June

            June means hot and dry weather, with occasional drops in temperature. Daytime temperatures average around 92 degrees Fahrenheit daytime and 58 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Expect almost 14 hours of sunshine per day, but don’t expect rain: June is historically the third driest month of the year. Without adequate snow pack and rainfall this… Continue reading June

Spring

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly. “One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” Hans Christian Andersen This year, spring sprang into being in the Northern hemisphere at 2:37 a.m. PST March 20. Some plants in the garden decided it was spring in February, or even January. Some are just getting the… Continue reading Spring

Are you a Native Plant purist?

When we design, we talk about “purpose.” In the established garden, we use the term every few years -to reconsider the garden. Guiding principles, such as water-efficient and beneficial-to-nature, are big-picture “purpose” values in many modern gardens. On the micro, unique level, has the purpose in your existing garden changed? Are there new activities that… Continue reading Are you a Native Plant purist?

Will summer ever end?

Concha Ceanothus

September is a hopeful month that begins to remind us that winter will be here again someday. It has become harder to predict what kind of September we will have. Historically, we should enjoy cooler temperatures both day and night, mostly due to the ever-shortening days. Planting:. We can finally begin to plant trees, perennials… Continue reading Will summer ever end?

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

The Latest on Bees

Last week I attended a webinar hosted by the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program about what’s new in the world of our bees here in California. The basics: 60-70% of flowering plants require animal pollination. More than 80 crops require animal pollination. Some agricultural/garden crops require specific types of pollinators. For example,… Continue reading The Latest on Bees

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.