• About Me


    Like many of you, I got my passion for gardening  from working and playing in my mother’s garden. . I received an education in art, design and photography at Cypress College in Southern California and had a long career as a wedding photographer there.

     In 2000, Tractor Man and I surprised ourselves and bought property in a mountain community where we vacationed for 12 years. After five years of ‘camping’ here, I now work and play, tending two of  seven acres near the Sierra National Forest, while acting as the Madera County Gardening Examiner.

    My friend, Maggie, and me

    My friend, Maggie, and me

    Impressed by the natural beauty and many community events here, I enthusiastically research gardening in snow and deer country and am surprised and delighted every season by my new garden. My Corgi, Maggie, is my garden companion. I’ve only been writing this blog since summer of 2010, but enjoying it immensely…always thrilled to read comments! How fun!  You may also email me at sierrafoothillgarden at  gmail.com

    19 Responses to About Me

    1. Ron Herron
      April 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Maggie–I am enjoying your web blog—my wife and I have a place at about 2900 feet near Somerset ca–have rolling hills oaks, pines, cedar–I’m becoming uncharacteristically more and more obsessed with the flora on my 15 acres. example–last summer I got out of bed at 7am and snuck out of the house to watch the sun rise on one of my meadows near the access road to my property –I stared at the most recent crop of STAR THISTLE–and promptly went back to the house–got 10 garbage bags and hand pulled that Australian (or wherever) foreigner out of my meadow—I filled up the trunk of my car and drove with it back to Walnut Creek where I put it in the Green garbage can. Amazing how GOOD I felt. Anyway I am looking to plant NATIVE wildflowers at my place in the foothills and from time to time –when I am not acting as a busy lawyer and family man, look forward to interacting with you for advice etc….you are way ahead of me on development of gardens–but you have inspired me—and thought I’d let you know–best to you in this late WINTER we seem to be having–I actually love it–I hide from the blistering heat–probably my Saxon /Scottish genes–best–Ron

      • Kathy
        November 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm

        Hey Ron, I just found this site. We are selling property we have in Somerset to move closer “in town” to Pollock Pines. We also have a home in Grizzly Flats! Got to love this area. Do you have any pictures of how your gardening efforts are coming along? Thanks, Kathy

    2. April 18, 2011 at 11:08 am

      Hi Ron, yes we fight poison oak in the same way. Have to make it safe for kids running around. Wildflowers are better! I’ll have to look up where Somerset is.

    3. Narda
      March 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Hi Sue, great to see you are a fellow traveler from Southern California who remembers “H” bees and do you remember eating “Sour grass?” I now live in Thousand Oaks and I have never seen an “H” bee. I had not see any where we used to live in Brea, CA. Where are H bees found now?

      • March 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm

        Hi Narda, thanks for visiting my blog. I’m not sure where the H bees are besides in my garden in summer. I was glad to see them again! From what the entomologist said, they are found many places,…it’s just a few that know them as H bees. I think you have to be a child.

    4. Sharon Muczynski
      April 27, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Hi Sue,

      I read Dave’s Garden and I noticed your comment about Eriodictyon crassifolium. I have been looking for it for a couple of years. I would be HAPPY to pay all costs to have you ship me some for my garden. It grows here in seeps, but i cannot find it in a nursery to start for my home garden. I live in La Mesa, CA. Please let me know if you are willing to do this.

    5. Beth McDonell
      January 12, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      DO you still have classes at a nursery or somewhere?

      • Sue Langley
        January 13, 2014 at 8:42 am

        Hi Beth, yes, once a month workshops,…I’ll add your email to our list. I send out notice about two weeks beforehand. Sue

    6. Deborah
      May 19, 2014 at 3:31 pm


      Enjoying your blog very much but all of a sudden it is filled with Google ads which detracts from the lovely photos! Did I catch a cookie or are others getting swamped by Google ads too?

      Take care,

    7. Mary Ellen Stuart
      January 23, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      I love your site and love monarchs.
      Are you still active with butterflies?
      I am from Yosemite but now live in North Fork

    8. April 23, 2015 at 9:53 am

      Hello Sue,
      I am a Realtor in Auburn CA and have a monthly newsletter that goes out to about 300 of my clients. I would like to get your approval to link one of your articles on drought tolerant plants in my Newsletter for this May. I will send out the newsletter on Tuesday April 28th.
      I enjoy your site and think my clients will also.
      Thank you in advance!
      It there is ever anything I can do for you in my area of the foothills, please let me know!
      Best Regards
      Denice Williams
      Lyon RE

    9. Mary McHugh
      July 16, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Hi Sue – I hope you have some advise… I have CA Fushia that without fail has bloomed, spread and gone crazy..I think it was planted in the garden by the previous owner and we have had the house 15 years so far. But this year it is not doing very well… as a matter of fact the tips of the plants look as if they are drying out and dying. Not sure what to do or what the matter is. We are south facing, with afternoon shade & at 4250 elevation. I use a drip system and do 15 minutes every 3rd day. I am stumped. any ideas???

    10. Vinita Bali
      July 18, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Hello Sue, I have recently moved to Mariposa (part-time resident), and am starting to lay down a garden. I would love to consult with you, if you have the time. Also, could you please include me in your email list for the monthly workshops? I’m looking forward to the Fall planting season! Thank you. Vinita

    11. Jason Lizarraga
      August 16, 2015 at 10:21 am

      I’m in Reno Nevada by Damonte Ranch High School. Your yellow jacket trap is incredible. I have pictures to share of what it did after one hour- amazing! I also have a wacky theory on how the nature of the yellow jackets that are caught by the pheromone traps are different from the nature of the yellow jackets caught by the food traps. Are we shaping nature by using pheromone traps because that is what the box stores offer? Are we selecting a more hunger driven self serving yellow jacket over a social hive minded yellow jacket? Should we use both traps to create balance. I think you would write a piece that would all enjoy reading about.

      • Sue Langley
        August 16, 2015 at 6:24 pm

        Thanks, Jason,…glad the trap worked in your area,…interesting theory!

    12. cheryl stanfield
      February 17, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      I found your blog as a result of searching ‘western homes’. My parents built one as a guest house back and in 1985. Great house! Now I’m considering building one on my property, in the foothills on the way to Shaver.So glad that you had success with your Western Home.

    13. Laura Colton
      April 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      I’m interested in starting a hay bale plantings in a new garden bed. Did you find a local source in Madera Mariposa, Merced, or Fresno counties for organic hay bales???? P.S. As a wildlife biologist, ‘living with wildlife’ is part of my life.

      • Sue Langley
        May 23, 2016 at 6:29 pm

        Laura, unless they are sprayed with pesticides, there’s not much that’s NOT organic about straw bales,…and I say straw, because, though you can use hay,…hay has the nutritious seeds for horses that you don’t need for this type of garden.
        Ask at any feed store in our area…they will have them…

    14. Jim Mickel
      December 29, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Hello Sue,

      I have been meaning to email you photos of a Franklane Sewell oil painting (36″ x 60″). It is of a farm with a house in the background and of course, chickens in the foreground. From reading your post on Sewell, I believe he was a relative. I inherited it from a relative along with many poultry books. Let me know if you are interested and I will send a link.
      Jim Mickel
      Sedro Woolley, WA

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