Fame un Spritz

The iconic Italian aperitif reconsidered.

Staghorn Fern and Tree Fern

This superb example of a Staghorn Fern at the UC Botanical Garden led me to look a little deeper at this remarkable plant.

House finch (Carpodocus mexicanus)

The House Finch: A brief appreciation.

Using Bokashi to convert kitchen waste to garden greenery

Bokashi (often confused with composting) uses fermentation to convert nutrients in kitchen and yard waste into fertilizer. The technique, developed by horticulture professor Dr. Teruo Higa, uses lactic acid bacteria to work its magic. Read how.

Video: San Francisco Before the Earthquake

A fascinating glimpse or early 20th-century San Francisco.

Quick Pickling Pasilla Bajio Peppers

What could be easier than quick pickling? In this post we show how to pickle some mild peppers.

Top California Gardening Blog

Thank you to Feedspot Blogs for selecting Tom’s Garden as one of their Top California Gardening Blogs.

Western Hop Tree

Our Western Hop Tree is about three years old now and is looking good, getting ready to produce its many fragrant cream-colored flowers. They will be set off…

Datura Pod

The strange, spiky datura pod

Nine Views of Point Pinole

Under “photography” over at rightreading.com I’ve posted nine recent photos from Point Pinole from the same shoot as the image below. Check it out.

Oak Titmouse

The bossy call of the mighty little Oak Titmouse is often heard in the Northern California Oak woodlands.

The Nature of Plants

Plants live their lives just as we do, surrounded by loved ones, competitors.and enemies; seeking to find harmony and health; and hoping to leave behind a legacy of…

Planting Pak Choy for Winter Harvest

Who doesn’t love pak choy (bok choy)? It’s a kind of Brassica rapa, a relative of turnip, mustard, cabbage, etc. In the past I’ve grown a variety called…

Limequat, a New Addition to the Citrus Collection

One pleasure of gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area is the ability to grow citrus. While we don’t get the heat that produces the bountiful harvests of…


The brugmansia is having one of its moments.

Red-Flowering Currant

The genus Ribes includes currants and gooseberries (the name is derived from a Farsi word meaning “acid-tasting”). Gooseberries bear thorns but currants are thornless. Gooseberry fruits are larger…

Citrus infusions

These are a few of the infusions I’m preparing to be used in a new citrus amaro. I like the different colors. Left to right: Eureka Lemon, Satsuma…

The January Garden

We are fortunate in the Bay Area to be able to have decent-looking gardens in January. Using native plants as the bones of the garden helps. This January…

Flowering Senecio tallinoides

After several years in the garden, the plant is starting to flower. Stay tuned.

Wasp on Sedum

This wasp, which I believe is Prionyx thomae (P. parkeri and P. canadensis are similar), seemed very interested in a flowering sedum. It appeared to be collecting nectar,…

California Cleome

The beautiful California Cleome, one of the most drought-tolerant plants in the garden.

Pomegranate Flower

This is the pomegranates’ second summer here. They are growing in large containers. I think they were two years old when I purchased them. Now at last they…

Iochroma cyanea ‘Royal Blue’

Just a photo for now.