Category Archives: Gardening

Planting Under An Oak Tree, Or, California Natives In A Suburban Wasteland


I’ve shown you my California Mediterranean Cottage Garden, out front, and the Wish I Were A Woodland, out back. But, as we used to say, there’s moooooore. Behold The Blasted Wasteland. Sigh. Here’s a story. Although somewhat specific to Northern California, I suspect that the plot elements, i.e. a need for privacy, a particular climate, […]

In Praise Of Shy Hydrangeas


Traditional Landscape by Dc Metro Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Katia Goffin Gardens (via Houzz) Above you see what I think of as Classic Hydrangea. A community, massed in uniform volume, vegetable origin a distant memory. Transmuted from plant to decor. All well and good. But there’s another mode of hydrangea to consider – the […]

Flowers In The House, Lace Cap Hydrangea Edition


It’s Monday, these are flowers, so it must be time for Flowers In The House! In Northern California, we’ve moved to hydrangea season, accompanied by Thank You Very Much For A Second Bloom white roses. And a few stalks of lavender. Here, in a red carpet closeup. And here, on the table, where they waited […]

A “Mixed” Border With Only 3 Plants


A glorious mixed border is one of the most beautiful but daunting sights in gardening. The British make it look so easy, a shrub rose here, some tall foxgloves there, flowers and foliage in just the right mix of color and height. None of it dying, apparently. (The one above is in Scotland, to be […]

Welcoming Houses And Gardens To The Party, Or, Saturday Morning at 7:44am


  Well hello everyone. Coming up on 3 weeks before our blue dry summer’s longest day, it’s my favorite time of year in Northern California. Kind of the Thursday night of seasons – full bacchanalia in sight, but just far enough away that you can pull your enjoyment forward now and feel it twice. You […]

Why I Love My Suburban Rose Bed, Or, Saturday Morning at 7:46am


That’s my rose bed. To say I have a white rose garden sounds so English, so glamourous, so artistic. In truth, I have a raised suburban bed of white rose bushes. With one fellow that was planted accidentally, closed buds opening to reveal peach. But I love my rose bed on beyond zebra, as per […]

Gardening In Retirement, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:30am


I’ve been gardening a lot lately. By which I mean I’ve been doing everything from mowing my front lawn to weeding paths to conversing with a bed of white roses. While I love the activity of gardening, the hobby itself is a little, odd. By which I mean the hobbyists, myself included. We mutter. We […]

25 Ways To Maintain Your Shape At 50+


I have been asked several times, recently, for a post on how I maintain my shape. I’ve written about it before, tongue-in-cheek, in 11 Sneaky Tricks Of The High WASP Diet, and here, earnestly, in the Building Attractive series from last year. But maybe I haven’t yet answered the question usefully enough, so here’s another […]

Flowers, Or Perhaps We Should Say “Florals,” In The House


Today is Flowers In The House day. Jane, at Small But Charming, is a florist, and today she and her buddies post photos of their arrangements. A wonderful way to start the week. I like to participate when I can, but it’s also Annual Nothing Blooms In Northern California Day, and I have only the […]

Paving Over, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:01am


I love working in the city. People walking on sidewalks, glimpses of sky between buildings, so many odd conversations. One morning I listened to a hard-hatted construction worker and a toothless street man discuss the local Audi dealership, as they separately drank their coffee at a donut joint. But if I can’t spend my weekend […]