Blue Atlas Cedar winter burn – probably OK

We’ve only had this house since 2012, so we’ve seen two full winters here. We have two lovely Blue Atlas Cedars – one a tall, wispy tree in the front yard and one a small, weeping variety in the back. I was alarmed last year when many of the needles were brown at the end […]

Any hope for veggies in deer country?

It’s the time of year when peas, spinach, lettuce, brocolli, and other cool-season vegetables can be planted. They can handle some spring freezes. But my worry since moving up on the ridge here at our Utah house is that that deer will feast on our garden bounty. There are a lot of articles on what […]

This is what forsythia should look like… and not

I love forsythia! It’s always the cheery harbinger of warm days, and it’s one of those shrubs that in my mind is best left to look wild. It should be allowed to send its long branches out, covered with beautiful blooms, sometimes arching under the weight of those awesome blossoms. The example above is in […]

It’s greenhouse time! And my winter-sowing experiment is working

It’s that wonderful time of the year again; the snow has melted (finally!), the perennial flowers are just starting to poke up through soil, and I’m feeling the urgency to get things started in the greenhouse. I decided to try winter sowing again to get some seeds sprouted, and then I’ll transfer seedlings into the […]

Time for valleygardens.com to bloom again!

We all love the changes that springtime brings. This year, spring is bringing a renewed commitment to our garden blog! We’re turning over a new leaf, so to speak. :) I had let the blog go mostly idle for the past four years or so, needing to regroup after divorce, leaving my “half acre of […]

Finally getting a new garden (and house!)

After two+ years of renting a townhouse, my wife and I are buying a sweet house in a short sale. Closing at the end of January. The new house is in the Suncrest area of Draper, Utah. This is up on a ridge, 1,700 feet above the valley floor (same area where we’ve been renting […]

Well, well, well… first snow on October 6th!

Well, I guess winter has come already. My home is at 6200 ft, so the weather is more extreme here than down in the valleys. Pretty big dusting of snow last night, but it is supposed to warm up to the 70s again soon. So, I have some good news for those who have followed […]

It’s safe to plant now!

I’ve had a few friends ask about timing for planting vegetable gardens along the Wasatch Front. The traditional rule of thumb is to wait until Mothers’ Day weekend, and that looks true this year. After the snowstorm last weekend, I was not sure Mothers’ Day would hold up as the right time this year, but […]

A Valentine’s Rose Garden

There are many joys of being married the second time, and one of the biggest for me is having a partner who is a closer fit with some of the things that matter so much in my life. Obviously, a big thing in my life is gardening. Especially flower gardening. Santia and I knew each […]

A question on containers for next summer

Since I’ve gotten married, I now live a long-distance commuter lifestyle, so I’m often in California for a week at a time or a long weekend. That’s my other home now, with my wife spending most of her time there and me working and spending time with my kids here. So, here’s the gardening question: […]