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Garden wisdom from deer country!

Gardening in the Sierra Foothills with Carolyn Singer



The seasoned gardener

published in The Union in Grass Valley CA

Almost all the articles from several years of garden columns 2006-2012 were rewritten with lots of information and photos added. A NEW GARDENING BOOK!!!

The Seasoned Gardener

The Seasoned Gardener

Five decades of sustainable & practical garden wisdom


Recently published magazine articles for The American Gardener
the magazine of the American Horticultural Society:

May/June 2016: Plant in the spotlight: "Bush Anemone: A Beautiful Water-efficient Western Native"
March/April 2015: "Designing an Inviting Garden"
September/October 2014: Plant in the spotlight: "Helianthus angustifolius: A Glow in the Autumn Light"


The following list of articles represents "The Seasoned Gardener" columns written for The Union (Grass Valley CA) since December 2012. To access the article, GOOGLE the title plus “by Carolyn Singer”. Articles are by month in order of date, and reflect information for that season and for that particular year.


1-10-15 Brightening the darker days: Light and color in the winter landscape
1-12-13 Winter magic: Evergreens dominate the landscape
1-12-14 The underground story: A look at bareroot season
1-12-13 Winter opportunities: Save money with bare root planting ??
1-24-15 January in the garden: Winter watering
1-25-14 January in the garden: Warm dry days and the first flowers
2-7-15 February in the garden: Short month, lots to do
2-9-13 Peas to eat, and peas just sweet: Not all peas are edible
2-21-15 Seed sources: Near and far, the variety is amazing
2-22-14 Felix Gillet: The father of perennial agriculture
2-23-13 Grasses dance with winter winds: Still beautiful, but it may be time for maintenance
3-7-15 Late winter blues: More time in the garden
3-8-14 March medley: A mix of rain, sun and blossoms as spring arrives
3-9-13 March in the garden: Pause to enjoy spring blossoms
3-23-13 Raspberries & rhubarb: Two crops with very different cultural requirements
3-21-15 March in the garden: Warming soil brings blossoms
4-4-15 The warming earth: Turning attention to the edible garden
4-5-14 After the scotch broom: The challenge continues
4-6-13 Natural beauty in the Sierra foothills: A native for every season
4-18-15 The Empire Mine State Historic Park: A garden sanctuary
4-19-14 Spring musings: As the earth warms
4-20-13 The garden in April: The rewards of good garden practices
5-2-15 Rethinking lawn with native yarrow: Turf can be water-efficient, low-maintenance, tough and attractive!
5-3-14 Iris: Greek goddess of the rainbow
5-4-13 May in the garden: The earth is warming 5-14-16 Tomato tricks: Will this be a “good” season?
5-17-14 May in the garden: Is the last frost past?
5-18-13 Hardy perennials: Dependable edibles & ornamentals
5-30-15 Mulching may save your garden! And mulch certainly saves water
5-31-16 Poppies for pollinators: Some rugged, some fleeting
6-1-13 Sustainable garden practices: Water & soil are precious resources
6-11-16 Exploring a private garden: Looking for answers for your own landscape
6-14-14 Propagation is easy! June brings abundant opportunities
6-15-13 June in the garden: Quail, sweet peas, & other good reasons to be in the garden
6-25-16 Grasses & sedges: form and function: From focal point, to soil building, to weed control
6-28-14 June in the garden: A celebratory mood greets the summer solstice
7-9-16 July in the garden: Irrigating tomatoes, succession planting & welcome volunteers
7-12-14 Roots ‘n’ fruits: Phosphorus holds the key
7-13-13 Hot & dry: Managing with limited water
7-23-16 Seeking shade
7-26-14 July in the garden: To water? To fertilize? These are the questions!
7-27-13 Summer color for the birds: Nectar, and even the plant itself provides food
8-6-16 August in the garden: Peak harvest begins
8-9-14 The “mother heirloom orchard”: Preserving foothill history
8-10-13 Splendor in grasses: Spangle grass and little blue stem at the meadow’s edge
8-20-16 Vines add to the vertical landscape
8-23-14 August color spots: White flowers brighten gardens
8-24-13 Late August in the garden: The harvest, changing irrigation, and fall planting
9-3-16 September in the garden: Celebrate the harvest!
9-6-14 Gardeners find each other: Creating community with ideas, plants & produce
9-7-13 The harvest moon: A celebratory mood greets the autumn equinox
9-17-16 Fall landscaping: Planning for pollinators
9-20-14 Where does it grow naturally? Selecting natives for the foothill landscape
9-21-13 Off to the CNPS native plant sale! Plan to arrive early and linger
10-4-14 Fall gold: The perfect season to garden
10-18-14 October in the garden: Fragrance, fruit, and musings
11-1-14 Each grass is unique: Which grass catches your attention?
11-2-13 Spring magic planted in fall: Daffodils planted now multiply each year
11-15-14 November in the garden: Seeds: saving, storing and sowing
11-16-13 Fawns in my garden: The next generation moves in
11-29-14 A taste of the Mediterranean: 3 culinary herbs for foothill gardens
11-30-13 To prune or not to prune? Choosing the right tree for the space
12-1-12 December in the garden: Gardening activities as varied and unhurried as the falling leaves
12-13-14 Exploring our natural world: A new book of exquisite detail
12-14-13 Winter beauty: Simple, striking, satisfying
12-15-12 Winter solstice: Coaxing warmth and light from the winter sun
12-27-14 December in the garden: Winter rains, catalogs, & bareroot season
12-28-13 Gardening with resolve: Reflections at year’s end
12-29-12 A new year enriched by sharing: Local Master Gardeners plan their calendar of events

Past articles for The Union newspaper (2006-2012) may be read with the following links. Expanded versions may be found in
The Seasoned Gardener: Five decades of sustainable & practical garden wisdom:

"Elderberries grace the edible garden: beauty, edible fruit, and vigor characterize this native and its related species" (2/25/12)

"February in the garden: only the weather is unpredictable" (2/11/12)

"Planning this year's edible garden: catalogs entice and educate" (1/28/12)

January in the garden: inside looking out"January in the garden: inside looking out" (1/14/12)

"Designing a inviting garden: large or small, outdoor spaces may be planned" (12/17/11)

"December in the garden: winter details lift spirits" (12/3/11)

"A perfect fall day: time to plant garlic for next year's harvest" (11/19/11)

"November in the garden: fall fragrance and color still delight the senses" (11/5/11)

"Variegated foliage brings light into shade" (10/22/11)

"October in the garden: from garden to canning jar, the harvest is plentiful this year" (10/8/11)

"Vines climb into view for September color: intense fragrance and vivid color entice bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and gardeners" (9/24/11)

"September in the garden: seed-saving is a top priority"(9/10/11)

"Colfax gardens express individuality: a late-summer invitation to visit"(8/27/11)

"August in the garden: plenty of summer squash, and so much more!" (8-13-11)

"Luscious midsummer berry gathering: pick the fruit that's perfectly ripe" (7-30-11)

I love orange!"I love orange! a much maligned color deserves special recognition" (7-16-11)

"July in the Garden: perennial flowers, garlic scapes, and serendipity" (7-2-11)

"Feeding the bees so they will feed us: our food supply depends on healthy pollinators" (6-18-11)

"June in the Garden: May showers bring June flowers...?" (6-4-11)

"Late winter (spring?) harvest and summer planting: green garlic & 'Carolyn's mix'" (5-21-11)

"May in the garden: abundant flowers and open gardens" (5-7-11)

"Celebrating natives: the first annual Native Plant Week & CNPS Native Festival" (4/23/11)

"April in the garden: buds break with warm sunshine" (4/9/11)

"Planning & planting your vegetable garden: seeds will germinate in fertile soil when the sun shines" (3/26/11)

"March in the garden: a burst of early spring blossoms following the snow" (3/12/11)

"The story of roots: there's much more to a plant than what you see above ground!" (2/26/11)

February in the garden: buds swelling, growth reawakening, pussy willows gathered" (1/15/11)

"Pruning with a purpose: know your plant's needs and response!" (1/15/11)

"January in the garden: look for form, fragrance, and winter color" (1/1/11)

"Tools of the trade: essential garden tools make perfect gifts" (12/18/10)

"December in the garden: protecting plants and soil from winter's weather" (12/4/10)

"Winter flowers brighten shorter days: dependable perennials bloom thru all of winter's storms" (11/27/10)

"November in the garden: enjoy fall color and winterize your garden" (11/6/10)

"Fall-sowing a meadow: creating a natural landscape" (10/23/10)

"October in the garden: lots of ripe tomatoes, lettuce, and time to plant garlic!" (10/9/10)

"The legacy of trees: planning and planting for the future" (9/25/10)

"September in the garden: plant sales, fall soil preparation, and the annual hops harvest" (9/11/10)

"Wandering through summer gardens in Colfax: art, music, an 1880 home, and a wealth of personal garden touches" (8/28/10)

"August in the Garden: a mild summer, a steady harvest" (8/14/10)

"Summer-sown seeds: gather seeds now for next year's garden" (7/31/10)

"Lavender makes good scents: deer-resistant subshrubs that love heat!" (7/17/10)

"July in the garden: a slow start to the summer this year" (7/3/10)

"Gardening on the rocks: deer-resistant perennials for a sunny site" (6/19/10)

"June in the garden: cool temperatures slow growth but prolong perennial bloom" (6/5/10)

"Welcome to my garden: is your garden ready?" (5/22/10)

"May in the garden: a celebration of spring" (5/8/10)

"Lamium stars as a deer-resistant groundcover: dead nettle enlivens the shade garden" (4/24/10)

"April in the Garden: a wet spring delays planting" (4/10/10)

"Clay soil in good tilth makes gardening a pleasure: dig in amendments & enjoy the change" (3/27/10)

"March in the garden: pruning season ends with hardwood & root cuttings" (3/13/10)

"February in the garden: signs of spring appear, but most plants are still dormant" (2/27/10)

"White in the landscape: trees, shrubs, perennials & vines with flowers that will glow in the moonlight" (2/13/10)

"When does dormant season end? Winter planting extends into March in the foothills" (1/30/10)

"January in the garden: it's bareroot season and time to prune" (1/16/10)

"Choosing plants for water-efficiency: foothill residents have many deer-resistant choices" (1/2/10)

"December in the garden: snow, seed pods, and silhouettes"(12/19/09)

"The gift of garden wisdom: publications by gardeners grow in value each year"(12/5/09)

"November in the garden: transplanting & season extenders"(11/21/09)

"Fall color lingers in the foothills: one large tree and one small tree for late color"(11/7/09)

"October in my garden: changing hues & scents, and a slower pace"(10/24/09)

"Ornamental grasses add light and motion to the garden: these deer-resistant plants are perfect for fall & winter interest"(10/10/09)

"September in my garden: and the heat goes on..."(9/26/09)

"Get to know your plants: irrigate plants when they REALLY need it!"(8/1/09)

"A mid-summer day in my garden: time to water, mulch, and harvest"(7/18/09)

"Fried-egg plant turns heads on Sierra College Drive: Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) is a tough but delicately beautiful perennial"(7/4/09)

"Solar energy for weed control: taking advantage of the foothill summer sun"(6/20/09)

"Frolicking in a meadow: deer-resistant perennials for summer color"(6/6/09)

"The great tomato race: secrets for an early and plentiful harvest"(5/23/09)

"Building soil fertility and tilth: amendments offer many choices"(5/9/09)

"Breaking ground: foothill soil is lean but promising"(4/25/09)

"Edible gardens then and now: food crops gain importance in the landscape"(4/11/09)

"Rethinking lawn: 'turf' can be drought-tolerant, low-maintenance, and tough!"(3/28/09)

"From seed to harvest: now is the time to plan your garden"(2/28/09)

"Art personalizes a garden: from eclectic to elegant, garden art adds fun and beauty"(2/14/09)

Winter color brightens the darker season: frosty nights and snowstorms do little to discourage flowering"(1/31/09)

"My father's garden: memories strengthen garden connections"(1/17/09)

"Small fruits with big yields: bare root season is the time to plant"(1/3/09)

"Winter fantasies can lead to summer rewards: dormant season offers an opportunity to plant fruit trees"(12/27/08)

"Self-sowing annuals, biennials and perennials"(12/13/08)

"It's about thyme: this rugged herb is deer-resistant and evergreen"(11/29/08)

"Shrubs and Screens"(11/15/08)

"Saving precious fall leaves: This year don't burn a free amendment!"(11/8/08)

"Warm weather extends fall planting season: but no rain means plants need deep irrigation"(10/25/08)

"The joy of planting bulbs in autumn"(10/11/08)

"Create a garden that last for many years: landscaping is more than filling space with plants"(9/27/08)

"Autumn is the start of the perfect gardening season"(9/13/08)

"Lessons learned from a first veggie garden"(8/30/08)

"Cooling a hot, sunny slope"

"Green is a color too! foliage variety dominates in the landscape"(7/19/08)

"Fertilizing your garden: active soil is the best 'fertilizer'"(6/21/08)

"Succession planting and interplanting: with planning, small spaces yield large harvests"(6/7/08)

"Along the deer path: plants they will leave alone!"(4/12/08)

"Starting from seed: warm the seedbed to start early!"(3/24/08)

"Sharing the garden with children"(3/16/08)



MORE published garden articles, photos, & designs



Home Landscaping California Region by Roger Holmes and Lance Walheim, 2001: designs on pages 32-35, 40-43, 60-63 and 88-91

Photo of Teucrium cossonii ssp. majoricum (wall germander) in Fine Gardening magazine's special issue publication, Perfect Plants, vol. 1, spring 2011
"Deer-Proof Perennials, California", Regional Reports Department,Fine Gardening magazine, September/October 2010 (Issue # 135)
"Nitrogen Attracts Deer", Healthy Garden column, including photos, Fine Gardening magazine, September/October 2010 (Issue #135)
"Grandma's Country Garden", Sierra Heritage magazine, April 1999
"Asters", Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication, Flower Garden, May 1998
"Asters, Stars of the Garden", Garden Gate magazine, October 1996
"Artemisias Dress the Garden in Silver", Fine Gardening magazine, July/August 1995
"Tending an Old Fruit Tree", Sierra Heritage magazine, January/February 1995
"Subtleties of the Winter Landscape", Sierra Heritage magazine, November/December 1994
"Autumn in the Garden", Sierra Heritage magazine, September/October 1994
"Waves of Gold", Fine Gardening magazine, July/August 1993
"A Swash of Fall Color", Sierra Heritage magazine, September/October 1991
"From Bareroot to Harvest", Sierra Heritage magazine, January/February 1991
"Sowing a Spring Meadow in the Fall", Sierra Heritage magazine, September/October 1990
"Foothill Rock Gardens--A Tapestry of Color", Sierra Heritage magazine, May/June 1990

"Growing in Wildwood", Wildwood Independent newspaper, April 15, 1987
"Fall Planting for Spring Bloom", The Villager newspaper, September 30, 1986
"Natural Amendments for Soil Tilth", The Villager newspaper, September 23, 1986
"Fall Composting", The Villager newspaper, September 16, 1986
"Enjoying Fall Color", The Villager newspaper, September 2, 1986
"Summer’s End", The Villager newspaper, August 26, 1986
"Foothill Gardening", The Villager newspaper, August 19, 1986
"Carrots: The Long and Short of It", The Villager newspaper, August 12, 1986
"Leeks for Gourmet Cooking", The Villager newspaper, July 22, 1986
"The Weekend Mountain Gardener", The Villager newspaper, July 4, 1986
"The Weekend Mountain Gardener", The Villager newspaper, June 27, 1986
"Shasta Daisies: A New Look at an Old Favorite", The Villager newspaper, June 24, 1986
"The Weekend Mountain Gardener", The Villager newspaper, June 20, 1986
"The Weekend Mountain Gardener", The Villager newspaper, June 13, 1986
"Asters for Summer and Fall Color", The Villager newspaper, June 10, 1986
"The Weekend Mountain Gardener", The Villager newspaper, June 6, 1986
"Potpourri: Capture the Essence of Spring", The Villager newspaper, May 27, 1986
"The Weekend Mountain Gardener", The Villager newspaper, May 23, 1986
"The Tricks of Garden Layout", The Villager newspaper, May 16, 1986
"The Weekend Mountain Gardener", The Villager newspaper, May 9, 1986
"Understanding Soil pH: Is my soil to acid?" The Villager newspaper, May 6, 1986
"The Mysteries of Seeds", The Villager newspaper, April 29, 1986
"Adding Herbs to Your Garden", The Villager newspaper, April 22, 1986
"The Vagaries of Spring in the Foothills", The Villager newspaper, April 15, 1986
"Leeks: A Gourmet Member of the Onion Family", The Villager newspaper, April 8, 1986
"Spring Watering", The Villager newspaper, April 1, 1986
"Perennial Flowers for Spring Bloom", The Villager newspaper, March 18, 1986
"Celebrating Arbor Day", The Villager newspaper, March 4, 1986
"Home Fruit Production: Choosing a Bareroot Fruit Tree", The Villager newspaper January 28,1986
"Sweet Peas: Fall Soil Preparation for Planting Next Year", The Villager newspaper, October 2, 1985
"When a Plant Is Rootbound", The Villager newspaper, September 25, 1985
"Landscaping for Low Water Demands", The Villager newspaper, September 4, 1985
"Expand Your Gardening Knowledge", The Villager newspaper, August 28, 1985
"Midsummer Tomato Care", The Villager newspaper, July 24, 1985
"Succession Planting on Hot Summer Days", The Villager newspaper, July 17, 1985
"The Trick of Growing Carrots Successfully", The Villager newspaper, July 10, 1985
"Still Time to Add Color", The Villager newspaper, July 1, 1985
"Conscientious Watering", The Villager newspaper, June 26, 1985
"Start Some Seeds Indoors!", The Villager newspaper, April 3, 1985

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