A home, a yard, a guy and a never-ending adventure

About Sage

I’m just a guy with nearly an acre of dirt, a nice little mid-century ranch house and a near-perfect climate. But in my mind I’m a landscaper survivalist craftsman chef naturalist with a barbeque the size of a VW and my own cable TV show. I like to write about the stuff I build, grow and see here at Sage's Acre.
11 11, 2019

Photo of the Day: Black Peruvian Sage

By |2019-11-11T12:46:51-08:00November 11th, 2019|Photos|0 Comments

This is Peruvian Sage (Salvia discolor), also known as "Andian Sage." Fairly rare even in its native Peru, the plant grow long white stems with leaves that are green on one side and white on the other. The end of the stem is a series of deep purple flowers the color of blackberries with a scent that's a blend of sage and currants. It propagates easily, but is a little tender when it comes to cold, so they do need  [keep reading...]

10 11, 2019

Photo of the Day: Tiger Jaw in Flower

By |2019-11-10T08:35:01-08:00November 10th, 2019|Photos|0 Comments

This is a tiger jaw (Faucaria tigrina) in flower. My wife brought home in a one-inch pot along with half a dozen other succulents a couple of years ago. The plant is low, mounding, and it's "jaws" make it look a little fierce on the rocky landscape. Better yet, it needs zero care (I don't even water it). For me, the coolest thing about it is for a few weeks in fall it produces a series of flowers, each of  [keep reading...]

9 11, 2019

Photo of the Day: Toyon – Christmas Berry

By |2019-11-09T09:09:24-08:00November 9th, 2019|Photos|0 Comments

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), aka "Christmas Berry" or California Holly, is a native tree and favorite hangout for all sorts of birds and wildlife. Once established, it pretty much tolerates anything -- blazing sun, drought, fire, shade, lousy soil, mule deer, etc. They're usually 8-10 ft tall, but this tree is over 30 years old and easily 20 ft tall (happy tree). Most of the year, it has deep green, densely packed leaves that make it a good screening plant and  [keep reading...]

8 11, 2019

Photo of the Day: Tarantula Hawk

By |2019-11-08T08:42:15-08:00November 8th, 2019|Photos|0 Comments

Walked out of the house this morning to be greeted by what I thought was was a hummingbird, but instead turned out to be a Tarantula Hawk, which is actually a very large wasp. And by very large, I mean over three inches (7-1/2 cm) long and heavy enough to make the leaf it's standing on sag almost to the ground. Despite their size, they're actually quite docile and eat nectar rather than other insects. They're called Tarantula hawks because  [keep reading...]

7 11, 2019

Photo of the Day: Hummingbird Sage

By |2019-11-07T10:58:35-08:00November 7th, 2019|Photos|0 Comments

Hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) is another native that I really like. It's a low growing sage that spreads by rhizomes and can colonize a whole area. When a colony is in bloom, there are so many hummingbirds it can sound like a swarm of bees. Beyond the flower and the low growth habit, one of the other things I really like about it is it's ability to thrive under live oaks, pine and eucalyptus -- all trees known for being  [keep reading...]

4 11, 2019

Build a Keyhole Garden

By |2019-11-04T11:36:28-08:00November 4th, 2019|Garden|0 Comments

Keyhole Gardens are water efficient, easy to maintain and super productive in a small space. Here's how I built one without breaking the piggy bank. So I was sitting around late last winter reading the week’s Costco circular when I ran across an article about the success of something called a “keyhole garden” in remote villages of Africa. (What Costco had to do with this, I don’t know.) Anyhow, intrigued, I dropped the brochure and hopped over to the  [keep reading...]