Late Summer Bloomers: California Fuchsias

Late summer bloomers never fail to amaze and impress me – and perhaps this year more than most. What reserves are these plants drawing on after these many years of drought and heat? The shimmering late summer grasses, the deep… Continue Reading


Fortunately: A Rich Resource for Gardeners in Times of Drought

When my children were little among the books they loved to have read to them was one entitled Fortunately, first published in 1964 and written by Remy Charlip. The story goes something like this – “Fortunately, Ned was invited to… Continue Reading

Penstemons: Colorful Western Perennials for the North State Garden

PHOTO: Foothills penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus) in vigorous summer bloom in a low-water Chico home garden. Some people call them beardtongue – the visual image of which always made me laugh as a girl. Now – as an adult gardener whose… Continue Reading

Twining through Spring into Summer: Clematis in the North State Garden

My clematis are blooming nicely, elegantly draping themselves over trellises, fences and my shrub roses. I attended a meeting this past week for which my friend Jeanne had created two amazing arrangements for the table from her collection of now… Continue Reading


Right At Home: California Native Plant Week April 14th – 21st

California pipevine (Aristolochia californica) April is all about being at home on our planet – around the country with Earth Day on April 22 and National Arbor Day on April 26th, but also around the state with the third annual… Continue Reading


In Memory: Plant Love + Fine Art + Science = Botanical Illustration

In 2009, I had the pleasure of interviewing botanical artist Susan Bazell on her passion and her work. Susan died of cancer on December 1, 2012. I am re-airing this interview in her honor and memory. Photo: A slow dripping… Continue Reading


Keeping Company with Flowers: A Glimpse into the World of Pollinators

On my kitchen counter I have not one but two little vases of flowers from the garden. One holds a fragrant pink rose, the other holds a handsome collection of high-dark-coned rudbeckia, flowering mint and lavender. If you are a… Continue Reading


Conifer Country

I grew up among ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa). Not strapping cathedralesque yellow-bellied pines quite the way you find in Northern California, but old gnarled monk-like sculptures of trees formed by drought and wind and weather. As a girl (and to… Continue Reading


Stars of the Spring Woodland Garden: Trillium

While I might rightfully be described as a gardener of many plants, master of none – I always enjoy a garden or gardener with a dedicated collection of some special plant or plant group. Photo: A mature bloom of Western… Continue Reading