How about creating a letters-to-the-editor column in the Garden section of the Contra Costa Times?
Ms. Lynn Carey, Editor
The Home & Garden Section
The Contra Costa Times
Walnut Creek, CA
To the Editor:
First, I enjoy reading your weekly Home & Garden section each Saturday morning. At the very least it, keeps me apprised of the local plant sales.
How about establishing a "Letters to the Editor" column? The two other leading area newspapers, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Sacramento Bee both feature letters to the editor on a regular basis.
Your section seems to include columns that are written by and for folks living back East or in the Midwest, and thus may be providing useless advice or at best moot information to Bay Area gardeners. The article, "Plants don't like overwatering" (The Times, March 20), quotes an Agricultural Extension agent from Muscogee County, Georgia. Much of the eastern half of the country receives regular rain and quite humid to boot in the summer months. Thus, advice for eastern folks probably would not apply to California residents who experience our hot and dry Mediterranean climate each summer.
Could you find some local writers, non-proprietary internet web sites or agricultural extension agents to provide information about growing and maintaining plants in our particular climate?
Your pictorial "Before & After" of the Pleasanton house seemed to me to be reversed. I much prefer the "Before" with green shrubs, a tree and a bit of lawn: the "After" looks hot, sterile and lifeless. I prefer a more shaggy, overgrown, naturalistic look myself. I enjoy seeing what new plants Mother Nature provides each spring. In the last three Springs, my backyard has received a Coyote Brush shrub (Baccharis pilularis), a Red Alder tree (Alnus rubra) and an Acacia tree (Acacia sp.), all for free. They are respectively, nine feet high, fifteen feet high and seven feet high. Each to his own, I guess.
James K. Sayre
20 March 2004