Gardens and gardening:

by James K. Sayre

Annual flower gardening was a big spring and summer activity for me as I was growing up. Nowadays, I am also growing perennials, shrubs and fruit trees, both deciduous and evergreen. I have a partially unweeded garden; I enjoy seeing what Mother Native provides in the way of free plants. Each spring she makes a new and different donation to the flora of my yard. The insects, the spiders and the birds are all part of the natural scene. This links to some of my personal gardening notes and some web links.

Chronicle hype and hysteria about "invasive" plants Hype and hysteria

They call me double-yellow... They call me double yellow...

October's Bright Red Raspberries (with apologies to Helen Hunt Jackson). October's Bright Red Raspberries

Thanks to seeds sold by the Burpee Seed Company, I had some nice annual flower gardens as an adolescent in Mount Lebanon, PA in the late 1950s. Adolescent flower gardens
Cobwebs and spider webs Cobwebs
Johnny Jump-ups (Viola tricolor) Johnny Jump-ups

Johnny Jump-ups (Viola tricolor) - Violaceae (Violet family) (horticultural entry). Johnny Jump-ups -horticultural entry

Growing Scarlet-flowered Gum trees (Eucalyptus ficafolia) Scarlet-flowered Gum tree
The Coast Redwood tree (Sequoia sempervirens) Coast Redwoods: a brief overview
A giant backyard Redwood tree is felled on the summer solstice. A giant Redwood tree is felled on the Summer Solstice Published as a commentary in the Berkeley Daily Planet on 22 June 2007. Published as the lead letter in the Garden section of the San Francisco Chronicle on 27 June 2007. Published as a letter to the editor in The Montclarion on 29 June 2007. Published as an editorial in theJuly 2007 issue of The Rockridge News.
Making a nice free birdbath by recycling a discarded DirecTV satellite receiver dish. Free Birdbaths for North Americans

Horticultural freedom of experssion vs. city "blight" laws. Horticultural Freedom (a version of this essay was published as a commentary by The Berkeley Daily Planet on 15 November 2005). A version of this essay was also published by The Montlclarion on December 2, 2005.
Horticultural freedom update: Horticultural Freedom update 9 December 2005

Personal essays:

Gardening in Rockridge, Oakland, California: links about growing vegetables and herbs. .Rockridge gardening

Slugs: a brief overview: .Slugs: a brief overview

Red Raspberries yield second crop in 2004 in coastal California..Red Raspberries

A little kitchen window sill gardening: window sill gardening

The Early Girl tomato and the Late Girl tomato The Late Girl tomato 31 January 2004.

Staking trees and shrubs? Why do some retail nurseries insist on staking perfectly healthy and free-standing trees and shrubs? Why stake perfectly healthy trees and shrubs?

My childhood gardens, adolescent gardens and young adult gardens.childhood gardens


The Katydid that hitchhiked through the Caldecott Tunnel .The Hitchhiking Katydid Published in the Home & Garden section of the San Francisco Chronicle on 21 August 2004.

Bermuda Buttercups in the winter: .Bermuda Buttercups Bermuda Buttercups essay was published in the Garden section of the San Francisco Chronicle on 29 January 2005.

Using the Himalayan Blackberry bushes (Rubus discolor) to add to home security (the old briarpatch trick) A gardening letter Published in the Saturday California Life Home and Garden section of the Sacramento Bee in the summer of 2003.

How about creating a letters-to-the-editor column in the Garden section of the Contra Costa Times? Garden letters-to-the-editor column? 20 March 2004

Gardening Books and references:

Gardening literature Gardening literature

My four favorite gardening reference books for the curious western gardener: Gardening References

Nature guides for North Americans Nature guides for North Americans

Rating the gardening sections found in San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California newspapers..Rating gardening sections


Scented Geraniums or Pelargoniums Scented Geraniums or Pelargoniums

Backyard ponds: building and maintaining inexpensive backyard ponds. Backyard ponds: building and maintaining inexpensive backyard ponds

Some of my Garden plants described:

Brief descriptions of some plants growing in my garden: Descriptions of some of my garden plants

Blue gum eucalyptus and other eucalyptus information Blue gum eucalyptus

Some interesting volunteer shrubs, climbers and trees have started growing in my backyard in the last two years Volunteer Plants

Some Internet gardening links:

Some west coast arboretums, botanical gardens and horticultural societies Arboretums

California wholesale nurseries: a brief list of links (note: many of these nurseries also sell retail): .California wholesale nurseries : a brief overview

The good Organic Gardening magazine from the past now has a nice comprehensive web site: Organic Gardening

The Garden Web and its many Gardening Forums: The Garden Web

The Garden Watch Dog offers a comprehensive view of purchasing seeds, trees, shrubs, perennials and supplies by mail. Catalogs and companies are rated by consumers. (Note: probably many happy customers do not bother reporting the good products and services which they have received). (especially for the paranoid and/or thrifty mail order shopper) : The Garden Watch Dog

Buying trees by mail order? Excellent value for your money at the Arbor Day Foundation web site. With an introductory ten dollar membership you get your choice of ten free trees: (a) flowering trees (five species), (b) oak trees (five species) or (c) ten Colorado blue spruce trees. They also offer over one hundred varieties of other trees for sale. All you need is some room to plant them! Arbor Day Foundation

Check out the Cuban agricultural changes since 1990. The whole island of Cuba is now basically one large organic garden. The Cuban agricultural experience in dealing with very expensive oil, fertilizers and pesticides may be a good model for us when the oil peak hits our economy. Cuban agriculture



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Web page last updated on 18 March 2008.