Category Archives: Uncategorized

Orchids are easier than you think

Phaenopsis orchids are offered at many grocery outlets

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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Rain gardens

Now that wet weather has finally arrived, it seems a good time to write something about those little drops falling from the sky. You might ask, “What are rain gardens?” One writer has very aptly described them as gardens that “encompass all possible elements that can be used to capture, channel, divert and make the [...]

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Frost Protection for Sensitive Plants

We are fortunate to live in a mild climate that allows us to grow certain fruits and vegetables during the winter. However, one of the biggest worries a gardener may have is the threat of freezing weather and frosts that can harm or kill plants and damage crops. When the local weatherman warns of “a [...]

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Leave the leaves this fall

Autumn is here! Although the fall season officially began more than two months ago, it finally feels as if it’s arrived. The cooler temperatures are invigorating and a welcome change, and rainstorms during the last two weeks have brought much-needed precipitation and relief from smoky skies. Fall is one of my favorite times of year. [...]

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Camellias are wonderful shrub/trees for winter blooms

This 'Debutante' Camellia is 20 feet tall and likely over 100 years old.

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

These Felco pruners in a holster on your belt will be one of your best garden companions.

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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The birds and the berries

Fall is upon us, and with the season comes a profusion of color. But it’s not just leaves that bring autumn color and beauty; berries do too. Bird-friendly, berry-producing shrubs have a lot of environmental value. They help sustain and nourish bird populations, providing energy in the form of fruit and seeds when other sources [...]

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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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A healthy approach to garden pest management

For as long as human beings have been cultivating crops and growing ornamental plants, pest control has been an important to-do. Anyone who grows plants for food or pleasure must also be concerned with the organisms that might harm those plants. The word “pest” in garden lingo is fairly all encompassing. It can refer to [...]

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  • Blog Authors

    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 ... Read Full

    Marcy Sousa

    Marcy Sousa is the San Joaquin County UC Master Gardener Program Coordinator. She is a Stockton native and enjoys teaching others about gardening. She has her bachelors from Stanislaus State in Permaculture. She has been with the program since 2007. Read Full

    Nadia Zane

    Nadia Zane is a UC Master Gardener, a landscape designer and Stockton native. She has a fondness for California native plants and sustainable landscaping, which she utilizes in her work for Native Beauty Garden Design. She is a member of the CA ... Read Full
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