Author Archives: Lee Miller

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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Enjoy your gardening—find, buy and use the best garden tools

On October 13, I participated in the Master Gardeners Open Garden day at the County Ag Center where San Joaquin County Master Gardeners tend several excellent show gardens. There is a Mediterranean Garden, a Native Plant Garden, and an Edible Garden among others. Open garden day offers lots of resources and helpful advice on gardening […]

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Resources to be a better gardener

Gardening is always a learning experience which keeps it interesting as well as challenging when some new pest shows up or something doesn’t go as planned. No matter how much we know, it seems that there is more to be learned in a never ending process. This week I want to share with you some […]

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Happiness is being in a pollinator garden.

If you stand still in a garden of zinnias and other flowers frequented by hummingbirds, moths, butterflies and bees, it can be a joyful learning experience.  Years ago, I became acquainted with the Gulf Fritillary (Agaulis vanilla) butterfly after growing some passion vines to provide shade to the deck on my wife’s studio. I didn’t […]

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Experiencing the new in gardening

I discovered a Lily of the Nile, Agapanthus, which was a deep blue at my new home this year. The only ones I had ever known were either light blue or white. So, being a curious gardener, I looked up Agapanthus images using Google. I found that the genus Agapanthus consists of 4 species and […]

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Gardening is a lifelong learning experience

Most of us find gardening a challenge.  So many plants to know and choose from, so many configurations of plants possible and so many things to consider, sun exposure or shade, plant textures, flower colors and advancing verses receding colors. What type and amount of hardscape and paths to include and also styles of gardens […]

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Plant it right and don’t plant invasives.

PlantRight is an organization that works to reduce the number of invasive plants sold at nurseries in California. Master Gardeners and other volunteers have helped conduct eight annual surveys to assess how many invasive plants are currently for sale and to encourage nurseries to stop selling such plants. This year, PlantRight is not doing a […]

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