Category Archives: Gardening

In Northern California, It’s Hydrangea O’Clock


America’s collective consciousness knows the crocus, emerging from snow. We wallow in roses and peonies, come summer. And hydrangeas? In my part of California, the time is now. Drought brings burn. So be it. Lacecaps always show a little more decay than other varieties. With variegated foliage, Or straight green. I like to hide the classic mopheads, showy and homogenous as they are, […]

A Pair Of Crocs For Every Doorstep


This is my front entry. Old school doormat from our local hardware store, basic Crocs. Minimalist, with a little earthy texture for good measure. And in fact, feng shui says that sandy yellow and black are good for my northeast facing front door. Bonus points! I like a heel band, and holes in the body for […]

When Weather Got Scary, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:56am


This is my front lawn. I’m letting it die. Northern California is dry. Actually, so’s the whole state, but that’s a lot of acreage and I can only talk about the part I know. We began drought-level water restrictions this month. We must cut usage 36% from 2013. A pretty precise requirement. Outdoor irrigation in my water district, […]

A Visit To The California Estate Of Filoli, Complete With Family Dreams Of Wendover


Last weekend, I visited Filoli, a Northern Californian turn-of-last-century estate. Well-known, much-visited, somehow I’d never made the trip. A reader of this blog was living temporarily on the Peninsula. We’d chatted about local things to do, and before she left she was kind enough to suggest, “How about Filoli, together?” It’s pronounced Figh-Low-Lee, by the […]

The Serenity Of Flowering Dogwood


3-2-1, cue month of online fawning over peonies. I always want to boycott. I cast no aspersions on preferences – peonies just seem too blowsy, too easy for me and my somewhat astringent tastes. Ah, give me dogwood any day. Give me flowers that appear to float on water. Give me random numbers made chlorophyll. […]

The Beauty Of Flowers Who Have Met Their True Love


You all may remember Mr. D., the delphinium I grew from seed. Delphiniums take forever to germinate. I had given up hope when I saw the first 3 teeny leaves. I held my breath, hoped, realized he wasn’t getting enough light on my back patio, brought him inside, watered him, fed him, realized he still […]

Flowers In The House, Apricot Rose Edition


It’s time for Flowers In The House. Jane over at Small But Charming occasionally hosts a blogger linkup in which everyone posts photos of, unsurprisingly, Flowers In Their Houses. These are my apricot roses, in a brief moment of integrity before they begin to drop scented petals on the floor. Which may be their way […]

Is Gardening Nerdy?


This weekend I found a caterpillar in my garden. My first impulse was “Squish it!” — I don’t use pesticides, bugs are often bad news. Mid-swing I gasped, and dropped my arm. It was a Monarch. As many of you know, Monarch butterflies are endangered by the depletion of their natural foodstuff, the milkweed plant. […]

When A Garden Surprises At Easter Time


I spent a good bit of last week’s blog break standing in my yard, not always in the grip of awe and wonder. I waxed pragmatic – planted some things, pulled other things out of the ground, snipped errant branches, watered. And was surprised, as I am every year at this time, by a brief […]

The 2 Key Questions To Ask In Articulating Your Style: Clothing, House, Or Garden


Now that I’m writing about 3 areas of style – fashion, house, and garden – I notice a couple of commonalities. Seems to me in articulating style, of any sort, we need to ask ourselves 2 primary questions. What must our style do for our physical selves? What effect do we want to create, and […]