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All-seasons retreat.

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At this oceanfront house in Long Beach, California, homeowners Megan and Jeff Tagliaferri wanted a backyard they could lounge in even when the seaside wind picked up. Working with designer Sarah Robinson (theplnntnerd.com), they created an entertaining-ready tiled patio lined with a row of Podocarpus trees. With warmth coming from the extra-tall stucco fireplace and the heated cast-stone seating (gnlanterandiones.com), the space is cozy enough to use year-round, says Megan: "It's our little haven."

PLANT

For winter cheer, pot up amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs to display indoors. Leave the top third of the bulbs exposed, set them in a bright location, and water sparingly until you see the first green growth. Soil isn't necessary--they'll happily bloom with their roots in stones--but good drainage is essential to prevent rot.

Grow your own mesclun by sowing seeds from a lettuce mix in moist, rich soil. Harvest when leaves reach 6 inches. In cold-winter areas, set out lettuce seedlings early in the month for one last harvest.

In mild-winter areas, plant asparagus from crowns, the dried roots of year-old plants. Unlike many other vegetables, asparagus will live for more than 10 years, so consider bed placement carefully. Don't harvest shoots this spring; give the plants a year to establish.

Fill a late-fall garden's bare spot with a blooming Camellia sasonqua. These early-flowering shrubs can take more sun than the more familiar C. joponica, and some have fragrance. 'Setsugekka' is pure white with a yellow center, 'Apple Blossom' has blush pink flowers, and 'Yuletide' is a deep pink.

MAINTAIN

Reduce the watering frequency on irrigation systems. If rain is plentiful, no supplemental irrigation is needed.

Be sure to fertilize indoor orchids, many of which initiate blooms in late fall and winter, every two weeks. To encourage flowering, set thermostats so that there is at least a 10" drop between daytime and nighttime temperatures.

HARVEST

Pick persimmons when fully orange, keeping the green or brownish calyx on top. Allow them to ripen indoors. 'Hachiya' fruit, with a pointed bottom, should be allowed to ripen until very soft; 'Fuyu', with flat bottoms, can be eaten while firm.

Warm-season herbs such as basil, mint, shiso, and tarragon won't last through the winter, so pick their remaining leaves now.

Learn what to plant when with our year-round checklists: sunset.com/checklists.

"The hit of turf softens the patio hut doesn't need a lot of water."

JOHANNA SILVER, GARDEN EDITOR

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Title Annotation:GARDEN WE LOVE; home gardening
Author:Jardina, Elizabeth
Publication:Sunset
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Nov 1, 2016
Words:405
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