You might not think about it often, but trees give an important sense of place. Take the famous California redwoods, for instance. Some of the oldest in the world are right here in the state. Including the Methuselah, which is a nearly 5,000-year-old tree that lives in the White Mountains. While the trees in your own yard are probably not that old, they nevertheless add meaning, color, and some sense of history to your neighborhood. To see what other flora thrives in your hometown, and to catch a break from removing leaves, why not explore San Diego's beautiful gardens?
Japanese Friendship Garden
The Japanese Friendship Garden, also called San Kei En, is located in Balboa Park. This tranquil place is designed to relax and inspire with a garden, several koi ponds, and a teahouse. There are also garden tours that will give you a greater understanding of the types of plants, flowers, and trees you might see in your own yard. Also on display at the garden are bonsai trees. Bonsai trees are native to Japan. They are among the easiest trees to grow, and they are suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments. Bonsai trees, which come in the form of trees or shrubs, are low-maintenance plants that adjust easily to California's climate. Bonsai trees do not usually shed their leaves in fall. This is good news if you want to minimize the amount of leaf removal required on your property. However, be aware that if you see a bonsai losing leaves, it may be due to dehydration and stress.
Harper's Topiary Garden
This garden was started as a home project by a couple interested in shaping and sculpting the shrubs in their front yard. The attraction naturally drew the curiosity of the neighbors, and word of its splendor quickly spread. Today, the garden contains more than 50 figurines sculpted into various shapes. Some plants in the garden are native to California and the West Coast. Others, however, have been imported from elsewhere around the world including North Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe. So if you are looking for botanical inspiration to decorate your own property, a visit to the topiary garden is an excellent place to start.
The Alcazar Garden is also located in Balboa Park. It is a stunning property modeled after the famous gardens at the Alcazar Castle in Spain. Although the California version is not quite as grand, it is still impressive and certainly worth a visit. The garden is open year-round, which allows you to see the different plants, flowers, and trees that blossom depending on the season. The garden features a spectacular display of more than 7,000 annuals that provide vivid color, and often wonderful aromas, throughout the year. Along with lovely flowers, the garden is comprised of native trees and boxwood hedges. Decorative water fountains and a shaded pergola complete the property's attractions.
San Diego Botanic Garden
The San Diego Botanic Garden contains four miles' worth of trails. Within its borders are magnificent flowering plants, towering palm trees, and exotic bamboo. The property covers 37 acres in total, and it is divided into several separate gardens. Within the property are themed gardens such as the Mediterranean landscape, a tropical rainforest, and several desert gardens dedicated to succulents and other hardy species. There is also a garden of fruit trees that contains some species you might have (or want to plant) in your yard. The garden offers regularly scheduled events designed to teach visitors more about the value of certain species and highlight native species. You may find a beneficial event like learning how and when to remove leaves from your yard, too.
Native Trees in California
Once you've had a chance to explore some local gardens, you may have a better sense of what is growing in your backyard. You might also get inspiration for species to add to your property.
This tree does well in the climate of Southern California. It is actually native to the Mediterranean, which offers similar growing conditions. This tree is an evergreen that requires minimal watering once planted. In springtime, it produces lovely small yellow or cream-colored flowers. The tree sheds its leaves periodically. Therefore, it's best kept away from pools, walkways, or other surfaces that you don't want to remove leaves from continually.
The Western redbud, as the name implies, is native to the West Coast. This beautiful tree produces brightly colored magenta flowers during the spring. It is adapted to dry, arid climates, and grows easily in San Diego. Because of its color, versatility, and easy care, the tree is a popular addition to ornamental landscapes. In the fall, you'll notice the Western redbud dropping yellow or brown leaves on the ground.
Also known as the South's "lilac," this species is a relatively late bloomer. Its flowers come out in the summertime, and they'll appear as either purple, pink, or white blooms. This tree is deciduous and loses its (yellow-orange) leaves in the fall. It has moderate resistance to fire, requires minimal watering, and is generally low maintenance.
Royal Purple Smoke Tree
This tree produces foliage that ranges in color from pink to dark purple. In the fall, its leaves become a brilliant scarlet color. When blooms appear, they have a nice wispy, cotton-like appearance. The tree can grow up to 20 feet tall with proper care.
Now that you know what kinds of trees you have (or might want) in your yard, the next question is what to do with the leaves that drop. Admittedly, removing leaves from your yard can be hard work. However, it is essential to clean them up during the fall. This is to help the grass remain healthy and vibrant during the winter. In California, it is also important to keep your yard free of leaves because of fire hazards. If raking, mowing, and removing leaves from your property seems overwhelming, contact Lawn Love for assistance.