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nandina stipa coleonema fall colors

In the Garden; Celebrating Fall and Planning for Spring

I love this time of year. The days are short and the light bends low around the earth. We reap the final rewards of the season and hopefully take a moment to celebrate while, maybe, thinking how we might do it differently when we have the chance to do it again – and usually, in the […]

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rum pot layer rainbow vodka

Another Kind of Shrub; Drinking-Vinegars And Other Old-TimeTreats From The Garden

You would think a garden blog about shrubs would be about the best “woody perennials”, but there is another kind of “shrub” worth talking about…and they are for drinking. Also known as drinking vinegars, the word “shrub” is a Colonial word for a sweet fruity vinegar. Originally the result of old-fashioned fruit preserving methods, the […]

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giant red mustard greens

Rainbow Vegetables; Having Fun With An Edible Garden

Color is an important aspect of most gardens, of course, along with texture, form and scale.  But when it comes to planting the vegetable garden, people often don’t think about color with the same sense of significance. Happily, it doesn’t have to be that way…color can be fun and tasty as well.     Harnessing […]

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Winter to Spring; Citrus and Other Seasonal Salad Inspirations

The premise is simple; take what’s outside, bring it inside and eat it. What’s in the garden right now? Weeds and citrus, that’s what. All types of citrus hit the spot at this time of year, so they are easy to add to everything. .. and the weeds…well I find the best way to deal […]

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Dipltaxis Rocket Flowers with Pollinator

Wild Arugula; Delicious Low-Water Beauty

  What edible plant takes little summer water, contributes color to the landscape and adds flavor to salads, pestos and more? Answer; Common Arugula’s louder, brighter, cousin “Wild Rocket”. This assertive member of the mustard family, Diplotaxis tenuifolia, is also known as Sand Rocket, Italian Rocket, Rucola Sylvetta and Rustic Arugula, depending on who you ask […]

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belgian fence espalier summer

Edible Garden Art; The Truth About Espaliers

It’s time to talk about espaliers. Not only because winter and early spring is the best time of year to consider planting or making one – but also because I’ve noticed a couple of mis-conceptions about this useful garden form among my design clients, so I think it’s time for an overview.     A review […]

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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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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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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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Citrus and Rosemary; A Refreshing Combination

Fresh and clean….that’s what most of us crave this time of year. Thankfully, just as we are clearing the pine needles and the last of the holiday decorations, the western garden is capable of giving us a revitalizing gift; citrus. There’s nothing I love more than piling a big platter of lemons or grapefruit in […]

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