Region: Southwest

Sisso Doyle

Sub-Region: Southern California Coastal, Inland
State: California
Business: Owner - Sisso Doyle Landscape Design

Biographical Information

Please tell us briefly about your favorite cause/business/product in which you are involved that you would like to share with the general public and why.

Where can members get more of your advice?

Background Information

Briefly describe the climate where you garden now (climate zone, state, area) and any other areas where you have gardened in the past.
Massachusetts and Southern California.

How long have you been gardening?
Since I was a child.

What triggered your interest?
My interest in gardening was triggered by buying a farm in Vermont with a very big lot and garden plot, which actually brought back memories of our family garden plot as a child where we had vegetables and flowers.

What is your specialty, expertise or claim to fame?
Mediterranean style gardens

What formal education do you have?
Radcliffe College graduate program in Landscape Design.

What formal horticultural training do you have?
Certified in Horticulture by Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

What is your favorite garden or plant-related topic? Tell us a little about them.
Low water use.

What is your biggest gardening pet peeve? Tell us about it.
Overplanted landscapes.

Sisso's Book Recommendations

Landscape Plants for Western Region: An Illustrated Guide to Plants for Water Conservation

Mediterranean Climate Trees for The Garden, Ornamental Trees of San Diego

Sun Drenched Gardens

  Sisso's Favorite Websites

Australian Native Plants Nursery
Australian Native Plants Nursery is a retail nursery specializing in ornamental trees and shrubs for Californian gardens.

All About Gardening: Growing Perennials, Annuals, Herbs, Flowers, & Vegetables.


How much time per week do you spend gardening?
two to three hours a week

How much time per week do you spend working at the business of gardening, such as consulting, reading, writing or talking about your gardening subject?
40 to 50 hours a week

What gardening or horticultural clubs, societies, or organizations (or any other interest) do you belong to?
I belong to the San Diego Horticultural Society and the LaJolla Historical Society Secret Garden Tour committee.

What other biographical information would you like to share?

Gardening Questions

What do you like most about gardening?
It's relaxing and stress relieving.

What do you dislike most about gardening?

What individual has influenced your gardening interest the most? How?
Gary Koller, he's very creative.

What is your favorite place or activity in the garden?

What is your favorite time in the garden?

What is your favorite public or private garden in the world? Why?
Self Realization Garden in Encinitas California.

What is your favorite color in the garden?

If you could grow only one plant, what would it be?
If I could only grow one plant, I think I'd have an olive tree, because they are so beautiful and and represent peace.

What plant have you tried to grow that has given you the most trouble? Or, what plant would you like to grow and can't, and why?
Fremontodendrun - it is so beautiful, but usually dies shortly after planting

What is your favorite gardening outfit or costume?
I just garden with the spur of the moment when I see that something needs to be done, so whatever I have on at the time!

Do you have a gardening philosophy you would like to share with other gardeners? What is it?
Keep it simple. Plant trees.

Who is your own favorite gardening personality on TV, radio or in print? Why?
My favorite gardening personality is Tom Piergrossi because he has so much useful information on his program and he is very lively and funny.

What is the one question about gardening you would really like people to ask you?
How can I have a low maintenance, attractive and low water-use garden?

And what's the answer?
And the answer is.....plant in the Mediterranean style.

What is a garden myth you hear frequently which you know is untrue?
Hydrangeas need shade.

And, what is the reality?
Actually, they need some sun.

What group or kind of person do you think would benefit most from the advice you can give on gardening?
A novice who is interested in learning.

Would you like to participate, or can you recommend someone who you think should? We're always looking for more expert gardeners to tell about their philosophies and give their plant recommendations contact us and we'll get started.


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