common landscaping terms used by landscapers and included some general landscaping information that all homeowners should know.

Pruning and Related Landscaping Terms

Sap is up or down. Sap rises in the spring. This is basic information but important to consider in the context ofpruning. Pruning should only be done in the fall when the bush or tree’s growth season has ended and the sap is down. Pruning when the sap is up can injure or kill flowering or fruit trees, bushes and roses.

Pruning. Pruning, or cutting back plants, keeps flowering and fruit trees healthy and full. A regularly pruned tree will produce more flowers and fruit, and pruning will avoid the situation of straggly branches hanging too low or into your neighbor’s yard. Prune in the fall. It’s best to let a landscaper determine the best time to prune different trees and bushes. If you prune flowerbeds or overgrown potted plants, wait until the growing season is over. Deadheading is simply cutting off dead blooms and can be done at any time. Deadheading encourages the plant to keep putting out blooms as long as possible.

Turf. Many people think of turf only as artificial grass. Turf, or turf grass, is any grass, and we’re mentioning it in this section with pruning because mowing at the wrong time might be what’s killing your grass or giving you bare spots. Newly planted grass and new grass in the spring should be allowed to grow several inches before you mow for the first time. It’s best to let a landscaper mow a new lawn for the first season. Landscapers know when grass is strong enough to withstand mowing and the correct height to set the blade for different types of grass.

Maintaining Your Lawn

Aeration. Aeration is a critical lawn maintenance procedure that removes debris so that air can get to the roots of your grass and under the surface of the soil. The debris is called lawn thatch and consists of the dead grass that builds up on the dirt over the winter and during the fall. Removing this debris is called dethatching and must be done carefully to avoid injuring the roots of the grass. If you have a well-established lawn with healthy grass, it’s okay to dethatch with a dethatching rake. If you have difficulty keeping your grass alive, landscapers can do your spring and fall dethatching as part of their seasonal cleanup.

Overseeding. One method of improving lawns with thin grass and bare spots is overseeding. We use aspreader to evenly distribute grass seed over your lawn. There’s no need to cover your lawn in straw, because the grass protects the seed. All you need to do is water your lawn. Your landscaper will determine when the new grass is ready to be mowed.

Trenching. Trenching leaves a border between your lawn and flowerbeds. It makes your landscaping more attractive and helps keep weeds out of your flowerbeds. After digging the trench, we use materials like mulch or stone to keep down grass in the trench.

Decorative Lawn Effects

Hardscaping. Hardscaping is a great way to have an impressive, unique lawn if you can’t get grass to grow or if you live in a drought-prone area. We can design a lawn for you with rock gardens, fire pits and walking paths. You can incorporate plants into your hardscaping. We’ll help you pick out the best drought-resistant plants.

Waterscapes. A waterscape can be as small as a fountain or as large as a koi pond. We can use elements already on your property and build a waterscape around them. Waterscapes need cleaning and maintenance throughout the year to keep them functioning and looking their best. Waterscape maintenance is part of our yearly maintenance plan for your lawn.


We hope this article answers your questions about common landscaping terms. If you have more questions or would like a free landscaping consultation, please contact us.
25 May 2016

Sea Cliff Buckwheat

Sea cliff buckwheatSea cliff buckwheat is a beautiful, perennial spreading shrub with blooms ranging from off-white to pale red. It typically grows to a height of about three feet and branches out to the same width. While it prefers sandy soil, it also does well in clay. It grows best at low altitudes. It is also called seacliff buckwheat, dune buckwheat, coast buckwheat and cliff buckwheat.

Sea Cliff Buckwheat – Drought Tolerant

Sea cliff buckwheat is one of our most drought tolerant native plants. Some homeowners report never having watered their established plants. Please never attempt to transplant wild sea cliff buckwheat; this can damage the plant, sand dunes and destroy food sources and habitat for many native wildlife species. A landscaper can determine if your soil is suitable for this plant. Young plants are fast growing. Sea cliff buckwheat is a hardy and lovely addition to your garden by the sea.

Year-Round Beauty

Even when it’s not flowering, it will bring beauty to your yard. The leaves, like the flowers, have a range of colors and are chartreuse, true green and reddish-green. Some leaves may have a fuzzy white appearance. This is normal and not an infestation. Sea cliff buckwheat is almost invulnerable to insect or fungi infestations. The flowers are tightly bunched on a single stem. The petals on one stem can be white with green strips, pale pink, deep pink and almost red. A bouquet of sea cliff buckwheat makes a perfect centerpiece.

The Perfect Plant for Pollinators

It’s vital for your garden, your neighbors’ gardens and our farms to plant flowers and shrubs that attract pollinators. Bees, butterflies, moths, bats and even wasps are pollinators or incidental pollinators. Various pollinators are attracted to different plants and colors of blossoms. Both honeybees and different species of butterflies, including the endangered Smith’s Blue Butterfly, love sea cliff buckwheat. When you plant sea cliff buckwheat, you bring insects to your yard that will find their way to your other plants too, and everyone and everything benefits. In addition to being a buffet for bees and butterflies, a fully-grown sea cliff buckwheat plant provides fall and winter shelter for birds.

Abundant Flowers for Your Yard

Sea cliff buckwheat is an ideal groundcover for barren areas of your yard. You can use it to line a pathway, as a background for smaller plants or as an element of your rock garden. The varicolored flowers and lush green leaves of this plant provide a colorful complement to beach grasses. It looks great hanging over retaining walls and, used in a sloping yard, can help prevent soil erosion.

If you’re starting with a bare seaside yard or one with little color, you couldn’t pick a better plant than sea cliff buckwheat. It’s robust, can withstand dry weather and ocean winds, produces an abundance of colorful blossoms and feeds and shelters our native wildlife. It is one of California’s most important plants. If you want to beautify your yard and help the environment, contact us about landscaping today.

16 May 2016

How do I Prevent Crabgrass from Growing in My Yard?


If you plan ahead, you greatly increase the chances that you will never have to face crabgrass in the future. Let’s take a closer look at what crabgrass is and what you can do about it.

What is Crabgrass?

  • Crabgrass is an annual plant.
  • It’s a low plant with very thin leaves that seems to infect yards like a virus.
  • There are more than 300 different types around the world.

How to Prevent Crabgrass from Growing

  • Keep your yard healthy as possible.
  • Let your grass grow a bit higher. Four inches during the summer, and three inches during the winter and fall seasons.

Tired of crabgrass? Consider switching to synthetic turf. It’s low-maintenance and looks great year- round.

Contact us for a Free Consultation.

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11 May 2016

The Foothill Pine


Foothill PineFoothill pine is a handsome evergreen that can grow to 80 feet tall. It’s also called California foothill pine, pinon pine, bull pine, nut pine and gray pine. The California foothill pine thrives in areas with poor soil and little water. The nuts, eaten raw or roasted or even ground into flour with other seeds, were a vital food source for Native Americans. Native Americans also used the pine pitch for medicinal purposes and the branches to fashion utensils and even in basket weaving.

Foothill Pines: Useful Landscaping Trees

While normally a slow-growing tree, regular watering will help the California foothill pine reach half its full height at a much faster rate. Foothill pines are ideal as a windbreak tree because they sway with the wind and are unlikely to be damaged. Windbreaks are especially important in drought-prone areas of our state where high winds can blow away dry soil. They protect smaller plants from strong winds and keep the wind from beating against your home. They also provide some shade for the sunniest side of your house so that you can turn down the air conditioning.

Foothill Pines and Wildlife

California foothill pines provide food and shelter to many varieties of wildlife and even bring butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. Deer, including mule deer, find its young branches tasty, so you may want to have your trees pruned so that foliage is just out of their reach. Pruning should be done by a landscaper in late fall or winter. Another advantage to pruning is to open up space under the tree for the plants that grow under it in nature.

Songbirds feed on the seeds of the foothill pine, and the tree provides essential winter shelter for birds when other trees lose their leaves. Butterflies also spend the winter in California foothill pine and lay their eggs there in the spring, where the larvae live and spend their pupae stage. Hummingbirds are known for subsisting on nectar, and this pine flowers from late spring into early summer. Hummingbirds also drink tree sap. If you love backyard wildlife watching, consider pines in addition to your bird and butterfly-attracting plants.

The Foothill Pine and Mistletoe

Gray pine dwarf mistletoe, like all varieties of mistletoe, is a parasite, and it’s not the attractive variety that’s become part of holiday lore. Gray pine dwarf mistletoe is unattractive and can harm your foothill pines. If you start to notice curly, dark yellow or reddish-orange masses on your trees, call your landscaper immediately so that they can deal with the infestation before it gets out of control.

Like most trees, for the best placement and growth, foothill pines should be planted by a landscaper. Since the California foothill pine is typically planted in hard, rocky soil, professional equipment is required to dig a hole wide and deep enough for the young pine. Your landscaper can also ensure that young trees receive proper irrigation. Please contact us if you’re interested in foothill pines for your yard.

01 May 2016

Advice to Make Gardening More Fun and Fruitful



Gardening includes many benefits making it an excellent hobby.  From enhancing property value to growing fresh ingredients for cooking, it’s a great way to spend your time.

Here are some tips to get started on your personal garden!

First Time Gardeners

  • Find plants that are good for beginners.
  • Use organic mulches to keep moisture within the soil by reducing evaporation.
  • Consider asking friends or family for clippings using their existing plants.

Landscape designs

  • Where water is scarce, home gardeners need to change to plants that need little moisture.
  • Lawns can be changed to gravel, wood chips or patio decking.
  • Taking advantage of clippings can help you save in landscape designs and gardening costs.

Excessive Amount of Fruits & Vegetables

  • Don’t let your veggies go to waste. Offer then them to family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Preserve for future use by canning, freezing or dehydrating the surplus.
  • Call the local food bank to see if they except donations.

Need a jump start with your gardening? Contact Evergreen Landscaping for a free consultation.

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