Get outside! Even a little nature helps you stay happy

Do you ever go the entire workday without getting outside or seeing any plants, trees, flowers, and birds? A new study says that just getting outside for a few minutes among some elements of nature will improve your mental well-being and can last for hours. Gardens make you happy! I saw this article about the […]

We’ve moved to Camellia City!

After a few years, I’m starting to write about our garden again. And it’s a new garden! Last summer, we moved to Fair Oaks, a sweet, older suburb of Sacramento. This house is a little over 50 years old, a nice rambler in a solid neighborhood. We’re enjoying discovering its garden secrets as they unfold. […]

Spring flowering shrubs at our California home

Spring always comes early to California, but it seems a bit earlier than usual this year. Up at 2,500 feet, the camellias don’t bloom as early as down in Sacramento, but ours are already on the waning end of bloom season. Here are a few sweet shots of them, plus the lovely forsythias. Both of […]

A healthy, thriving lawn with no fertilizers?

I recently read Plenitude, a book by Juliet Schor. She came highly recommended by a fun financial blog I sometimes read – Mr. Money Mustache. Anyway, Schor is a leader of the Center for the New American Dream, and Plenitude is about living a more sustainable life, leaving behind the typical American consumerism, and basically […]

Goodbye to the girls of summer

We’re experiencing our first major storm of fall this weekend. No snow is falling here at our Utah home, but I can see fleeting views of Lone Peak and Box Elder Peak through the clouds, each with a little crown of white at the very top. Soon, it will freeze down here, too, and we’ll […]

Help us with ideas for our backyard landscape

We have this amazing view that makes it feel like we have an infinite backyard. We love it up here on this mountain ridge! And now we need some ideas for the backyard landscape that are awesome enough to match the view. Can you help? We hope to see some fun suggestions in the comments […]

Lots of new flowers this summer

The flowers I grew from seed have done pretty well so far, and I added a few extras to the mix. I love how gaillardia grandiflora will flower the first year from seed. As I mentioned in another post today (about Crimean lavatera), that is a rare trait for a perennial flower. I like the […]

The crisis in Crimea and our garden (yes, they’re related!)

I’ve blogged about this amazing flower before, and now I’m finally growing it at our new place. Lavatera tauricensis is a very uncommon perennial found in the mountains of Crimea. At some point, someone collected seeds and sold them to Thompson & Morgan, and I bought them way back in the 1990s. The flower’s name […]

Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival 2014

I took my three younger kids to the Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival yesterday. What a beautiful treat on a beautiful day! I’ve attended once before, when I was a volunteer, working on my Master Gardener certification. If you haven’t been, you should give a try next year. But you might want to try a day […]

Trees make you happy

Here’s something cool, shared with me by a coworker. Did you know that trees make you happy? A study from the University of Wisconsin showed that people who live among more trees are more happy. I know that I am! The researchers examined survey data in Wisconsin about mental health and well being, and they […]