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Garden wisdom from deer country!

Gardening in the Sierra Foothills with Carolyn Singer

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      Carolyn gives practical garden information as a gardener, designer, teacher and writer who grew up with a gardening family in Sonoma County, California. She later added to her gardening experiences in Montana and Colorado before returning to garden in northern California.

      Carolyn has been gardening in the Sierra foothills (elevation 2650 feet) since 1977. She writes a regular garden column, the seasoned gardener for The Union in Grass Valley CA.

      Carolyn Singer has also written two books about deer-resistant plants:

      Deer in My Garden, Vol. 1: Perennials & Subshrubs

      Deer in My Garden, Vol. 2: Groundcovers & Edgers

      now available from:

      Garden Wisdom Press

      Carolyn's words take you into her garden to observe and learn. Enjoy your walk with her through gardens in all seasons! Past articles, greatly expanded, are available in a new book:

      The Seasoned Gardener

      five decades of sustainable & practical garden wisdom

      The Seasoned Gardener cover
      now available in local (Nevada, Placer, & El Dorado Counties) bookstores and nurseries. Online (and in the store) through Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. In Sacramento, Folsom & Roseville: Green Acres Nursery. Online and in Santa Cruz: Bookshop at Santa Cruz. In Plymouth (Amador County): Amador Flower Farm & Nursery. In Sebastopol (Sonoma County): Grow Gardens Nursery.

      Gold medal winner in ForeWord Reviews' 2012 Book of the Year Awards (BOTYA*)!!

      USA Book News "Gardening Book of the Year" 2013!!

      Gold medal winner in the Living Now Book Awards (Independent Publishers)!!

      Silver medalist in the 2013 IPPY Book Awards!

      Silver medal winner in the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards!

      Second place winner for non-fiction and the cover in Northern CA Publishers & Authors 2013 Book Awards!

      Honorable mention in the 2014 Eric Hoffer Book Awards!

      *As a BOTYA finalist, "The Seasoned Gardener" was displayed at the London Book Fair in Earl's Court, April 15-17th, 2013.

      Upcoming appearances:



      JUNE 2015 PROPAGATION CLASSES NOW SCHEDULED!!



      "Raspberries & other cane berries: planting bareroot and pruning", Saturday, February 21, 2015, 9:30-11:30. Class at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. These fragile fruits are most flavorful and nutritious picked from your garden. This class will detail individual needs for soil amendments, mulch, and training so you can grow your own cane berries successfully. $15 paid to Carolyn Singer. Please pre-register at Peaceful Valley by phone (530-272-4769 x 106), by mail (P.O. Box 2209, Grass Valley CA 95945), or in person in the store.

      "Natives in your garden", Wednesday, March 4th, 2015. Power Point presentation for the Chicago Park Garden Club, Peardale Fire Department in Nevada County CA. Books will be sold at a discount.

      "Organic gardening 101", Saturday, March 14, 2015, 9:30-11:30. Class at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Learn about the magical world of gardening, beginning with the basics: soil, compost, irrigation, fertilization, plants, and pollination. Bring your questions! This class will inspire you to become an organic gardener. $15 paid to Carolyn Singer. Please pre-register at Peaceful Valley by phone (530-272-4769 x 106), by mail (P.O. Box 2209, Grass Valley CA 95945), or in person in the store.

      Sacramento Perennial Plant Club's 14th annual Vendor Sale, Saturday, March 28th, 2015, 9-3, at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in Sacramento. Books will be sold at a discount.

      "No-till habitat garden", Friday, April 10, 2015, 11-noon. Power Point presentation for the Colfax Garden Club, Colfax CA (Placer County).

      "Raised beds and container gardening", Saturday, April 11, 2015. Class at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Gardening in smaller spaces works, even on a rooftop, when the fertility of the growing medium is optimal! Learn varying approaches to soil mixes for edibles , herbs, and other flowering plants in containers, including raised beds. This class will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of growing specific crops in raised beds. $15 paid to Carolyn Singer. Please pre-register at Peaceful Valley by phone (530-272-4769 x 106), by mail (P.O. Box 2209, Grass Valley CA 95945), or in person in the store.

      "Vegetative propagation", Tuesday, April 14, 2015. Bell Road Baptist Church off I-80, Auburn area. Hands-on workshop for the Donner Garden Club of Auburn.

      Author's Day, Sunday afternoon, April 26, 2015, Placerville CA, sponsored by the Placerville Shakespeare Club, admission $10. Books will be sold at a discount. More details to follow.

      Carmichael Organic Gardening Club, Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Details to follow. For information, Linda at 916-214-7531.

      "Plant profiles: water-efficient landscaping in deer country". Power Point presentation for the Auburn Garden Club, Monday, May 25, 2015, 10:15am. Location details, Barbara Ogden, 530-823-8683. Books will be sold at a discount.

      Propagation class in Carolyn's garden, Wednesday, June 10th, 2015, 8-11. Advance registration only. $75

      "Cool edible gardening in the warm season",Saturday, June 13, 2015, 9:30-11:30. Class at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Tomatoes top the delectable list of the heat-lovers, but this class will also cover eggplant, peppers, tomatillos, squash, beans, annual herbs, and even greens. Includes managing shade, irrigation, fertilization, mulches, pollination, and succession planting in the heat of the summer. $15 paid to Carolyn Singer. Please pre-register at Peaceful Valley by phone (530-272-4769 x 106), by mail (P.O. Box 2209, Grass Valley CA 95945), or in person in the store.

      Propagation class in Carolyn's garden, Saturday, June 20th, 2015, 8-11. Advance registration only. $75

      Past appearances:



      "Deer-resistant trees, shrubs, and ornamental grasses", Saturday, November 1, 2014. Power Point. Class at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA.

      "Fall planting", Saturday, October 4, 2014. Class at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA.
      Combined with "Wildflower meadows and erosion control"

      Saturday, September 13, 2014, 10-2, Carolyn available to answer gardening questions at Prospectors Nursery in Nevada City CA.

      "Raised beds and container gardening", Saturday, May 3, 2014. Class at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Gardening in smaller spaces works, even on a rooftop, when the fertility of the growing medium is optimal! Learn varying approaches to soil mixes for edibles , herbs, and other flowering plants in containers, including raised beds. This class will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of growing specific crops in raised beds.

      "Heat-loving edibles", Saturday, April 26, 2014. Class at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Tomatoes top the delectable list of the heat-lovers, but this class will also cover eggplant, peppers, tomatillos, squash and annual herbs. Learn tricks for getting an early start when soils are cold in spring and frost still threatens. Managing irrigation and mulches, and succession planting in the heat of summer will also be covered. Box 2209, Grass Valley CA 95945), or in person in the store.

      "Compost builds healthy soil", Saturday, April 12, 2014. Class at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. The basics of compost piles, sheet composting, cover cropping, and commercially available amendments, including biodynamic compost.

      Sacramento Perennial Plant Club's 13th annual Vendor Sale, Saturday, March 29th, 9-3, at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in Sacramento. Keynote speaker, Amigo Bob Cantisano, "The life and contributions of Felix Gillet, the father of California Perennial Agriculture".

      Sonoma County Home & Garden Show, booth 300 in the Hall of Flowers, March 14th-16th. Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa CA.

      "Water-efficient & deer-resistant plants", Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Bell Road Baptist Church off I-80, Auburn area. Power Point presentation for the Donner Garden Club of Auburn.

      "Gardening in raised beds", Wednesday, March 5th, 2014. Power Point presentation for the Chicago Park Garden Club, Peardale Fire Department in Nevada County CA.

      "Planting and pruning cane berries", February 22, 2014. Class at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA.

      "My trip through Scotland", November 8th, 2013. Power Point presentation for the Colfax Garden Club in Placer County CA.

      Solano County Authors' Luncheon, Sunday, November 3, 2013 in Fairfield CA. Books will be sold to raise funds for the Solano County Library and Literacy programs.

      Auburn Home & Garden Show, September 27-29th, 2013.

      "Vegetative propagation" for the CA Gardening Study School, Saturday, July 27th, 2013.

      "Plant selection & placement in the sustainable garden", a lecture and walk through a private garden at "Art in the Garden", June 1, 2013 near Grass Valley CA.

      "Master Gardeners & Friends" KNCO, Grass Valley CA. June 8th, 2013.

      Auburn Home & Garden Show, May 17-19th, 2013.

      El Dorado County Home & Garden Show, May 3-5, 2013. Placerville CA.

      "Gardening in the foothills: challenges (deer, rocky soil, heat!) and solutions" at The Union's Home & Garden Show, Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, April 27th, 2013

      "The Garden Guru" on KAHI in Auburn, a conversation with Rob Littlepage of CA School of Landscape Design Mar. 9th, 2013

      Placer County Master Gardeners' Gathering "Out in the garden" Saturday, March 6th, 2013. Presentation by Carolyn at 2 p.m., "Creating a healthy garden habitat".

      "The Garden Guru" on KAHI in Auburn, a conversation with Rob Littlepage of CA School of Landscape Design Feb. 23, 2013

      "Sustainable vegetable gardening" lecture for CA Garden Clubs special event, February 7th, 2013.

      "The garden in winter: beauty & opportunity" at the Meadow Vista Garden Club, Grange Hall, Meadow Vista, February 6th, 2013.

      Breakfast with Nevada County Master Gardeners, January 26th, 2013. "Gardening: a personal journey".

      KFBK Fred Hoffman Garden Show, January 13th, 2013.

      "Planting & pruning cane berries for the foothills" at the Chicago Park Garden Club, Peardale Fire Department, Hwy 174, January 3, 2013.

      "Water-efficient and deer-resistant landscapes". A comprehensive look at natives and Mediterraneans suited to our foothill climate. Power point presentation. Fall planting into November. At Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Saturday, November 3rd, 2012.

      "Fall planting with the Autumn Equinox". From garlic to landscapes, winter crops to cover crops. Fall is one of the most important planting seasons in the foothills. Season extenders. At Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Saturday, September 22nd, 2012.

      "Gardening in deer country" at the Meadow Vista Garden Club in Meadow Vista CA. Wednesday, September 5, 2012.

      "Master Gardeners & Friends" KNCO talk show with Durinda Kelly, August 18, 2012.

      "Midsummer in the garden". Planning for more summer and fall crops. Mulching & irrigation. Maintaining a healthy garden in summer heat. Soil solarization for weed control. At Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Saturday, July 14th, 2012.

      "Insectary plants essential for the edible garden". Plant ornamentals for bees, butterflies and beneficial insects. Power point presentation. At Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA.

      "Perennial flowers for the foothills". Planning garden spaces for the easiest perennials to grow in our climate. Deer-resistant perennials highlighted. Power point presentation for identification. Tips on propagation and starting from seed. At Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Saturday, June 9th, 2012.

      "Water-efficient and deer-resistant plants for the foothills". The Union Home & Garden Show, Saturday, April 28th, 2012.

      "Edible crops in raised beds." Concentrate your amendments and plantings in smaller spaces. Learn how to enrich your planting medium for optimum production. At Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Saturday, April 14th, 2012.

      "Propagating plants" with the Chicago Park Garden Club, Wednesday, March 7th, 2012.

      "Raspberries & other cane berries: planting bareroot and pruning" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Saturday, February 11th, 2012.

      "The dormant season: planting bareroot and pruning fruit trees" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. Saturday, January 7th, 2012.

      The Heirloom Expo" at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa CA. September 13-15, 2011.

      "Challenges of foothill gardening: deer-resistant landscaping, natives and ornamental grasses" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply September 10, 2011 in Grass Valley CA.

      "Mulching your garden" for the Chicago Park Garden Club, April 6th, 2011 in Peardale CA .

      "Get ready for a new gardening season! What amendments does your garden need? What should be planted and when?" April 2nd & 23rd, 2011 at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA.

      "Edible small fruits: Grapes, elderberries, rhubarb & currants, and hops!" - planting bareroot, training, and pruning at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. March 12th, 2011.

      "Raspberries & other cane berries: planting bareroot and pruning" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. February 12th, 2011.

      "The dormant season: planting bareroot and pruning fruit trees" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. January 8th, 2011.

      "Soil mixes for gardening in containers: raised beds, pots & hanging baskets" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. December 4th, 2010.

      "Fall & winter gardening: extending the season" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. November 6th, 2010.

      "Fall Planting: when does it start and when does it end?" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. October 9th, 2010.

      CNPS (CA Native Plant Society, Redbud Chapter) annual fall native plant sale at Sierra College in Grass Valley CA, September 18th, 2010.

      "Deer in My Garden! Are there really deer-resistant plants?" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA, Sept. 4th, 2010.

      Colfax Garden Tour. Carolyn hosted a garden she designed, the Goddard garden on Talking Pines Road in the Chicago Park area. August 28th, 2010


      "Landscaping for water efficiency & low maintenance" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA, August 7th.

      "Midsummer in the vegetable garden" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA, July 10th.

      Propagation class in Carolyn's garden, Grass Valley CA, June 26th.

      "Deer-resistant groundcovers & rock garden perennials" at Prospector's Nursery in Nevada City C, June 19th.

      Propagation class in Carolyn's garden, 13925 Sonntag Road (off You Bet Road), Grass Valley CA 95945, June 16th.

      "Gardening for health", Gold Country Cal Alumni at Goomba's in Grass Valley, June 9th

      "Vegetative plant propagation: softwood cuttings that will be ready for fall planting" at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. June 5th.

      "Deer-resistant Plants for the Foothills", Georgetown Divide Garden Club at Golden Gecko Garden Center in Garden Valley CA, May 22nd.

      Nevada County Soroptimists' Garden Tour, the Atkins Garden on Banner Mountain (Nevada City CA), May 22-23.

      GrowOrganic for Earth Day at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA, April 24th.

      EARTH DAY Propagation workshop, Colfax Garden Club, April 22nd.

      "A Gardeners' Gathering" (Placer Co. Master Gardeners),"Rethinking landscapes: insectary plants, deer-resistant & water-efficient plantings", April 17th, Blue Goose Fruit Shed in Loomis CA.

      "Local Author Appreciation Fair" April 10th, at the Folsom Public Library, 411 Stafford Street in Folsom CA.

      "Plants in Containers", April 7th, Chicago Park Garden Club at the Peardale Fire Dept., Grass Valley CA.

      "What amendments does your garden need?" April 3rd and "Digging deeper" April 10th at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA.

      "More small fruits: grapes, elderberries, rhubarb, currants, hops and more! Planting bareroot, pruning & training" Match 6th, and "Digging Deeper" March 13th, at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. March 6th, 2010 .

      KAHI in Auburn CA, February 27th:"Breaking Ground: Foothill soils are lean but promising" with "The Garden Guru" show, Rob Littlepage of the CA School of Garden Design and Vicky Bartish of Shades of Green Horticulture.

      Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply in Grass Valley CA. February 13th, 2010 "Berries: planting bareroot, pruning & training" and February 20, 2010, "Digging Deeper".

      KAHI in Auburn CA, November 28th, 2009, Rob Littlepage of CA School of Landscape Designand Vicky Bartish of Shades of Green Horticulture

      Fall gardening classes at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply, October 10th,31st, and November 7th, 2009 in Grass Valley CA
      Gold Country Herb Faire,September 12th in Placerville CA (El Dorado Center of Folsom Lake College)

      Real Goods' "Second Saturday" August 8th,2009, in Hopland CA

      Yamasaki Nursery in Auburn CA, Sunday, June 28th, 2009

      KFBK, Fred Hoffman Garden Show, May 24, 2009
      Chicago Park Garden Club, May 20, 2009, Chicago Park CA

      Paradise Garden Club, May 11th 2009, Paradise CA

©2012 by Carolyn Singer. All rights reserved.