Author Archives: Lee Miller

Lee Miller

Lee Miller is a University of Delaware graduate and retired fisheries biologist, he gardens on 10 acres and makes wine each year with the help of a cadre of friends. However, his first love is gardening and he grows various fruit trees, heirloom tomatoes, gladiolus, daylilies, dahlias and roses among many others. He is a UC Master Gardener and an accredited National Garden Club flower show judge.

Lavender makes a beautiful summer addition to your garden.

It will soon be officially summer and time to enjoy summer blooms. In last week week’s column, Kathy Ikeda advocated for Salvias and they are a great flowering perennial for our California Mediterranean climate. Another flower group that I love to grow is Lavender which is also well suited to our dry, warm climate. It […]

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Create compact orchards for lots of fresh fruit.

Recently. Phil Pursel, representing David Wilson Nursery come to our monthly Master Gardener’s meeting to tell us about backyard fruit growing techniques. Yes, Master Gardeners do have meetings once a month to hear speakers to educate us on gardening issues and this one was very relevant. The size of home lots has shrunk noticeably in […]

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New Zealand Garden Tour Finale

In the last report on our garden tour, I described some historic gardens in Hamilton. For me, it was one of the best parts of the trip, but there were still many excellent gardens to visit and I am sharing some of those with you today. Near Wellington we visited the Otari-Wilton’s Bush a Native […]

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A tour of New Zealand Gardens; Part 2

The Auckland Botanical Garden was a large expanse of lawns and trees, but a disappointment as the roses were not well tended. There were some worthy sculptor pieces in the gardens. We visited 21 gardens on this 2 week tour. Our first garden, Ayrlies, north of Auckland, is acknowledged by some as one of the […]

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A tour of New Zealand gardens-Part 1.

In January, Pam and I were fortunate to get included on a garden tour of private and public gardens in New Zealand. The tour was sponsored by the Northwest Horticultural Society located in Seattle and organized by Earthbound Expeditions which is also headquartered in Washington. There were 32 of us and we all managed to […]

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Growing winter vegetables is fun and nutritious

Our Central Valley’s wonderful climate is conducive to year around gardening, something the rest of the nation likely cannot relate to. I normally get my seeds at our local Lockhart seed store, but in July, I only needed a few seeds for my winter garden, so I went to a nearby big box store for […]

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Tree Peonies and herbaceous peonies are long term plants.

There are quite a few plants that I miss after downsizing. I have previously mentioned camellias and several productive citrus trees are missed too. Also missing at my new home are tree peonies (Paeonia suffructicosa) and herbaceous peonies (Paeonia lactiflora). The tree peonies were pretty special. When I first moved to my former home in […]

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Time is nigh for pruning roses.

Generally modern roses are best pruned in January when they are as dormant as they will likely get in California. I always think of New Year’s Day as the time to start. The timing and amount of material removed depends on which roses you have in your garden. There is no reason to be anxious […]

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Orchids are easier than you think

I am sure that gardeners reading this might be a bit skeptical of orchids being easy. Full disclosure, some are very fussy, but even the easy ones can be killed if not properly tended. Grocery stores often feature orchids in their flower offerings and they are so gorgeous it is hard to resist buying one. […]

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Camellias are wonderful shrub/trees for winter blooms

After downsizing to a smaller place last year there is one thing that I miss—the dozen Camellias that I planted over the years as well as two really old ones at my Victorian homestead. I think these two older Camellias were close to 100 years old which tells you that, once established, these are tough […]

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