Magazine article Sunset

March: Your Northern California Guide

Magazine article Sunset

March: Your Northern California Guide

Article excerpt

TECHNIQUE

PICK HEALTHY VEGGIES

Take care at the nursery to choose seedlings that will grow into productive plants.

1 Look for vibrant green foliage and stems on a plant with at least six leaves.

2 Avoid leggy seedlings. Tomatoes and peppers should be wider than they are tall.

3 Roots should be bright white and not thickly matted around the soil. (If in doubt, gently slide the seedling out of its container to take a peek.)

4 Don't buy a seedling that's forming fruit--it's probably been in its container too long.

MUST-HAVE

New plant

It's hard to say who'll love 'Orange Nectar' agastache more, you or the hummingbirds. The unthirsty perennial's dense orange flowers create vivid spikes of color, in borders or containers, from summer into fall. Grow in full sun in well-draining soil, where it will reach 15 inches wide by 18 inches tall. Find it at independent garden centers.

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IDEA WE LOVE PLANT BLUE BLOOMS

Classic cottage plants--catmint, lavender, and 'Iceberg' roses--meet bold, cone-flowered Echium and succulent Senecio in this Santa Barbara garden. Tying them together is a frosty palette of indigo, white, and gray that creates a soothing place to rest your eyes, -JOHANNA SILVER

DESIGN Margie Grace, Grace Design Associates, Santa Barbara (gracedesignassociates. …

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