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Recommended books:

Western Garden Book by Sunset

Western Garden Book of Edibles by Sunset

California Native Plants for the Garden by Bornstein, Fross, and O’Brien

Edible Landscapes by Rosalind Creasy

The Edible Herb Garden by Rosalind Creasy

Western Garden Problem Solver by Sunset

Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What to Do about It Robert Glennon

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    Mirror Plant

    Coprosma repens

    The Coprosmas are dramatic shrubs of high gloss leaves and often brightly colored.  They come in green, multitudes of variegated and dark as chocolate.  Most take on a deeper coloring with winter frost and being evergreen will add dramatic color year round to your garden.  They thrive in USDA zones 9-10 and can take coastal conditions.  Most varieties are shrubs that can grow 3-5' tall and wide depending on the cultivar.   C. kirkii is a green or variegated ground cover growing 1' tall and 4-6' wide.   Pruning can keep them at a desired shape and size.  They can grow in full sun or part shade and take weekly watering after established.  It can be used in mass, groupings, as a specimen or hedged.  The plant is originally from the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.  Various hybrid cultivars are usually available at Summerwinds, Almaden Nursery and Yamigamis.  I have seen them, rarely, at a Home Depot nursery.  Call your local nursery and find out if they have any in stock.  Spring tends to be the easiest time to find cultivar options.  Some popular cultivars are:

    'Marble Queen', green with white marbling, shorter plant with larger leaves than other varities, gets a pink tinge from winter chill.

    'Rainbow Surprise' green, cream and peach coloring that turns olive and bright pink with winter chill.

     

    'Tequila Sunrise' new leaves are emerald green with gold margins which take on a marbling of brilliant orange and gold in winter. This one is currently still patented.

     

     'Evening Glow' green with bright gold variegation that becomes an orange red in winter.

     

     

    'Pink Splendor' green, yellow, and pink and can grow to 8'.