Keeping it Simple

Effort-to-reward ratios in the garden

(October 13, 2016) Low maintenance, low maintenance, low maintenance. This seems to be the mantra of gardeners today. And given our fast-paced lives, it's not surprising. Low maintenance can and should be designed...

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If You Guild It, They Will Come

How to grow a food forest

(September 22, 2016) In a forest, the plants collaborate. They take turns blooming, share space, distribute different nutrients and succeed each other over generations. In our home gardens, we can create diverse, low-maintenance...

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Digging Deep

Adding a personal dimension to your garden

(September 8, 2016) How do we experience a garden? Probably the first thing we notice is the visual aspect — the colors, textures and overall design that appeal to us. We may also...

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Small is Beautiful

Big yields from little gardens

(August 25, 2016) There are plenty of good reasons to develop a skill set for growing food in small spaces. Maybe you only have a tiny balcony with sun for half the day?...

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A Midsummer Checklist

What to do in the Garden in July and August

(July 21, 2016) If you're anything like me, this is the time of year you live for. The garden is popping, flowers are blooming, and there's more zucchini than you know what to...

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Homegrown Gazpacho

(June 16, 2016) I spent almost a year living in Granada, Spain. The whole city is filled with gardens. Figs and pomegranates grow as weeds; Mediterranean climate at its very best. And...

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Gardening Grab Bag

What's new and cool in the gardening world

(June 2, 2016) Every spring, the gardening world explodes with an almost overwhelming array of new plants, books, tools and techniques. While most of it isn't cool enough to bother with (do we...

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Mmm, Melons!

How to get a good harvest in a marginal climate

(May 19, 2016) If you're a North Coast gardener and you feel like melons are easy to grow, please, message me! I want to learn your methods. I have found this crop to...

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Tackling Weeds Organically

(May 5, 2016) If there are any certain things in life, they're death, taxes and weeds (and perhaps that more of our favorite characters will be killed off in the next season of...

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Not Your Grandma's Marigolds

(April 21, 2016) What do you think of when you hear the word marigold? Maybe you imagine those 6-inch-high borders of orange and yellow flowers that your grandmother planted around her rose...

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The Illusion of Water in the Low-Water Garden

(April 7, 2016) One of the biggest complaints about water-responsible gardening is that sometimes the garden just looks and feels "dry." This has been one of my stumbling blocks on the way to...

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Beautiful Broccoli

Dos and Don'ts

(March 31, 2016) Broccoli is one of those crops that a lot of us have trouble with. Sometimes you get a great head, sweet and delicious. Other times you get a bunch of...

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High-Value Veggies:

Grow the right plants for your budget

(March 3, 2016) While growing your own vegetables is often touted as a way of saving money, that hasn't been my experience. On the surface, it sounds like a $3 pack of seeds...

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To Bamboo or Not to Bamboo

(February 18, 2016) I recently received an interesting question from NCJ staff writer Linda Stansberry, and it seemed like a great topic for this month's column. She writes: "I just bought a house...

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Native Plants, the Designer Way

(February 4, 2016) Our regional plants offer so many ways to deepen our relationship with the environment around us. Not only do they attract birds and native insects (which form the base...

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