Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to use the Master Gardener Help Desk

Has your garden been invaded by an insect pest, and you have no idea what it is or how to safely banish it from your yard? Is one of your beloved and formerly thriving plants suddenly looking stressed and unhealthy, and you have no clue what’s wrong? Is your garden suddenly plagued by unfamiliar and […]

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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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Superb and spectacular sages

Look up the word “sage” in the dictionary, and the first definitions are typically those referring to a wise person or the culinary herb. But the word also applies to a group of ornamental plants well known and loved by gardeners around the world. Sage plants belong to the genus Salvia, a word not to be […]

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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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Restoring California’s native oaks

Imagine for a moment what our valley looked like only two centuries ago. Before the mass settlement of California, grizzly bears, herds of tule elk and deer, and sky-darkening flocks of migratory birds were common in what we now call San Joaquin County. Northern Valley Yokuts and Miwok communities lived and thrived within the oak […]

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A magnificent migration of painted ladies

If you’ve spent any time outside in the last few weeks, you’ve probably noticed a greater than normal number of butterflies flitting past. You’ve been privileged to witness the largest migration of painted lady butterflies in nearly 15 years. This miracle of nature was spawned by heavier than average winter and spring rainfall in 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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Straw bale gardening

Do you want to your own vegetables, but have minimal garden space, poor or heavy clay soil, or limited financial resources? Do you manage or want to begin a school or community garden, but need to start small or stretch limited funding? Do you want to give your children a fun adventure in growing their […]

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