My impromptu succulent cutting tower
Last month I completely dismantled one of my favorite garden beds so we could finally finish painting the house.  Last fall we had our house painted, but I wouldn't let them paint one remaining wall as my bougainvillea was in full bloom and there was no way I was about to cut it back prematurely!  Luckily, I had the world's best painters who fully understood how crazy we gardeners can be, and were willing to come back in the early [read more]
Okay - you're in a hurry to plant your tomato's the quickest way to do it! [read more]
It’s that time of year again, when our gardens are aflutter with leaves falling (and falling and falling), blanketing our beds with brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. Ever wonder why leaves fall? (more…) [read more]
Do you know how easy it is to get several plants for the price of one?  Some of my favorite 2-for-1 plants (actually it's more like 10-for-1) are coleus.  Just snap off a stem, stick it in a glass of water for about 10 days, and when you have lots of little roots you just plant it in the ground!  I do this every summer, buying a single plant and propagating many more for our long growing season.  You can [read more]
Eureka lemon trees are notorious for producing freakishly shaped lemons - especially along the cooler coastal climate (like ours in the Bay Area).  Personally, I like the occasional odd-ball that my tree kicks out - and so do kids.  But if more and more of your lemons are turning out like this you may want to take some action. What causes this?  It's a weird little bud mite which sucks the sap from the lemon flower, causing the poor flower [read more]
It's January here in Northern California and today I ate the first (of many) oranges off my 'Washington Navel' tree. I love that first, sweet-with-a-hint-of-sour-taste the season's first orange gives me.  I look forward to it all year, beginning in late spring when my garden is blanketed with the scent of its heavenly blossoms, then again in the fall with its swelling green 'tennis-balls', and then again in late winter, when my dreary winter garden is punctuated with bright orange [read more]
I woke up this morning to a whopping 26 degrees.  Yes, I know - I can already hear those of you in other parts of the country laughing at my wimpyness.  But don't forget, I live in mild-climate California!  My poor little plants aren't accustomed to this weather and are fairly miserable right now. If your garden is also suffering as a result of these unusually low temperatures, there's still hope.  First and foremost, though,is to make sure your plants [read more]
It's been a cold and frosty December, and this is the time when I begin to receive daily emails from people asking how and when to prune their perennials. Here in the Bay Area (USDA zone 9b) most of our gardens are still looking pretty good.  While some of the more tender annuals are long gone (see you next year coleus), a few of our perennials are fast asleep (anyone seen your phlox lately?), and for the most part our [read more]
Why do variegated plants revert back to solid green over time? [read more]
Cool idea! How to re-purpose those outdated fireplace tools..... [read more]