• June Bloom in the Sierra foothill garden

    by  • May 31, 2015

    Autumn sage, Flax and Lamb's ear

    Half the year is over and in the garden I’m walking around taking stock.  June usually means the real riotous bloom of the Iris, fruit trees and bulbs is dying down.  Now the dry garden can be the spotlight. Our climate is very close to that of the Mediterranean. We can grow all the...

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    New gardening column debuts in Sierra Star | News | SierraStar.com

    by  • April 30, 2015

    A new column,”Sierra Foothill Gardener,” is debuting in today’s edition of the Sierra Star. Written by Sue Langley of North Fork, the column will provide valuable and informative gardening tips and ideas for Sierra Star and sierrastar.com readers. Langley was a member of the Oakhurst Mountain Laurel Garden Club for six years, serving as...

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    The Wildflowers: Yellows and whites

    by  • April 29, 2015

    Wildflowers yellows and whites

    “What’s blooming Wednesday” In the Sierra foothills, after the blues, of Lupine, Vetch and Blue dicks, the early Spring wildflowers: The blues, come the yellows and whites of April. Have you seen these? All over the roadsides now you’ll see blooming Elderberry bushes, with lemony white umbrel (Umbrella) shaped flowers. have you wondered about...

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    Growing veggies in the remnants of a straw bale garden

    by  • April 2, 2015

    Straw bale remnant garden

    This Year’s Veg Garden Experiment: The last two years have been straw bale gardens with great success!  This year, there is still so much straw that I decided to see how the tomatoes and peppers would do in the remnants of composted soil and leftover straw. When observing the garden for the first time...

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    Spring wildflowers: The blues

    by  • March 30, 2015

    Spring wildflowers Blues

    Driving the foothills: Stopping and turning around…. We had to stop and turn around to photograph this field of Lupine, Vetch and Blue dicks under the oaks growing thickly in a patch. Iridescent blues just glowed here in a flowery show right next to the roadside not far from our home near Oakhurst. To...

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    Then and now, a slope full of blooming shrubs

    by  • March 25, 2015

    Then and Now a slope of blooming shrubs

    In a series of Then and Now photos, it’s satisfying to look back nostalgically to see how far we have come.  Bought in 2000, and in a completely natural area, we’ve striven to preserve the beauty of our 7 acres near the Sierra foothills of California, as we make a place for ourselves in this beautiful...

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    Winter welcome in the Sierra foothill garden

    by  • December 17, 2014

    Winter garden 2014

    A Winter walk-around What’s blooming? What’s happening? A walk through my garden just before Winter begins. First off, the patio has been cleared of summer projects, tools, soil and extra containers! I’ve put three sugar cones in three pots to act as a winter centerpiece for the table and all the cushions are in...

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    In praise of Intermountain Nursery

    by  • October 8, 2014

    Intermountain-Nursery

    Celebrating a fine nursery… Have you been here?  I hope so! We are very fortunate to have a nursery nearby that purchases and grows plants that are perfect for our foothill gardens.  Besides having a wide variety of California native and drought tolerant Mediterranean plants, Bonnie Bladen, her husband Ray Laclergue and their staff...

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    The colors of Autumn in the Sierra foothill garden…

    by  • October 6, 2014

    Colors of Autumn

    October in the foothill garden Walking around the garden here in the foothills of Central California, I feel we’re really nearing the end of the gardening season.  I’m tired.  Tired of watering and ready to rake everything, gather up the rest of the clippings,  neaten the garden and come in for some rainy days....

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    Heat-proof your Sierra foothill garden

    by  • June 8, 2014

    Heatproof garden

    In our third year of drought in the Sierra foothills, we search for ways to allow our gardens to survive.   Here, you’ll see how to make your garden thrive!  Learn which plants to grow, how to water and how to preserve that water once it’s in the soil.  Included is a print and keep...

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    The Lavender Experiment

    by  • May 11, 2014

    Lavender fields

    What happens if you don’t trim lavender? You all may know I like garden experiments. For the last two years I’ve been experimenting with my Spanish lavender field and NOT trimming the blooms off. This is the field a week ago that I’ve not trimmed OR watered and as I went up to inspect,...

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    The season of clouds and light

    by  • November 20, 2013

    Wispy clouds settle on the pines

    November’s first rains start the season I call Clouds and Light. After months of brilliant blue, sunny skies, the weather and wildlife are the stars of the show… The garden is buttoned up, the last of the garden’s produce picked and there is a rest for the gardener, finally. With the Peckinpah Ridge as...

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    Easy steps to a clean birdbath

    by  • November 19, 2013

    How to clean a bird bath in twelve photos Keeping a birdbath sparkling clean is easy and it’s worth a bit of effort to keep your wild birds happy and healthy.  Algae may be a natural thing, but it’s not attractive when your bird bath is within sight of your windows like you want...

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    House of many colors

    by  • November 9, 2013

    House of many colors

    In 2000, we moved from the city to the country of California in the Sierra foothills near Bass Lake.  For five years,  I planned the decoration of my dream, a casual camp-style ranch house on a pretty steep slope. In February 2004, the building began and that August we moved into our trailer to wait...

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    Straw Bale gardening in the Sierra foothills: Harvest

    by  • September 12, 2013

    Harvesting the Straw Bales

    Harvesting the straw bale garden I call this experiment a success!   After reading and reviewing the book Straw Bale Gardens sent to me by author, Joel Karston, I became intrigued by the concept of growing a garden in straw instead of soil.  I wondered if this would be a good idea here in the...

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    Manzanitas are not filled with fire popping sap

    by  • September 6, 2013

    Peeling Manzanita branch

    The Highly Valued Manzanita Manzanitas are typical and beautiful Chaparral plants in the Sierra foothills.  They, and the chaparral as a whole, have long been here in California before we so how can we think it is good or bad?  My thought is that manzanita is not any more flammable or less flammable than...

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    Planting in an old wicker chair

    by  • August 22, 2013

    Wicker chair

    I’m a fan of this chair! Take a couple old pieces of junk and transform them into into a tiny little garden scene using just a little imagination.  It’s sometimes difficult to find outdoor decoration that will fit into a ranchy/foresty type garden but this wicker chair is a classic.  Here’s how I planted...

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    Kerckhoff, camping and blackberries

    by  • August 12, 2013

    Blackberry -Kerckhoff-featured

    Testing,…both camping and blackberries… I did something today that I’ve wanted to do for years! Picked blackberries at Kerckhoff Lake.  So many times we’ve driven by this pretty and serene lake, actually a reservoir, on our way here and there between over the last twenty so years.  The reservoir is just south of North...

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