Are You Gardening on the 4th?

In the garden today? I just got back from a three day tour of San Francisco Bay Area gardens and will be reporting on that trip soon. In the meantime, I’ve put up over 600 photos from the “Garden Blogger’s Fling” here. Above is a bee visiting a striking plant at Sunset Magazine’s headquarters. Unfortunately, I did not get the name of the plant. Bragging rights go to the person who names it in the comments . . ....

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Saturday Linkages: Bitters, Dogs and Native Plants

...Years of Dog Breed “Improvement” http://wp.me/p1VSYl-eg  Los Angeles Was Once a Forest of Oil Derricks http://southland.gizmodo.com/los-angeles-was-once-a-forest-of-oil-derricks-1469825345 … Full-color handout for plant-based eating. Tips for food, nutrition, shopping. http://truelovehealth.com/2013/12/04/how-to-eat-more-plant-based-meals-handout-now-available/ …. Eagle Rock backyard yields fresh fruit and food for the hungry http://w...

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All Hail Our Succulent Overlords

Nature made this. It’s growing in a pot on our front porch. I am in a state of wonder and amazement. It is so perfect in all its parts, so regal and confident, that I just want to kneel down before it and say “I am not worthy to be in your presence, 0 plant god. I am nothing but a flabby, destructive primate.” I don’t know the name of this succulent– and I know someone is going to ask! Does anybody know the name of...

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Permaculture Design Course at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano

...72-hour, permaculture design certification course. Gather the tools and practical, systemic solutions to repair and benefit our local ecosystems and environment. Engage hands-on sustainability and understand how to integrate it into your own life, home, and community. This course is for homeowners, renters, educators, business leaders, designers, architects, builders, gardeners, farmers, ranchers, landscapers, developers, environmentalists, acti...

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Book Review: A Feast of Weeds by Luigi Ballerini

The evening a review copy of A Feast of Weeds: A Literary Guide to Foraging and Cooking Wild Edible Plants came in I couldn’t put it down. I chased Kelly and our guest Nancy Klehm around the house to read excerpts: on the obscene etymology of the Italian word for the Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo), on the history of Mallow (Malva parviflora). And who knew that Italians eat red poppy leaves? Ballerini is a professor of Italian at the Univ...

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Dry Climate Vegetables

...t of reseeding rogue veggies from our garden that have thrived with just the small burst of rain we got last month. New Zealand Spinach The one I’m most excited about is New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides). It’s reappeared for at lest three years now. And for us it’s much easier to grow than (unrelated) spinach. Fennel Fennel also comes back every year–so much so that if we don’t stay on top of weeding...

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Dudley brittonii “Giant Chalk Dudleya”

y brittonii requires excellent drainage, can be grown in pots and is suited to USDA zones 9 to 11. Given our Arrakis like conditions here in California, an excellent bonus is that this plant does well with only monthly water. It also thrives in a pot. Mature, it’s around 18 inches across. Annie’s does mail order and we’ve had a lot of luck with their plants. I visited the nursery on a blogger junket last year and was very impres...

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Mystery Weed Identified: Geranium Molle

A number of Root Simple readers identified a plant that springs up in our backyard every winter. It’s Geranium molle. Readily pollinated by hymenoptera, Geranium molle has two popular names: Dovefoot Geranium and Awnless Geranium. Native to the Mediterranean, it was introduced to North America. The Plants for a Future database has a reference to the use of Geranium molle on wounds (Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants). Other than that, it...

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Saturday Linkages: From Bananas to Laird’s Laws

supermarket supplier’s plastic http://gu.com/p/3eb3b/tw  Solicitor George Cooper’s diaries give insight into Victorian life with his watercolour paintings http://bit.ly/yFANsU  Recreation of ancient beer suggests it was really, really gross http://io9.com/recreation-of-ancient-beer-suggests-it-was-sour-and-ful-572664886 … Laird’s Laws http://shar.es/OPik9  For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter: Follow @rootsi...

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That ain’t a bowl full of larvae, it’s crosne!

f irrigating pots, post crosne harvest Undaunted, I planted two self irrigating planters made from storage bins with about twelve or so tubers. Throughout the year the foliage was lush and finally died back in late November. It was really easy to grow, just like any other mint. It grew to about 1 1/2 feet and never produced flowers. I’m sure in wetter places it would be invasive. I spoke to Alex at the market again in December and he told...

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