Time and Temp


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• African daisies
• California Poppy
• Calendula
• Calla Lily
• Narcissus
• Lavander
• Ivy geranium
• Mexican Sage
• Pride of Madera
• Lantana
• Society garlic
• Wild geranium


• Baby arugula
• Onion and garlic greens
• Thyme
• Rhubarb
• Parsley
• Strawberries


California Wild Turkey

Wild California Turkeys.

Three handsome cocks in the oaks

We have a lovely flock of wild turkeys that walk by our house each day. They roost in the trees in the “open space” and migrate each morning to more populated areas. They look nothing like the domesticated turkeys that you see in farmyards. They are slim, streamlined, […]

Mustard-A Beautiful Cover Crop

Mustard agains hill on ranchland of San Luis Obispo County

Mustard against hill on ranch land in San Luis Obispo County

Mustard is blooming all over San Luis Obispo County. It’s one of the many cover crops that farmers and ranchers plant to smother weeds and replenish nutrients in the soil. Mustard grows between grape vines, under orchard trees, and on grazing lands. It’s […]

Monterey Pines-Beautiful and Dangerous

Trimming Up and Removing Dead Trees

Trimming Up and Removing Dead Trees

Our little community sits on hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. What really makes this seaside cluster of homes unique, is that the houses in Cambria are built in the middle of a Monterey Pine forest which I find to be both beautiful and terrifying at the same time.


A Break from Chickens and Gardening


The calm after a storm.

I know, I know. Chickens and gardening are my thing. But I need to take a break once in a while! We’ve had a series of storms blast though our little hamlet on the central coast of California. Fifty-seven homes were damaged by falling Monterey Pines. We were lucky. […]

Bracing for a Coastal Storm


We’re getting ready for a series of storms that are supposedly heading our way. I say supposedly because the forecaster often predicts rain, and many times, only a few drops will appear. Remember, this is California, the land of sunshine. We need rain badly but I dread storms. Our property is surrounded by old pines. […]

California Drought-Little Is Better Than Nothing


We got a half inch of rain yesterday and during the night, and I’m thrilled. I hear the chuckles rising across the U.S. as some of you sit in five feet of snow, while I get giddy over a half an inch of rain. I’m sorry that you suffer. I really am. I’ve always lived […]

Gardening by Phases of the Moon


I planted five pounds of rye grass seeds around the apple trees just before the first rains came. Not one seedling sprouted! Mind you, we do have hundreds of birds visiting our garden each day and 15 or 20 quail who call our backyard home. But this is ridiculous! The place looks like the Sahara […]

Snails & Slugs Coming Your Way

slug by zemistor on Flickr

Snail photo on Flickr by Randy Son of Robert

If you have not found evidence of slugs and snails in your garden by now, believe me, they will be here soon. In our California coastal climate they live (and eat) throughout the year. They slide though the night on their slimy mucus-producing “foot”, leaving a […]

Gopher or Mole?


The moist soil after some much needed rain in California, has brought out the moles and gophers in droves. There is sometimes confusion as to whether your garden has been invaded by gophers (a rodent that eats plants and roots) or by moles that tunnel along the surface, upsetting topsoil and toppling seedlings. It is […]

Wildlife Abundance in Gardens

A turkey vulture rest in the sun.

There has been an abundance of wildlife in our gardens this year. Seven years ago, a single quail couple hatched chicks in the open space behind our property and used the fenced portion of our garden as their playpen. The family of fifteen ended up being a family of four, but those are considered good […]