Hello and welcome to my gardening blog. I’m a self confessed plant lover and collector. One friend calls me an addict but that’s okay. It’s an addiction that brings me joy and pleasure. I love plants of all kinds: ground covers, vines and everything in between.
A couple of years ago, I moved to Northern California from Zimbabwe where I had a large and full garden and a full time gardener to help me. I had to start my new, tiny garden from scratch, enlisting my husband’s and daughter’s help in digging beds and gopher proofing them. I soon ran out of space and spread into the kitchen and living room!
Although many of the plants here grow in Zimbabwe too, the conditions are quite different: Zimbabwe has summer rain and never gets very cold; West Marin has winter rain which feels freezing to me even though I’m in zone 9! Zimbabwe is inland and here the beach is ten minutes away, bringing with it coastal winds that are relentless in spring and early summer.
The summer temperatures in this little corner of the world don’t ever get that hot, so plants that love the heat just don’t do so well here. The mild weather here, however, means our growing season lasts longer than it does elsewhere in the States and I still have a full garden in October. The biggest difference is having to deal with deer and gophers, of which I have many now that I’ve moved to the outskirts of town!
One of the happiest and most unexpected similarities I found is the availability of South African natives which thrive in gardens and which, unfortunately, have taken over in parts of the wild, covering the beaches and hillsides. I’m getting to know the native plants in this area, thanks to a wonderful nursery down the road, and I’m starting to add them to my collection with great pleasure. The range of plants for me to collect is almost infinite and I’ve wasted no time in trying new and exotic creatures, like lupines and bat flowers. I’ve also grown totally unsuitable plants just because I couldn’t get them before – like clematis and peonies and dragon fruit. The first two want the cold in winter and the dragon fruit is shivering in full sun.
Having been an avid flower photographer for a years, I’ve discovered I love writing about flowers too and hope my style is improving as I go. You’re welcome here and I hope my experiences give you some food for thought (tomatoes and herbs at this point). If you want to know when I publish a new article or post a new video, sign up below to receive blog updates.
P.S. The books (and videos) I recommend in the side bar are all for sale and are all filled with excellent information.