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July Garden Tasks

In July,  gardens across the nation really start to heat up.  Southern California,gardens had a long, cool spring with lots of powdery mildew and vegetables stuck in waiting-to-ripen mode.  Now, its happening fast and furiuos.  Are you ready?  Here are some July Garden Tasks. Schedule gardening time to early or late in the day to…

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Don’t Plant This: Palm Edition

My husband and I had brunch this morning with Celia and Nate Levy at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art.  Celia is the travel agent who has done such a fabulous job putting together the garden tour I am leading to Holland and Belgium next May. Brunch was delightful – both food and company!…

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Killer Rays from the Sun

Thinking of replacing your lawn but not sure how to kill the grass?  Just as we use the sun’s rays to power our houses, heat water and run our cars, we can use the sun to kill lawns as well. The process, called solarization, uses the heat of the sun’s rays to literally cook plants,…

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Summertime's purple powerhouse

Eggplants come in solids and stripes, and all need full sun Originally published in the U-T, May 6, 2011 at 4:37 p.m Illustration by CRISTINA MARTINEZ BYVIK Baba ghanouj, parmesan, roasted, curried or stir-fried with Thai basil … I can’t think of a way I don’t like to eat eggplant. Its soft, creamy texture and…

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Eating From the Garden Today

My husband harvested our first fingerling potatoes this evening.  Its hard to get any sense of their scale from the photo, but the largest ones were not quite three inches long. First fingerling potato harvest, April 2011 He sauteed them in garlic and olive oil, and served them with an asparagus omelette made with fresh…

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Garden Serendipity

This amazing combination caught my eye this morning as I arrived home from running errands…. Spring morning color tapestry Chartreuse blooming Euphorbia wulfenii, deep purple bearded iris, and  Arctotis ‘Big Magenta’ make an amazing display.  They were originally planted in different locations but somehow, magically, they’ve drifted together.   Another lovely example of garden serendipity…

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The Gift

I recently had a most delightful phone call.  A young man found my website and called to ask about community garden plots as a holiday gift for his mother.  He was in from out-of-town and wondered if I could help him. His mother, it seems, had suffered some financial setbacks  and no longer had access…

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