• Rainy Spring Walk with Maggie

    by  • April 4, 2013

    On a rainy day in April, I still take Maggie for her daily walk in the garden.  It’s not cold and though Maggie’s not a fan of wet, she loves to walk and sniff, waggy, waggy…she sniffs everything!  Just yesterday, I was weeding the meadow, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, with the sun...

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    Secrets for a weed free garden

    by  • March 15, 2013

    Plants are closely planted

    One year of seeds brings seven years of weeds! Three things will make your life easier when it comes to weeds in your garden… #1 Mulch I use mulch around the plants in my garden as a lazy way to manage weeds. After three years of mulching your garden, you’ll see that your weeding chores have...

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    Changes at Sierra Foothill Garden

    by  • March 13, 2013

    Hello! Just wanted all my blog followers to know that I have switched from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and now my url is www.sierrafoothillgarden.com. What led to this change? First, I found that I need to go back to work temporarily…hopefully for just a few years. This is a big change in lifestyle for me,...

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    Grow the 7 most profitable vegetables in your garden

    by  • March 6, 2013

    Sweet 100s

    Sowing smart! What vegetables can you grow this year to save the most money at the grocery store? Yields per square foot and dollar value and of that (organic) produce at harvest in the supermarket were considered to form this list. Here are the ones to grow that will save you the most. Of...

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    What to do in Winter in the Sierra foothills garden

    by  • December 27, 2012

    'Iceberg' Roses

    Plant sweet peas. Between rains you can plant sweet peas along a fence or trellis.  It’s amazing how sturdy the stems are on this delicate looking plant. Plant bulbs.  Many bulbs are on sale now and can be planted in groups of 5 or 6 about 6 inches deep. When March arrives, stop and...

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    An ideal plant list for a new Sierra foothill garden

    by  • December 4, 2012

    Rockrose, euphorbia

    Drought tolerant and colorful plants for any garden… Sometimes you find an ideal list of plants suitable for your area to save and keep.  This time one of my customers at the nursery happened to bring in an especially nice one. We were able to impress each other,..they were because most of the plants...

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    Violas over daffodils

    by  • November 29, 2012

    End of March 2011, everybody's fine!

    Violas and pansies are perfect daffodil partners Last year, I planted violas over the mini daffodils in patio pots and want to do the same this year. Deer don’t bother these on the patio,…they rarely come up the concrete steps any more and they aren’t attracted to either plant.  It’s a safe zone.  ...

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    A favorite junk store and a favorite day

    by  • November 24, 2012

    Finding a color scheme, Bauer pots and Talavera

    My Favorite Junk Store and Why I Like It I’m itchin’ to go to the junk stores again. Boy do I miss the “ARC Store” (Assoc of Retarded Citizens) in Fullerton, CA, near where I used to live. They’d bring new things in by the box-full EVERY DAY from the greater Los Angeles area...

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    When every leaf is a flower

    by  • November 13, 2012

    One evening near dark, I lost myself as I wandered, looking for turning leaves around the place. “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”  Albert Camus French “the quicker you are in attaching verbal or mental labels to things, people, or situations, the more shallow and lifeless your reality becomes,...

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    Fire and manzanita myths

    by  • October 18, 2012

    Arctostaphylos viscida blooms, tiny vase-shaped

    It is a commonly heard in casual remarks on gardening topics and maintaining a landscape in the Sierra Foothills that Manzanita and other chaparral plants must be cut down and removed because they are so very flammable. Yes, it is important to clear 100 feet of defensible space around your home, and yes, Manzanita...

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    Larry Rettig’s melancholy and ‘Summer Treasures’

    by  • October 15, 2012

    Leaf miners eat leaves in a pattern, never seemingly to cross its own path

    Here in the Sierra foothills of California, sometimes the Autumn season brings a feeling of melancholy to gardeners, faced with drooping faded flowers, drizzly rains and overcast skies. Larry Rettig, a member of Dave’s Garden website, pondered this feeling one day while out walking and a poem just came to him that expressed all...

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    Bringing home ‘rescued’ plants

    by  • September 15, 2012

    Brown leaves will fall and hopefully sprout again in spring!

    How to choose end-of-season sale plants Every year, while visiting my favorite nurseries, I prowl the sale tables in late August and September.  I cheerfully call these plants that I purchase “rescued plants.”  I bring them home at a much discounted price and find them a home in my garden so that they can...

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    Spicy mints in the foothill garden

    by  • August 30, 2012

    Spicy mints? “Much Virtue in Herbs, little in Men.” – Benjamin Franklin The rich, spiciness of these plants makes them useful in cooking, and nearly half the spices in your kitchen come from this one family, including basil, rosemary, lavender, marjoram, germander, thyme, savory, plus culinary sage and of course mint, peppermint, and spearmint....

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    Tim and Barbara’s carefree artist garden

    by  • July 30, 2012

    A nearly native drought tolerant garden Tim and Barbara Fruehe came into the True Value Garden Center with a list of needed plants that we could really work with!  Their ambitious whole house-whole yard renovation was winding down and they were at the point where the outdoor hardscape was done and the soil was...

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    Gardening around new construction in the Sierra foothills

    by  • July 12, 2012

    Starting from scratch Laying out garden beds in clay and decomposed granite is the way you start when faced with new construction in the Sierra Foothills.  How do you possibly begin a garden? Many house pads are scraped clear of topsoil and planting is not easy without replacing all the soil. Add as much...

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    Who needs mosquito repellant when you have your own bats?

    by  • June 28, 2012

    “The more people know about bats the more they’ll care about them.” Sitting out tonight, while watering, I noticed a few mosquitoes and moths flying about in the half light. I hadn’t realized so much that bats could see the same insects as I, yet, here they were, swooping and darting around the big...

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    What to plant under Native Oaks and Pines?

    by  • June 27, 2012

    or …Why I remember a Sunset Magazine article from 1999. A few months before we bought our place here in the shadow of Peckinpah Mountain, I read an article called ‘What to plant under native oaks and pines?’  Do you still have the September 1999 issue of Sunset magazine?  No?  Well, if you live...

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    Up at dawn

    by  • May 19, 2012

    Do you get up early?  I do,…but have found that many couples have one.  One that gets up at dawn and the other who sleeps through it all. The cool air, the purplish cast in the early, early dawn, the soft peeping of the first birds all draw me out to sleepily make my...

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