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The Flowering Season

November 14, 1998

Here are landscape architect Russell Beatty's suggestions for courtyard planting:

* Arbutus or strawberry tree (Arbutus A.unedo)--A dwarf, hedge or small tree.

* Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.) 'San Diego Red'--Deep red bracts and dark green leaves drape over mission walls and clamber along red-tiled roofs.

* Bulbs--Tulip, daffodil and narcissus.

* California fuchsia (Zauschneria californica)--A California native with red flowers and gray foliage.

* California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)--Native to California with satiny pale yellow to deep orange flowers and blue-green leaves.

* Citrus--For fragrance, a dwarf or standard, clipped into hedges or pruned into trees.

* European myrtle (Myrtus communis)--Medium-sized with aromatic leaves.

* Espaliered fruit trees--Sculptural elements with springtime fruit and flowers.

* Geraniums (Geranium spp.)--Long-blooming, attractive, with colorful flowers, upright or trailing.

* Grecian laurel (Laurus nobilis)--A wonderful hedge; leaves give a lifetime of seasoning.

* Lavender (Lavandula spp.)--Native to the Mediterranean, low-water plants with fragrant, grayish leaves.

* Pomegranate (Punica granatum)--Dwarfs make a compact bush with showy, orange-red flowers.

* Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)--Fragrant, green leaves and blue flowers, beautiful hanging over pots and on slopes.

* Trumpet vine (Campsis spp.)--A vigorous climber of arching, trumpet-shaped, scarlet flowers; vines readily attach to wood or stucco.

Putting Down Roots

Other courtyard tree selections:

* Tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum)--A native to Australia, adds attractive large shrub or small tree structure to the garden.

* Mexican bird of paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana)--A fast-growing evergreen shrub or small tree; buttery yellow blooms top finely cut foliage year-round.

* Red bird of paradise (C. pulcherrima)--A fast-growing shrub of 8 to 10 feet, covered in brilliant clusters of orange or red flowers.

* California pepper tree (Schinus molle)--With a gnarled, handsome form, it quickly grows to 25-40 feet with tiny, white flowers in summer and hanging clusters of deep rose berries in fall and winter.

Books

* "Southern California Gardens: An Illustrated History," by Victoria Padilla (Allen A. Knoll, Publishers, Santa Barbara), $40. A history of gardeners and plants that transformed the landscape of Southern California gardens.

* "California Gardens: Creating a New Eden," by David Streatfield (Abbeville Press, New York), $55. A comprehensive work on the importance of plants in the California landscape.

* "Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West," by Michael Moore (Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico), $12. A guide to identifying and using traditional medicinal herbal plants found in the deserts and canyons of the West and Southwest.

* "Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West," by Michael Moore (Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico), $14. Uses of Indian and Spanish botanical herbal traditions of the American West.

Sources

* Villa D-Este, 13551 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 537-8443. Sells U.S.-made concrete fountains, birdbaths, statuaries and pots.

* Canyon Pottery Co.. 1544 B Frazee Road, San Diego, (619) 298-5400. Specializing in fine pottery from all over the world; stone urns, hand-thrown pots and century-old olive oil jars. Customizes planters with the color and texture of your choice.

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