Santa Ana winds and your garden

Santa Ana winds and your garden

Santa Anas cause many things. They mess up your hair, they put dust into your eyes, they make your lips crack and your throat feel dry, they make the power company shut off your electricity, and of course, they make fires run wild. Santa Anas also make for good...
Would you rather garden in the tropics?

Would you rather garden in the tropics?

A couple weeks ago I grew tired of protecting baby mango trees from frost and of watching more leaves on my banana plants brown due to cold nights. This has been a persistently chilly and rainy winter for us in Southern California. At my house, only once did we go a...
Caring for your garden during a heat wave

Caring for your garden during a heat wave

That last one was a scorcher!  In Santa Ana, it set an all-time record at 114. In Riverside, it got up to 118. Ojai hit 110. In the shade of my front porch in Ramona, San Diego County, it reached 113. July 6-8, 2018 was a spell for history. It was so hot that it...
Rain is coming! How do I garden?

Rain is coming! How do I garden?

I get frantic when rain is forecast. Southern California doesn’t get rain often, so I really feel the need to take advantage of each event. Rain provides ideal conditions for certain garden tasks. Some are best done just before the rain starts, some during the...
The sucker frost

The sucker frost

Both my plants and I got suckered by this week’s frost. I had gone up to Oregon and Washington, not thinking any plants in my yard would need protection while I was gone. It was snowing up north, and I thought of returning to Southern California as returning to...
Rain makes dreams come true

Rain makes dreams come true

This morning I awoke to the sound of rain. It’s the most pleasant sound, a muffled pecking on the roof. This is the first storm in a series of four that the National Weather Service says will give us three to six inches by Tuesday, an event with more potential...

Cactus among cedars

​ What’s this? It’s a garden on the campus of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where lush squash, tomatoes and peppers are growing behind these pads of cactus. Huge cedars and healthy Japanese maples partly shade the garden. I find the scene...

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