Showing by category: Wanna know a secret? Psst…here’s a tip…

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 spring to finish the job. Anyway, back to my story. Dismantling my garden bed was easy enough, except I had read more
Okay - you're in a hurry to plant your tomato plant...here'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 easily have a drift of coleus for about $7.99! I do this in the fall as well, but for different 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 to have a misshapen ovary - resulting in, well, freaky looking lemons. I came across this description of what the 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-faint-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 literally blanketed with the scent of it's heavenly blossoms...to the Fall when it's green 'tennis-balls' start to swell...to January, when everything in the garden seems so dreary and all I have to do is look at my orange tree just covered with it's cheery orange fruits... (more…) 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 have been thoroughly watered beforehand!  Nothing will save them if they're bone dry AND they get hit with a frost 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 deciduous shrubs are hanging in there (spireas, mock oranges and hydrangeas are still covered with leaves and flowers). Heck - read more
Why do variegated plants revert back to solid green over time? read more
Here's a great way to re-purpose those outdated mini-blinds.... read more
Cool idea! How to re-purpose those outdated fireplace tools..... read more