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stipa grass fronds as Christmas Deco

Holiday Deco: From the Garden and Back Again

I just can’t seem to do it.  I don’t know why. I just can’t get rid of the dried blossoms and seedpods and various decorative, but slightly dusty, remains of summers beauty.     I just can’t throw out the flowers that have dried so nicely or the sculptural seeds and stems, even when I […]

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Glory Vine window

Fall Color; East vs West

I’ve been eager for a double-dose of fall this season. It’s probably because I feel like I’ve missed out somewhat by traveling to the southern hemisphere during October or November in recent years.   I’m not complaining, but it has made me extra appreciative of changing leaves and seasonal hues as the days get shorter.   […]

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High Line grass views

The High Line; What Makes a Garden?

The best landscapes enable us to see something new or to see something familiar from a new perspective.     That is certainly the case with New York City’s High Line.  Famously created from an elevated rail line and opened to the public in 2009. The story of how this unusual garden went from an […]

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pickle_perjoy_IMG_6058

Garden Pickles; Summer in a Jar

Many pickles capture the bounty of summer but this year, my pickles captured the essence of community as well.   I haven’t made pickles in quite a while but I was inspired by the delicious “half-fermented” pickles I sampled at Saul’s Deli, in Berkeley, earlier this year, and decided to make easy refrigerator pickles that don’t […]

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cat relaxes on garden boulder

In the Garden; Play, Relax…. Repeat

There’s still time. There’s still a little more time before summer is over, so I always feel the responsibility to make the most of it. Entertaining a few more times, playing a little harder and generally having as much fun as possible in the time available. But, of course, to do that well you also […]

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edible flower salad with radish pods and tulbaghia

Foraging; Edible Flowers in a Dry Summer Garden

My garden had some special visitors recently, when my niece and my god-daughter came to visit for a couple of days. The girls both love exploring the outdoors, cooking and learning new things, so it was a natural that we would head out to the garden to see what we could nibble and pick.   […]

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succulent wreath

Succulents; Adapting Big Ideas to a Small Space

Even if we don’t all have the means to take advantage of succulents on a grand scale, like some of the West’s famous estate gardens, most of us can find a pocket of space to enjoy a bit of nature’s drought-tolerant botanical-sculpture. The lack of rain in California makes this a good year to have fun with water-wise plantings but even […]

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deer fence raised bed

Oh Deer; Protection for an Edible Garden

Dining out…that phrase has different connotations depending on your point of view. If you are an edible garden enthusiast, your perspective may still be influenced by whether you have two legs or four. If you plant an edible landscape in deer country, it goes without saying that you have to consider how the plants should […]

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AlbrightSouza_armeria_IMG_1338a

Armeria; Versatile Water-Wise Beauty

Armeria, also known as Sea Pink or Sea Thrift, is a lovely plant for adding texture to small scale plant combinations.  It has neat-looking foliage, can take occasional foot-traffic and is deer resistant as well. Sea Thrifts have flowers that form a globe-shaped inflorescence at the top of a leaf-less stem, looking a bit like pink lollipops. […]

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King Protea Cape Town

Cape Town; Five Favorite Gardens

This is the year to highlight some of my favorite gardens in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. The New York Times has named Cape Town as the #1 travel destination for 2014, for it’s rich heritage and the “renaissance of it’s creative class”. The city is also the 2014 World Design Capital […]

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