Gardening Articles

It just so happened that the year I was nudged and inspired to begin this gardening blog about my twenty-year old Northern California garden, was during the first year of the pandemic–a year with so many changes and challenges. One good change — one of the few bright spots in it all — was the tremendous surge of pandemic gardening that happened, among both beginning and seasoned gardeners.

As I said in my welcome post, the garden has for decades been an important source of sanctuary for me, of de-stressing, of nourishment, exercise, inspiration, enjoyment and connection. I wish that for everyone, especially during these continued difficult times!

So I hope this helps fertilize the inspiration — that as many of you as possible can find continued sustenance and peace in your potagers or local parks, your windowsill greenery or indoor oasis, your allotment or balcony gardens.

And if you cannot go outside right now, I hope you will find some measure of relief and feeling of nature’s connection here and with other gardeners sharing what they do online — and that you have a nearby window filled with open sky and visiting birds and the waft of fresh air carrying the scents of nature to you.

Below are gardening-specific posts. To meander through all the posts of The Compulsive Gardener, including ones on upcycling and garden-inspired creativity, visit the blog page here. I hope you will enjoy them and write in to chat — over the garden fence, as it were. Check back often for more posts on all things gardening!


The Roses In My Garden — wild, exquisite, and tough as nails

In celebration of Mothers Day Just in time for Mother’s Day, the roses in my garden are starting to bloom. These are not fragile beauties; they are survivor superstars! The Old Roses — Wild, Exotically Perfumed and Robust I enjoy a traditional rose bouquet as much as anyone, but those are usually composed of HybridContinue reading “The Roses In My Garden — wild, exquisite, and tough as nails”

Spring apple blossoms with yellow shad umbrella

Petals Aplenty — six snapshots of spring from a Sonoma County garden

The petals are popping and the juice of spring is coursing through my veins like so many shots of espresso. The spring garden is a party not to be missed, and just to sit at my computer to post this blog, rather than be out with the surging sap and sunshine, is requiring a strongContinue reading “Petals Aplenty — six snapshots of spring from a Sonoma County garden”

Puffball Kitty inspects fallen pine

Our Garden Seems To Be Marie Kondoing Itself

Nature in the form of our garden is having a purge. First, a huge branch of a decades-old willow tree dropped, narrowly missing our most productive mulberry and blueberry patch. Next, a sizeable limb of an old red maple fell. And then one evening while knitting, I heard a splitting crack and felt the house shutter. Was it an earthquake? No, it was a pine tree up on the hill splitting at the base and hitting the ground with force. Our garden seems to be Marie Kondoing itself and has inspired us to have a thorough garden clean-up.

Potato harvest

Summer Garden Harvests In An Extreme Year

Given the extreme drought we’re dealing with here in Sonoma County and the West Coast of the U.S. in general, I’m especially grateful that we still have some sustaining food harvests from the garden this summer. Growing your own food in a summer dry climate always requires some irrigation. If you’ve been reading this blog,Continue reading “Summer Garden Harvests In An Extreme Year”

The Summer of Buckets !

The Summer of Buckets — Extreme Drought & Early Wildfire Season In the Garden

The Summer of Buckets You’ve heard of the Summer of Love, right? Well I propose that 2021 here in Northern California be called the Summer of Buckets. There are buckets in all the sinks — to collect dish-washing and handwashing water, a bucket in the tub to catch the water as it warms for aContinue reading “The Summer of Buckets — Extreme Drought & Early Wildfire Season In the Garden”

Flowering Crabapple with bumblebee

May In the Garden — a joy even during drought

Even a Sprinkle Is Welcome During Drought! A few days after my last garden blog post, we received a tiny bit of rain: about a tenth of an inch. Even such a small amount was welcome to ease the drought we are facing here. The garden is still green–as is the norm for spring–but withContinue reading “May In the Garden — a joy even during drought”

California Poppies and old shed

April Garden — California Poppies, Veggie Seedlings, Critter Habitat & Prep for Drought & Wildfire

The California poppies and lupines are abloom in Sonoma County, and so are lilacs and foxgloves and columbine. Pipevine swallowtails are mating and tree swallows returning for the summer. Keep up with the wildfire safety and drought preparedness steps taken by organic gardening blog of The Compulsive Gardener.

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