A Sweet Surprise: ‘Route 66′ Coreopsis


I went out early this morning to hand-water a few newly-planted seedlings, and found a surprise on my front porch– two 4″ blooming ‘Route 66′ Coreopsis starts! I was genuinely puzzled because, upon inspecting the tag, I noticed they came from Emerisa Gardens, a wholesaler that doesn’t deliver to Sacramento nurseries. This discovery took place during my pre-coffee fog, so I didn’t put two and two together until I went back inside and told Kim about the mystery plants on our front porch.

He then revealed that he had stopped by Flowerland in Albany on his way to Oakland yesterday afternoon. Sweet! And completely unexpected. What’s even sweeter is that he tried to find the ‘Redshift’ Coreopsis I had admired on a previous visit to Flowerland. Both ”Redshift’ and ‘Route 66′ have a red to yellow color shift that makes this fall bloomer pretty exciting to me. Click here for a profile of ‘Route 66′ in Fine Gardening.

I admit, I’m easily entertained. My mom told me that when I was little, I could amuse myself with things of nature… dandelions… ladybugs… “for hours”. Doesn’t surprise me. It’s probably why I still think or say, “Ooh, hummingbird” every time one visits my feeder. You’d think the novelty of nature would wear off at my age, but nope.

Ooh, hummingbird! Ooh, ‘Route 66′ Coreopsis! Pit-tee birdy. Pit-tee fower!

Soil Born Farms’ Community Night at the Farm with Toby Hemenway

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Hey, all. Soil Born Farms Education Coordinator, Sarah Barnes, gave me a heads up about a cool event they’re hosting next Wednesday, August 20th. Community Night at the Farm will have Toby Hemenway as guest speaker. Hemenway is a permaculture expert and author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. The focus of his presentation will be “Rethinking Drought”; a timely topic.

Robert Kourik, author of Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape– Naturally calls Hemenway’s book “… enlightening and required reading for all people who desire to make their home’s landscape healthy, sustainable, and healing.”

What: Community Night at the Farm, with Guest Speaker Toby Hemenway
When: Wednesday, August 20th, from 5-9:30pm
Where: 2140 Chase Dr, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Cost: FREE

They would like you to pre-register through Eventbrite. You also have the option of reserving a vegetarian meal ($10/$5 kids). For more information about Soil Born Farms or this event, go to www.soilborn.org.

On the menu: Black Bean and Zucchini Salad, Roasted Summer Veggie Farro Salad, Tomato, Cucumber & Red Onion Salad, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Bread & Butter, and Iced Tea. Kids will be able to enjoy Veggie Fried Rice & Sliced Melon.


Sisters Episode 1: Strawberries {The Kloons}

I could watch this a thousand times and it would be just as funny each time. The dialogue, their facial expressions, the setting… and the shoes… just kill me. Gardeners will find this especially hilarious.

(deadpan expression) I prune everything.


‘Redshift’ Coreopsis

Why didn’t I buy this amazing Coreopsis when I was at Flowerland? I suppose it’s because I’m cheap and it was in a one-gallon container. I should have factored in the cost of pain and suffering from kicking myself over and over for not bringing this beautiful jagged-edged, color-shifting hippie plant home.


Farmers’ Market Stamps Available Tomorrow!

If anything will make you want to mail a letter… these new Forever Farmers’ Market Stamps from the USPS sure will. They debut tomorrow!

Another Visit to DIG Nursery and the UCSC Botanical Garden

(NOTE: I finally got around to publishing this draft post from late June!) I’d made much overdue plans to visit my friend Lynette in Santa Clara this Sunday and since we both love Santa Cruz, we decided to drive a little bit farther and spend our day there. Arriving around lunch time, we decided to hit Cafe Iveta first. I’d chosen the cafe based on its gluten-free friendliness and 80+ positive Yelp reviews. My turkey sandwich with Havarti and bacon was delish. Yes, I know gluten-free bread looks a little funny, but it tasted great. Fresh, soft and flavorful.

IMG_0003Next, we were off to DIG Gardens Nursery. Lynette had never been to DIG, and I think it’s only my third visit. Nurseries never get old to me, because they’re always, always tweaking things. Since my prior visit, I spotted the book display in another part of the shop, saw a D.I.Y. Bubble Terrarium station that I don’t remember from before. Fun, fun, fun. Nearby shelves hold air plants and empty glass terrariums. Terraria? Pshhh…. I dunno.

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I returned home with a couple adorable greeting cards for future use, and an irresistible succulent. Lynette went home with her first air plant! [Read more...]

New Book Alert! Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias


New book alert! There was a blurb today on Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias by Zenaida Sengo, an interior display coordinator at Flora Grubb nursery in San Francisco. Flora Grubb has exceptional interior and exterior merchandise displays and I’m bazonkers for air plants. Want!

Bodacious Buckwheats

Check out this fun video primer on buckwheats (Eriogonum) from UC Davis Arboretum Manager Taylor Lewis. He discusses several cool varieties thriving in display gardens at the arboretum and available for purchase at upcoming plant sales. Some are tight little ground covers; others are towering giants. In general, buckwheats prefer well-drained soil and low to moderate water.

Fall is a great time to plant natives and their cultivated relatives, so don’t miss upcoming UCD Arboretum plant sales!

Fall 2014 Plant Sales

THE NEW FRONT YARD: Prepare your landscape for long-term water conservation with attractive, drought-tolerant, easy-care, region-appropriate plants including a large selection of California natives and Arboretum All-Stars.

Saturday, October 11
9 – 11 AM: Members only
11 AM – 1 PM: Open to the Public

Saturday, October 25
9 AM – 1 PM: Open to the Public

These sales are open to the public during the times specified above. Members save 10% off their purchases. Become a new member at the sales to receive 10% off your purchases AND an additional $10-off coupon! Find out more about becoming a member here.

Bee Swell Campaign


Bee Swell’s mission is to promote awareness of the problems our pollinators are facing today, including pesticides and a lack of habitat and food sources, and to encourage bee friendly gardening practices that support these essential members of our garden community.


Free downloadable, Printable Posters!


Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 12.01.29 PMHere’s the partial list of products Bee Swell recommends avoiding…

Avoid products that contain:
  • Acetamidprid
  • Clothianidin
  • Dinotefuran
  • Imidacloprid
  • Thiamethoxam
  • Foliar spray for garden fruits and vegetables, and ornamental flowers, trees, and shrubs.
  • Ortho bug B Gone Garden Insect Killer
  • Ortho Flower, Fruit, and Vegetable Insect Killer
  • Ortho Rose and Flower Insect Killer
  • Ortho Rose Pride Insect Killer
  • Granules for turf, and ornamental flowers, shrubs , and trees.
  • Bayer Advanced All-In-One Rose & Flower Care granules
  • Green Light Grub Control with Arena
  • Granules for turf and ornamental flowers, shrubs for trees, soil drench for ornamental flowers, trees, and shrubs.
  • Green Light Tree & Shrub Insect Control with Safari 2 G
  • Safari
  • Ortho Tree & Shrub Insect Control
  • Plus Miracle Gro Plant Food
  • Foliage spray for turf and ornamental flowers, trees, and shrubs; soil drench for garden fruits and vegetables, ornamental flowers, trees, and shrubs; trunk injection for trees; granules for turf and ornamental flowers, shrubs, or trees.
  • Bayer Advanced 3-in-1 Insect Control
  • Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed
  • Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus & VegetableInsect Control
  • Bayer Advanced All-In-One Rose & Flower Concentrate
  • DIY Tree Care Products Multi-insect Killer
  • Ferti-lome 2-N-1 Systemic
  • Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray
  • Knockout Ready-To-Use Grub Killer
  • Monterey Insect Control Once A Year II
  • Ortho Bug B Gone-Year Long Tree & Shrub Insect Control
  • Surrender Brand GrubZ Out
  • Foliage spray for turf and ornamentals, flowers, trees, and shrubs; granules for turf and ornamental flowers, trees and shrubs.
  • Amdro Qiuck Kill Lawn & Insect Killer
  • Amdro Rose & Flower Care
  • Maxide Dual Action Insect Killer

I Heart Zucchini Salad

If you’re growing zucchini right now, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to use this abundant summer staple. Even seasoned zucchini growers start running out of ideas, recipes, and bewildered friends and neighbors willing to take home boat-sized zukes.

Recently, I had the pleasure of dining at Mother Sacramento for the first time and decided to try the Avocado and Summer Squash Salad (V, GF). It was mind-blowingly delicious. Zucchini can be a bland “vegetable” (actually a fruit), and can quickly turn soft when cooked. Slicing it thinly and serving it raw in a salad maintains some of its natural crispness and allows the dressing to infuse each slice with incredible flavor.

I’d never had the pleasure of eating zucchini this way and it was fantastic. Brilliant, actually.


I’ve since done some “zucchini salad with avocado” Googling and have come across several promising-looking recipes. Some of them instruct you to slice the zucchini into ribbons, others spiralize it, and a few tell you to dice it. I think thinner is better for salads, so I’m gravitating toward ribbons, potato-chip thin discs and spirals.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Sweet Corn & Avocado recipe from Maria and Josh’s Two Peas & Their Pod blog looks pretty close to what I enjoyed at Mother and it’s the recipe I plan to make. I’ll be using the ripe garden zucchini I just harvested. Just waiting for a lovely looking store-bought avocado to ripen. Sweet corn is readily available right now and I need to pinch back my basil plant, so I may add basil to the recipe below… just like Mother does. I’ll probably skip the cilantro and the queso fresco.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Sweet Corn & Avocado
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
I found this delicious looking recipe on the Two Peas & Their Pod blog. http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/zucchini-ribbon-salad-with-sweet-corn-avocado/
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium yellow squash
  • 2 ears cooked sweet corn
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 2 medium ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • ½ cup queso fresco (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil and lime juice together. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchini and yellow squash. With a vegetable peeler, shave lengthwise into long, wide strips about 1/16 inch thick.
  3. Put the zucchini and yellow squash ribbons in a large bowl. Cut the sweet corn kernels off of the cob, cutting close to the cob. Discard cobs. Add sweet corn, cilantro, red onion, and avocado slices to the squash ribbons. Pour olive oil and lime dressing over salad and toss until coated.
  4. Crumble queso fresco over the top of the salad and season with salt and pepper, to taste. (Angela's note: I will probably skip the cheese since I'm avoiding dairy most days.)


V = Vegan
GF = Gluten Free