Native Plants and the Vegetable Garden

summer squash love bumblebees!

What does vegetable gardening have to do with California native plants? Plenty, it turns out. When I first became interested in native plants, my philosophy was that it would be a good idea to use water, time and chemicals (if needed) on the edibles and use ornamental plants that wouldn’t need so much from me.… Continue reading Native Plants and the Vegetable Garden

Fragrance in the California Garden

First some basics: Fragrance will vary by season, air temperature and moisture content of the plants Experiment – create blends. It is generally better to have a dominant fragrance and many supportive fragrances Some plants that don’t smell powerful by themselves combine with others to make a great fragrance In our workshops, we snip and… Continue reading Fragrance in the California Garden

What Should I Be Doing in the Garden?

Garden Tips for February 2020 Wait out rainy days – should they actually return — by planning the garden year ahead and shopping online or in print catalogs for ornamental and edible seeds. On dry days, at our little farm, we are harvesting oranges, pomelo, limes, kale, collards, chard, lettuce, spinach and radish. The broccoli… Continue reading What Should I Be Doing in the Garden?

The Book is Published!

Anyone who has moved from inland coast areas, or anyone who has read the books, blog posts and articles based on coastal-California gardening, soon discovers that it’s a different story once you try to establish a native-based garden in the Great Central or other inland valleys, or up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

Visiting Denver Botanical Garden

One of the reasons I love to travel is to visit public lands and botanic gardens, both to admire and discover plants that I am unfamiliar with, and to bring ideas back that might work in our Southern Sierra and southern central valley areas. I’m always interested and delighted when I see California native plants… Continue reading Visiting Denver Botanical Garden

In Love with Spiders

I admit it: I love spiders. When people post on social media their “Ick” and “OMG” reactions to spiders in the house, garden, barn or garage, all I can think is “cool.” I admit to killing a few black widows, knowing that re-location does not work well with them, plus I’ve already been bitten more… Continue reading In Love with Spiders

Wrong Wrong Wrong

I’m an expert, right? Doesn’t mean I don’t get things wrong sometimes. My contractor colleague and friend, Steve Koemppel (SK Landscaping) said, “The only wrong thing is to quit.” Thanks, Steve! It’s tempting to pretend no one noticed, no one will notice, or that whatever you got or did wrong won’t really matter because whoever… Continue reading Wrong Wrong Wrong

Promising new (to me) California native plants

Like every other gardener I know, I love to try out new plants. And, lucky me; I get to call it part of my job! Here are some promising new plants we’ve been growing this year in my Springville garden. Some of you may have been growing these already, but they are new to me… Continue reading Promising new (to me) California native plants

The New Perennial Movement & California Native Plants

                                A design style that makes good use of California native plants is The New Perennial Movement. This design trend, likes most styles, shares similarities with other themes. Probably the best comparison is a naturalistic or wild-scaping style. Efforts to encourage planting native plants has also been a large part of The New Perennial Movement… Continue reading The New Perennial Movement & California Native Plants

Cold, cold, cold

This article first appeared in the Porterville Recorder newspaper Dec. 7-8, 2013 and was written with mainly the Southern Sierra and Central Valley gardens in mind, but hopefully it’s useful to native plant gardeners across California.  Cold, cold, cold Frost periods like the one we’ve just had make me glad most of my plants are… Continue reading Cold, cold, cold