Hummingbird Sage Lures Wildlife

Houzz. June 4, 2016. By Margaret Oakley: This native California ground cover thrives with little water on grassy slopes, under trees or in patio containers. Hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) forms a fragrant carpet in the shadier spots of California gardens. The magenta blooms of this herbaceous perennial ground cover appear from late winter into fall, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to their sweet nectar.

Green Your Garden with Ferns

Los Angeles Times. May 21, 2016. By Janet Kinosian: Don’t exclude ferns from your dream garden just because there’s a drought on.

Water-wise yet luxuriant ferns might sound contradictory. After all, don’t ferns and their flowy green fronds spread on wet forest floors and need constant spritzing when grown inside?

Read Before You Refi: 5 Tips for a Higher Home Appraisal

Trulia Money Matters. April 21, 2016. By Laura Agadoni: If you’re hoping to refinance the mortgage on your home, there’s one big roadblock between you and that lower rate: the home appraisal… To start your appraisal prep, make sure your home is clean (inside and out). Appraisers are human, after all, and can be swayed by how pristine (read: well-cared-for) a home looks.