Growing by the Bay

Tag: featured

The Farmer’s Daughter, South Kingstown, Rhode Island


The Farmer’s Daughter is a fifteen-acre farm and nursery, founded in 1998 and run by Sarah Partyka, that is located in a rather upscale, mostly rural region about forty minutes south of Providence in Rhode Island. Heavily forested and low in elevation, this area is located in climate zone 6, with distinct maritime influence from Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  (It’s quite close to the eastern tip of Long Island, as the crow flies.)

The extensive nursery includes several greenhouses. There are plants in flats or small pots as well as good-sized trees and shrubs, along with a large selection of garden decor. Fresh produce such as raspberries and heirloom vegetables are also offered.

We didn’t intend to buy anything, but of course ended up carting off a bunch of plants for our Pawtucket property. While I strolled around, I took a bunch of (cell-phone) photos, shared below (click for somewhat larger — 723 px — versions). I am not providing botanical information, because my interest was in design — color, texture, pattern — and particularly in juxtapositions of plants that happened to be located adjacent to each other.


new acquisitions

New Acquisitions

new acuisitions

At the Watershed Nursery in Point Richmond we picked up several California natives that we will be trying out in the garden. We also got a few nonnative plants from the nearby Annie’s Annuals. Stay tuned for updates on how these do. Here the new plants — in the black containers — are in an area near the house that gets the most attention. (The large ceramic containers contain three kinds of figs.) The new plants (nonnatives marked with asterisks) include:

Artemisia douglasiana (Mugwort)
Asclepius cancellata (Wild Cotton) *
Atriplex leucophylla (Beach Salt Bush)
Camissonia cheiranthifolia (Beach Primrose)
Cunonia capensis (Butterknife Tree) *
Datura wrightii (Sacred Datura)
Fraxinus latifoloa (Oregon Ash)
Malva assurgentiflora (Island Mallow)
Mimulus aurantiacus (Sticky Monkeyflower)
Monardella villosa (Coyote Mint)
Plantago subnuda (Tall Coastal Plaintain)
Ramnus California (California Coffeeberry)
Salvia melliflora (Black Sage)
Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage)
Sambucus nigra (Blue Elderberry)
Scrophularia california (California Bee Plant)
Stipa pulchra (Purple Needlegrass)
Tanecetum parthenium aureum (Golden Feverfew) *

The Watershed Nursery, a cool place specializing in California Native Plants (reasonably priced), is located near the intersection of 580 and Richmond Parkway:

Watershed Nursery, Point Richmond, California

plant hospital

Changes . . .

When I began this site in 2006 I was interested in documenting some aspects of the San Francisco Bay Area. I had looked at a few printed guidebooks and online sites and found several of the comments and recommendations about the region ludicrous. My main site was, and I decided to make it a little more tightly focused on book publishing. Working in the city and living in the East Bay, it seemed reasonable to spin off regional content into a new site. To shake up stodgy locals I called it Frisco Vista (there is a lot of groupthink in the Bay Area, and most residents would rather be caught worshipping at an altar to Satan than uttering the word Frisco).

For the past several years I have been too absorbed in print projects to give much time to webwork. Besides that, I’m no longer motivated to maintain a broad regional site (as is obvious from a glance at the post dates — an attentive reader might also notice an increasing emphasis on garden themes). I no longer work in the city, and I now spend a lot of time maintaining my garden.

As I also have an interest in photography,  I’m fairly often inspired to photograph some of the garden, and I thought of starting a tumblr devoted to that. Instead, I’ve decided to rework Frisco Vista into Tom’s Garden (unless I can think of a better name). At least for now, I’ll retain the FV domain, but I’ve already begun to change the appearance and structure of the site radically.

Formerly the site looked like this:

old frisco vista blog

Since the site has been in deep hibernation, I’m not going to take it down and work offline but instead will make the changes bit by bit as live updates. (I’m also back adding some posts replicating content from my Facebook account.) Maybe someone will be interested enough to stay tuned and see how things evolve . . .

Some rights reserved 2022 Tom’s Garden. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons (attribution, noncommercial, no derivs: 3.0) License (US), although some of the work this blog incorporates may be separately licensed. Text and images by Thomas Christensen unless otherwise noted. For print permissions or other inquiries please request via