Category Archives: Uncategorized

The value of gardens and gardening in trying times

This is truly an unprecedented period in the history of our country and our world. The sudden development and rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus is upending lives around the planet, and our normal lives and customary routines have been put on hold for the foreseeable future. This column is supposed to be garden-related, but […]

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Growing Dahlias is hard work but very rewarding.

I have grown dahlias for a lot of years and I am still learning how to be successful at propagating this plant from tubers. Dahlias come in various nuances of colors, sizes, and forms and they bloom starting in June continuing to November. Last year I had about 150 Dahlias. They are a bit perplexing […]

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Zinnias are great to grow for summer blooms.

Zinnias are the work horses of the cutting flower garden. They are easy to grow and have a short time from planting to bloom time. They attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds so are a great addition to a pollinator-attracting garden. I have done some flower show judging at fairs and the first time that I […]

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It’s time to plan for spring garden events

Spring is a busy time for garden-related happenings in San Joaquin and neighboring counties. There’s something happening nearly every weekend between now and summer, and with so many events to choose from, there are plentiful opportunities for fun and enriching outings. Consider taking advantage of these upcoming events to expand your knowledge, buy new water-wise […]

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Reveling in warmth, hoping for cold

I enjoy mild winter weather as much as the next person. It’s so refreshing to emerge from the house on an unseasonably warm and dry day and bask in the sun’s rays while catching up on garden chores.  People tend to think of cold weather as inconvenient at best and damaging at worst. Frigid days […]

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Growing common herbs is best done by your back door.

If you like cooking with fresh herbs you can easily grow many of your own in containers or in the garden. This is much more convenient than going to the store because a recipe you want to try dictates this or that fresh herbal ingredient.  Starting herbs from seed is not difficult, but purchasing young […]

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Seed starting time is here.

Winter is still with us, but it is time to think about the plants that we will plant this spring. Three that immediately come to mind for me are tomatoes, eggplant and peppers, a trio of vegetables in the Solanaceae family that are widely planted for summer cuisine. All are tropical plants and thrive in […]

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Euphorbia euphoria — a fascinating collection of plants

Euphorbias are simply incredible. Over my many years of visiting various botanical gardens, arboretums, and nurseries, I’ve developed a great fondness for and sense of amazement about this genus of plants. Almost every time our family visits a new public garden, we encounter yet another Euphorbia species, and we exclaim in near disbelief, “That’s a […]

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Poinsettias: history, fun facts, and more

Poinsettias have become a symbolic plant during the holiday season, their deep green leaves and bright red rosettes adorning tables and windows across the country. Marcy Sousa’s recent column briefly discussed the care of this and other ubiquitous Christmastime houseplants, but let’s take a closer look at this unique plant species. Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are evergreen […]

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Time to think about garden plans.

It is almost winter or what counts for that mild season in California; a good time for taking stock of our gardens and plan for next year. What do I want to plant for next year? What seeds do I order and do I want to change the landscape or some aspects thereof next year? […]

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