Planting Near Black Walnut

Every garden has its unique set of challenges, which is part of the reason I love garden design so much. There’s always a new problem to wrestle with in creating the perfect urban oasis. One particularly pesky problem is trying to plant near an existing Black Walnut tree. These trees are giant, strong, majestic specimens… Read more »

Garden Installation: Part IV

The backyard has taken shape! The concept for the backyard is to create an edible food forest. It’s similar in design to our former homestead – working in layers to add edible ground covers, shrubs, trees and vines – but I added a few new components like a┬ánature-based play area to accommodate our growing family,… Read more »

Baby Fruit

A home orchard is the best way to savor the delicious sweetness of summer fruits. I would argue that it is just as much fun to watch the baby fruits develop as it is to devour them when ripe. It’s like Christmas as a kid – the presents were that much more fun because of… Read more »

How to Thin Raspberries

Our fence is lined with ever-bearing raspberries, a wonderful addition to our edible landscape. Just as the name implies, ever-bearing raspberries will give you a continual harvest throughout the summer and fall. They do well in our Pacific NW climate and are a carefree addition to the homestead. The berries deteriorate quickly after harvest, which… Read more »

Country Gardens Magazine Article

Run, don’t walk, to grab your Spring 2013 copy of Country Gardens magazine (on sale March 12th). I wrote an article for this issue all about my journey through modern homesteading. They did a fabulous photo shoot of our homestead, so you can enjoy all kinds of gorgeous garden inspiration. I am so giddy to… Read more »

Spraying Fruit Trees

Last year, I was disappointed to learn that my gorgeous Puget Sound Apricot tree had a terrible case of blight. Early spring leaves looked like they had been pricked all over with tiny pin holes. Then the fruit began to develop with a thick scab. Still, the tree managed to put on some nice growth… Read more »

Harvesting Goumi Berries

Goumi is a medium-sized shrub from Asia that is gaining popularity in western gardens. The berries are used medicinally and sweeter varieties are great for eating fresh. Goumi shrubs are nitrogen fixers, benefiting the plants around them with higher nitrogen soil – great for leaf growth. The shrub has long thorns that are easy to… Read more »

Apricot Blight

Our Puget Gold apricot was planted three or four years ago and has quickly grown into a lovely tree. About a month ago, it appeared like an insect was bothering the tree. The leaves had little pin holes on them. But then I noticed the fruit was looking funny as it ripen on the tree…. Read more »

Herb Spiral Update

It was years and years ago that I built an herb spiral in our backyard, but a reader recently asked me for an update on the project. But first, what the heck is an herb spiral? Our original herb spiral design An herb spiral is a popular permaculture project that incorporates micro-climates into the design…. Read more »