From My Garden to Yours
Red and Pink Bearded Iris
Dividing Bearded Irises
October 03, 2018

Dividing Bearded Irises

Irises are a very low-maintenance flower, but they need a little attention when they get crowded to keep them blooming. You just need to divide them, which is super easy. You’ll then have exponentially more rhizomes for your garden, or better yet, to share with friends and family. All of the irises in my yard have come from my parents’ and friends’ gardens.

Toad House in Garden
Toad in Garden
August 24, 2018

Attract Toads to Your Garden

I usually can’t see them, but I can hear the toads in my yard at night. But when I do see them, they are starting to hop around the garden at twilight (they’re nocturnal). Toads are an important part of my garden’s ecosystem. These amphibians can eat as many as 3,000 bugs in a month. In my yard, I hope they spend most of their time eating all the snails and slugs.

Narrow Leaf Milkweed - Asclepias fascicularis Magenta Desert Willow Tree
Purple Haze Aster Chilensis
August 15, 2018

California Fall 2018 Plant Sales

Fall is a glorious time to plant in California. The days are getting shorter and the weather is cooler. There are many plants sales hosted by public gardens and non-profit organizations. They’re typically staffed by knowledgeable master gardeners – so you get expert help and advice while shopping. Many of these events include hard-to-find native and rare plants that you won’t find anywhere else. And if that weren’t enough, many plants will be offered at unbeatable prices and provide much-needed funding for these organizations.

DIY flower seed packets with popsicle sticks
August 03, 2018

Creating & Mailing Flower Seed Packets

It’s one of the best gifts from the heart: seeds from your garden. But if you’re sending them through the mail, you’ve got to take extra care so the seeds aren’t crushed by postal equipment. You can use bubble wrap but I prefer to use non-plastic materials that can be re-purposed or recycled.

Container Gardening - Metal Basket, Spaghnum Moss and Coconut Coir Container Gardening - Coconut Coir and Spaghnum Moss
Container Gardening in Metal Basket with Heuchera, Rabbit Foot's Fern and Neanthebella Palm
July 03, 2018

Container Gardening – Metal Basket

Go ahead and take me to a craft store. But I’m just looking at everything thinking about what I can use for plants. This metal basket caught my eye and I immediately pictured it in my shade garden with moss. Though since I live in a hot and dry region, baskets must be well insulated to do well.

Garden Shears Garden Tool Bucket - Mixing Oil with Sand
Garden Tool Sand Bucket
June 28, 2018

Garden Tool Bucket

Gardening is a lot easier (and cheaper!) when tools are kept in good condition. One of the easiest ways to keep them clean and working well is to store them in a bucket with oiled sand. This also minimizes rust. It is such an easy and inexpensive project.

White and Purple Osteospermum Yellow and Orange California Poppy - Eschscholzia californica ssp. maritima 'Coastal Form'
Hollyhocks in Hot and Dry Cottage Garden
June 24, 2018

Hot & Dry Cottage Garden

I adore a traditional cottage garden but certainly don’t have the weather for it. Starting in late May, the weather begins to heat up and our summer sizzles with temperatures often above 100F well into the fall. So I’m always looking for beautiful flowers and plants that can withstand the heat, but don’t require a lot of water.

Painted Lady Butterfly on Butterfly Bush Butterfly Flowers
Hummingbird Garden Plants
May 30, 2018

Plants for Butterfly Larvae, Butterflies and Hummingbirds

The most beautiful gardens are loaded with insects and adored by birds. Among my favorites are caterpillars, butterflies and hummingbirds. To attract them to your yard, provide plants and trees for their entire life cycle.

Radishes - Organic Gardening Yellow Pear Tomatoes - Organic Gardening
Keeping Cats Out of Garden Beds
May 26, 2018

Keeping Cats Out of Garden Beds

Cats are beautiful in the garden, but they can be downright dangerous in the kitchen garden. Especially with raised beds, it can be tempting for cats to use them as litter boxes.That’s unpleasant for the gardener, but also their feces can infect the soil with parasites, including one that causes toxoplasmosis.

Spraying Wood Treatment on Compost Bin Components Wood for Stackable Compost Bins
DIY Stackable Compost Bin
May 07, 2018

Do-it-yourself Stackable Compost Bins

We love this compost bin. It’s simple to build and so efficient for making compost. It was designed by the experts at University of California Cooperative Extension. Each 3-foot-square section is a separate, stackable unit. With these easy instructions, you can make as many units as you need. Total cost: $48.98 plus tax.