Garden weddings are easier than you think

I am so glad that simple garden weddings are all the rage. Pretty and rustic at the same time — there is lots of room for creativity when a wedding takes place outdoors. Since I’ve planted a few wedding gardens in my time, and since it’s so simple to plant your own, I’ve created a […]

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Kitchen garden planting potatoes

Potatoes have to be one of my favorite foods to plant. They’re not so much about the beginning, but in the end searching for them in deep, dark soil is about as much fun as a gardener is going to get. Will there be 10, 20 or even more? You just have to keep digging […]

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Totally in love with manure tea

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California rancher Annie Haven learned how to make manure tea from her grandmother. And this ain’t no regular bag of “you know what.” Annie’s cattle are grass fed, hormone, antibiotic and pesticide-free and what goes in to her free-range Angus and Longhorns comes out the same way – as pure organic fertilizer for roses, tomatoes, […]

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I miss raising chickens

That’s my chicken coop built by my son some five or six years ago. And that’s my chicken there in the middle, the tall Wyandotte. Her name is Dot of course, and she is very shy and sweet. But that ain’t my house in the background because my chickens don’t live with me now. I […]

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Garden recipe artichoke

If you have never tried growing artichokes in your own backyard you might think about finding a sunny spot for this large and delicious thistle. As a perennial plant, artichokes are not that far removed botanically from the prickly weed that grows alongside many of our rural roads. The large gray leaves, and leathery flowers […]

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Garden recipe apricots

Among the backyard fruits in my garden, the apricot tree is the only one that is planted in the larger landscape. While the other fruit trees are grown in rows beside the house, the apricot stands alone as a small shade tree with a bench beneath it in the flower garden. Apricot trees are indeed […]

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Garden recipe apples

The seasons evolve subtly here in Southern California with only the slightness recognition that the days are growing short and there is a cool pinch in the air in the early morning. But apple season still comes to mind. Backyard varieties are ready to pick. Farmer’s markets will offer a wider range of pome fruits […]

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Garden guide March

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The weather warms up, the rain wanes and gardens come alive in March. Every plant that will want to bloom in spring gets ready with buds now. Wherever there isn’t a plant, a weed will pop up. You can spray, you can hoe, but the easiest way to eliminate weeds is to smother them with […]

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Garden recipe broccoli

I don’t go a week without eating broccoli because this cabbage family member is rich in vitamins and minerals and most importantly, packed with antioxidants and enzymes. But besides the nutrition, broccoli plain tastes good. There is a window of sorts when it comes time to harvest. You wait and wait until the domes are […]

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Garden recipe watermelon

What does a sultry summer day, bored kids midway through vacation, and a cool snack have in common? Watermelon! Its more than a food  – it is something to play with, or so suggests the National Watermelon Promotion Board in Orlando, Florida. Kids can eat their way through a lazy summer day with Crazy Watermelon […]

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