Congratulations to Kyle Sato. Kyle just became an ISA certified arborist. Kyle joins the ranks of our five other CBL employees to have become certified arborists.
With over 25 years of experience, our concrete and masonry craftsmen expertly transform block, brick, natural stone, cement and tile into winding pathways, expansive decks, soothing fountains and relaxing retreats.
Cleary Bros. unique attention to detail will turn your vision into a reality.
If you live in one of California’s micro climates with cold winters, you’re familiar with the regimen of moving potted plants indoors before the first frost. If you live in an area with mild winters, the occasional frosty night can still wreak havoc on plants, especially potted ones, which are more susceptible to cold weather. Incorporate one or more proactive measures to protect your potted plants from frost damage.
- Water the potted plants the morning before frost is expected. Well-watered plants are less susceptible to frost damage.
- Move potted plants indoors or into a garage or outbuilding. You can also put them on an enclosed porch. You can do this just for the night or for the few days when frost is an issue.
- Apply mulch on top of the soil, up to the rims of the pots. This will insulate the soil and protect the roots. You can also wrap blankets, bubble wrap or burlap around the outside of the containers for extra insulation. If you have extra mulch, surround the containers with it. In autumn, fallen leaves provide abundant and easy-to-use insulating mulch.
- Place the open side of cardboard boxes up and over the pots, making sure they are large enough that they don’t touch the foliage. Cover the plants in the evening and take the boxes off in the morning after the air has warmed. Another simple way to cover plants is to put a chair over the pots. Drape a sheet or burlap over the chair until it touches the ground on all sides. You can also use buckets, milk jugs with the bottoms cut off or larger plant pots.
- Gather potted plants together and place them close to each other. Do this in front of a wall or under an overhang on the warmer southern or western side of the house. The wall and overhang provide some cold protection and the grouped plants have greater thermal mass and help each other stay warm. Place your most cold-hardy plants on the outside of the group and the tenderest plants in the middle.
Things You Will Need
- Blanket, bubble wrap or burlap
- Cardboard box, bucket, milk jugs or plant pots
- Take note of the temperatures in your yard, particularly in the areas you have potted plants. Compare this information with the weather report to give you a more accurate picture of the weather in your landscape. This information will help you know when you should protect your potted plants.
The students at the Beach Schoolmates program were thrilled to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty as they put the finishing touches on their new kitchen garden. Using plastic spoons for trowels, the kids began planting all kinds of winter vegetables, herbs and a few colorful blooming plants as well. William Kuhn of Cleary Bros. pointed out there were strawberries, cabbage, kale, onions, garlic, broccoli, cilantro, and nasturtiums.
Piedmont Parks and Projects Manager Mark Feldkamp designed the transformation of the steep, rocky hill that extends behind the Schoolmates building along Linda Avenue into a drought resistant fruit and kitchen garden. The hillside has been planted with a number of succulants, fragrants such as lavender and Felkamp’s favorite, miniature pomegranates.
Pictured here with Recreation Director Mark Delventhal, Mark Feldkamp and William Kuhn of Cleary Bros. Landscape, who often collaborate on city landscaping projects, oversaw the installation of the planting. Cleary Bros. also donated all the plants for the kitchen garden.
Photos by Katie Hall
Julie joined the Cleary Bros. Landscape team in 2009, and brings over 15 years of landscape industry experience to the company. With a degree in Landscape Design and Turf Grass Management from The University of Minnesota, Julie has continued her education locally to become a Bay Friendly Certified Landscape Designer and a valuable asset to our team. Currently she is managing landscape accounts in the Walnut Creek, Moraga, Oakland, and Danville areas with a true passion for creating sustainable landscape designs. Julie is skilled at preparing CAD designs that clearly illustrate the vision of her ideas.
Outside of landscaping, Julie enjoys spending time with her family exploring the Northern California outdoors, farmer’s markets, and wine culture.
Annuals in their nature, California poppies are easily included into a garden to provide a stunning splash of color wherever it may be needed. Growing relatively quickly, seeds can be sown in the fall and, as long as they’re protected from the frost and cold of winter, will provide the gardener with a wonderfully early source of vivid blooms. Meanwhile, sowing another succession of seeds in the spring will ensure that California poppies grace the garden with their colors throughout much of the year. And with plants easily producing ripe pods, collecting seeds to ensure that poppy plants are always available is easy. The above photo is an area that we established recently. The owners were surprised by the low cost.
One of the great many things about the bay area (and the list of awesomeness is long) is our moderate climate. It’s rarely ever too hot or too cold for too long. And although we’ve had quite a few 80-90` days around here, the mornings are decidedly cooler than they were a few months ago, the warm glow of sunsets happens sooner and sooner in the day and the time telling pumpkin spice latte is back. All of which tells us one thing- Fall is walking up the California driveway waving it’s hand telling us it has come to visit. With the moderate climate and cooler temperatures the new season is bringing to the bay it means it is time to start planning your fall and winter plantings. This fall and winter may we suggest including bulbs in your plan.
Bulbs are a fantastic way to include vibrant pops of color in your gardens, outdoor pots, and also make excellent additions to indoor floral arrangements. Our friends over at Sunset Garden have a quick list for your reference we think you should take a look at- Fall planting: Our top 5 bulbs. Check out the link below for some garden prepping inspirations. Peruse, review, and enjoy!
Whew! Anyone else think it was getting a little toasty around here for a bit? Luckily for us the weather seems to be cooling down. For those of you with automatic watering systems in your lawn and turf areas, be sure to double check your cycles and run times. And be sure to stay tuned for seasonal lawn care tips of the trade coming up in the next few weeks.
The Urban Farmers
Have you heard about this fantastic Bay Area non-profit?
In their own words The Urban Farmers “…are a grassroots, all-volunteer, non-profit organization in the East Bay of San Francisco. It is our goal to deliver solutions that address the needs of the people and the planet we inhabit. We harvest backyard fruit for the needy (and along the way do a few other related things like plant and maintain fruit trees) but our focus is on local hunger relief.”
As a community based solution to the persistent problem of hunger the Urban Farmers gleaning project attempts to make excess food available for those who need it most. Their gleaning efforts are so awesome that two years ago they earned the 2010 Diablo Eco Award from Diablo Magazine.
How does it work? Here’s what the Urban Farmer says:
1- Register your tree with us. (On the website you can click on the orange tree to do so)
2- We will contact you.
3- You keep an eye on the tree and let us know when the fruit is ripe
4- We will coordinate a gleaning day with you
5- Our volunteers will harvest your fruit, leave what you want and take the rest to the food bank or a local charity.
If you prefer to harvest your own fruit and all you need is transportation to the food bank, that’s fine too.
What a great idea! We here at Cleary Bros. also believe in strengthening communities and are happy to share this organization with you. To register your fruit tree and for more information click HERE .
Poison oak is very common along the West Coast. In the open or in filtered sun it forms a dense, leafy shrub; in the shade it’s a tall-growing vine. Its leaves are divided into three leaflets with scalloped, toothed, or lobed edges.
- Only 1 nanogram (billionth of a gram) of oil from a leaf (urushiol) is needed to cause a rash. The average encounter resulting in a rash involves 100 nanograms.
- 500 people could itch from the amount of urushiol covering the head of a pin.
- It is the most common allergy in the country, claiming half the population.
- The rash is not contagious, the urushiol is contagious.
In heavily infested locales poison oak is almost impossible to eliminate. Birds will consume the plants’ berries and as a result of seed spread through their droppings additional shoots invariably sprout every spring.
Tips to identify poison oak:
Along the Pacific coast it grows as 6-foot tall clumps or vines up to 30 feet long
Depending on the time of year the coloring can range from a bright new green, to dark green with darker edges, to red and russet shades
Oak-like leaves, usually in clusters of three
And always remember, when in doubt Stay Out!