The Desert Smells Like Rain

In Arizona the desert wildflowers are particularly abundant this year because of the generous rainfall last winter. We’re driving through this enchanting landscape on our way to bookstore appearances at Changing Hands in Tempe and at the University of Arizona in Tucson, but we stop to watch a storm sweep across the desert along the way. When it rains in the dessert, aromas blossom, as

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Peacocks and Permaculture

We’re at the Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia, California, giving a presentation to the “Compulsive Gardeners”, a wonderful group of knowledgeable and dedicated gardeners whose enthusiasm is boundless.  It’s interesting to be back. I (David) used to work here, in the Research Division, just after finishing my PhD. It was my first professional position and I loved all the exotic plants from Mediterranean climates around the

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Permaculture and Edible Schoolyards

San Diego, CA – We visit the San Diego Botanical Garden, in Encinitas, where we find many treasures including a small Permaculture Demonstration Garden. Permaculture, a concept developed originally by Bill Mollison of Australia, is a contraction of “Permanent and Agriculture”. It is a very rich system that stresses the use of perennial rather than annual plants, and employs many techniques that can be put

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We’re in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California – a gardener’s paradise. While it may have heavy, clay soil, and little water, it has perfect temperatures for growing plants from all the “Mediterranean” climates of the world. The flora of South Africa, the west coasts of North and South America, Australia, and, of course, the Med itself make appearances here. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden displays the amazing diversity of

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Bay Area Bookstores

We leave Mendocino in the morning and arrive in the Bay area late in the day to continue our booktour to promote our book “What’s Wrong With My Plant (And How Do I Fix It)?”. We’re scheduled for a lot of bookstore appearances in the area and everywhere we go we see posters announcing our arrival.                  

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San Francisco Flower and Garden Show

We’re at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show 2010 to present a PowerPoint show on diagnosing plant problems using examples from our book. And what a great show it is! The theme this year is Gardens for the Future. One of the first things we see on entering the show is a giant cube made entirely of succulents. It seems to float on water.

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The Long and Winding Road

David and I pack our belongings and prepare to leave our friend’s house in Arcata, California. To add drama, I might have added “meager” to describe our belongings, but that would not be accurate. We’ve brought plenty of comfort items on this road trip. We arrived in Arcata the day before from McMinnville, where we had our last bookstore event in Oregon. We stopped in

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The Whirlwind Continues

As soon as we returned from our travels by plane to Philadelphia and Boise we drove to Oregon in our car and began the road trip portion of our book tour. We stayed with friends in Portland and drove out to our bookstore events and then back to Portland each night. We appeared at Powell’s at Cedar Hills, Beaverton, Oregon, on Thursday, March 11. Next

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Whirlwinds and Flowers

Our whirlwind of activities landed us at the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Idaho Horticultural Society Symposium week before last. We presented slide shows and seminars at both events.  When people describe the Philadelphia Flower Show as the biggest flower show in the country, they’re not kidding. It is a mob scene, crammed with exhibits, vendors, and visitors. Long lines form to enter each seminar

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Philadelphia Flower Show Orchids

We went to the Philadelphia Flower Show last week, the biggest flower and garden show in the country. It was our first time and we were amazed by the crowds of people thronging into the show. We attended the show as part of our book tour. We presented a seminar and autographed books for people and we had an opportunity to view all the spectacular

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