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The Great Outdoors
October, 2015 - Issue #132

Top Five Favorites Drought-tolerant Plants for the SCV
Local green thumbs shared their favorite water-sipping plants - and the results had more than one element in common.

Each of the suggestions...
• Requires little water once established
• Requires full sun
• Likes well-drained soil
• Is bird and butterfly friendly
• Is easy to grow
• Is low maintenance
• Adds color and texture to a garden

Here are the top five!

Lantana
Perfect for hot, sunny spots, this fragrant flower is colorful and will bloom with only a little water through the summer and fall. It's a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds. Use it in a pot or as a ground cover to control erosion and help prevent evaporation.

Lavender
Use it for cooking, as a cut flower or even as a fragrance in sachets or potpourris. It grows as a perennial shrub in the SCV.

Fountain Grass
This plant not only adds interest but movement and texture to your garden. Use it for a color boost and to aid in erosion control.

Salvia
Part of the sage family, this plant generally comes in blue, purple, pink and red and has tall trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom from spring to early fall. They love sun and grow beautifully while adding color, fragrance, texture and height to your garden.

Penstemon
This beauty grows in red, pink, purple, blue, red/orange and white - and can even be used as a privacy block because of its height. It's a perennial in our SCV microclimate.
Castaic Lake Water Agency www.clwa.org


Prepare Now for a Wet El Nino Winter
With all this talk of water shortages and drought, it's hard to believe that we may be coming upon a weather system that could bring torrential downpours to our community and state. The probability of monsoon-like rains this winter is debatable, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't take this time to prepare for the worst (And the best! Our aquifers really need a wet winter!).
Here's what to do now:

Clean your gutters and downspouts. Make sure that these areas are consistently debris free.

Every property can develop ponding water which can be dangerous and damaging. Now is the time to prepare - before it's raining! El Nino storms dump a lot of water fast and our SCV soil isn't porous enough to absorb it as quickly as it falls when the rain's really coming down.

If your yard has drainage issues, is poorly graded or has already suffered from the damage of erosion, call NV Landscape, Inc. to evaluate what they can do so that rain water stays outside where it belongs. Fall is the time to plant trees, too, which will assist with erosion thanks to their expansive root systems. Discuss how to incorporate drought-friendly arbors into your new design.

Most importantly, don't forget that one wet winter will not undo years' worth of drought. This is still the time to make a plan for reducing your outdoor water usage by selecting drought-friendly plants and design. Fall's more-mild weather makes this an ideal time to allow plants to become established so that they are lush and lovely come spring.
NV Landscape, Inc. 286-8888

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Before the wet and windy winter is upon us, prep the exterior of your home to prevent major damage like rot and leaks. Patching and painting drywall cracks; sanding and painting peeling sections of wood awning; and repairing exterior damage near your home's foundation won't just keep your house in good condition for longer - it will make your home look great, just in time for holiday entertaining!
Magic Maintenance, Inc. Painting 259-3373


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Protect your Patio Furniture with Quality Covers
Whether it is a dusty, windy day, or an afternoon drizzle, weather in Santa Clarita can take a toll on the look of your patio furniture. To keep your outdoor living space looking its best, cover your furniture when you are not using it. Premium protective covers will shelter your investment from the harshest conditions. You can purchase covers for each of your pieces or one that will cover an entire set. Don't forget your umbrellas! If you have an odd-shaped table or a barbecue island, you can have a quality cover made to match your specifications. This tip will be helpful when a beautiful weekend comes along and you don't have to spend precious time hosing off the dust and water spots. Just remove the covers and relax!
Oasis Garden & Patio 255-9909
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